Ready, Set, Dec­o­rate!

A dust­ing of su­gar and sprin­kles turns time in the kitchen with my mom and sis­ter into sweet Christ­mas mem­o­ries.

Country - - HEART SOUL - BY SHIRLEY BAR­BERIC

Bak­ing Christ­mas cook­ies with my mom, Dot­tie, and my sis­ter, Robin, is al­ways a day filled with laugh­ter, fun, mem­o­ries of Christ­mas and lots of eggnog.

When we started our bak­ing day tra­di­tion back in 1993, it was at my house. I was so ex­cited to have Mom and Robin come over to make cook­ies. We baked all day, frosted all night and must have had at least six dif­fer­ent kinds of cook­ies go­ing at once: choco­late chip, Rus­sian tea cakes, peanut but­ter, co­conut mac­a­roons, gin­ger­snaps, straw- berry thumbprints and, of course, the clas­sic su­gar cookie cutouts.

Robin and I had just started our fam­i­lies, and Mom was never one for the kitchen. So we re­ally didn’t know what we were do­ing. By the end of the day, we were ex­hausted and the kitchen was a dis­as­ter.

Over the years we’ve re­fined our skills, and we’re a lit­tle more or­ga­nized. It’s a lot of work, but Mom, Robin and I al­ways have fun.

When our kids were lit­tle they helped us with the frosting, and maybe the cook­ies didn’t al­ways look bak­ery-per­fect but they got eaten just the same. Older now, the kids come and go, but they still look for their fa­vorites at the end of the day. I’d love to see them carry on this tra­di­tion. Un­til then I’m happy to bake for them.

Look­ing back on the past 24 years I re­al­ize that those cook­ies are a lot like life. Some­times they turn out great, but some­times the cook­ies are a lit­tle burnt and rough around the edges.

It’s not re­ally the cook­ies that make the sea­son spe­cial. It’s the peo­ple we bake with and for who make it all worth­while.

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