Today, I’m glad to welcome Tammy Karasek as my guest. I got to know Tammy through our Cross ‘n Pens writers group and time together at a writers’ conference. As our friendship grew, we learned that her daughter graduated from the college where my husband and I served on faculty. I love the treasure of “God connections”. Be sure to stop by Tammy’s site. You will have a “tickled pink” moment: http://tammykarasek.com/
  
More than Just Christmas Cookies
Tammy Karasek

         This Christmas will be different. We will spend it in our new home in our new state of South Carolina and there won’t be snow on the ground. Or any chance of it, like back in Ohio-and I won’t miss it. But, I will miss the people who were part of our Christmas day every year. I’ll also miss the annual cookie bake.   

         For as long as I can remember, the week after Thanksgiving my mom made dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies. I arrived home from school to find my mom and grandma chatting in the kitchen. They had been baking all day and cookies were sitting on cooling racks spread all over the kitchen. I happily joined in. 


         I remember the top of the old chest freezer downstairs loaded with Tupperware containers full of cookies. My mom was famous for always having her huge glass platter overflowing with an array of cookies perched on the coffee table starting December 1st. The platter tempted guests waiting for someone to lift the plastic wrap and sneak a cookie, hoping mom would offer to put on a pot of coffee or serve up a tall glass of milk.

         When I married and began a family, the annual cookie bake continued and became the highlight of my Christmas. My daughter joined me when she was old enough to stir and help measure, making the cookie baking a four-generation, all-day extravaganza.

         Slowly, poor health took away grandma and mom’s ability to bake. My daughter and I held onto the tradition, though, taking my parents and grandma a platter of goodies to the nursing home where they resided. Listening to my mom and grandma reminisce with stories of baking cookies together every year brought such joy. 


         Last Thanksgiving, we lost our chief cookie baker, my mom, the last person in our family with whom we spent every Christmas day.
         Though I miss my mom and grandma terribly, I’ll hold onto the treasured memories of baking those Christmas cookies every year with these special women. I giggle, even today remembering us singing Christmas carols (sometimes with our own words!) as we flung flour, stirred batches upon batches of cookie dough and finally sat down to a sample of the goods. Once the baking was complete, we would claim another successful annual cookie bake.  

         The thought still swells my heart and moistens my eyes.

         My Christmas wish for you is that no matter what family tradition you celebrate, may you always see it as the treasure it truly is. 

        Christmas is a time of traditions. Some bake, others cut down a tree as a family, or make ornaments. What is your favorite Christmas tradition-or do you have a favorite cookie recipe? 

      Merry Christmas — pass the cookie platter, please! You can’t taste just one.

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