Looking for a holiday tradition that doesn’t involve drinking to excess, shopping into poverty, or watching TV until your eyes fall out? Here’s all-age, interactive fun involving friends and/or family…and it ends with good times and sweet gifts for all. My friend Sue Warner-Bean – who the tradition belongs to – tells the story in her own words:
Hi! Oh gosh yes — happy to have you share it with others. It has become a Really Big Deal for all of us, including the kids. Cookie Day started about 7 years ago. One of the sisters-in-law (who married in to the Bean clan) had an annual tradition of decorating cookies with her mom and sister. Christmas cookies had traditionally been an important part of the Bean family Christmas, too. Not long after both moms had died, we decided that it would be both fun and therapeutic to have a Christmas baking day. When we started, some of the nieces and nephews were still pretty little — we got them set up decorating Santa cookies and other “kid stuff” while we did the fancy ones. As they’ve grown up, Cookie Day has become just as important to them as it is to us, and now they’re full-fledged participants. (This year I loved watching a pair of 17-year-old boys draw robots/transformers/science-fiction characters on the glazed sugar cookies!)
We do a few favorite “must-make” cookies every year and also try some new ones. We’ve gotten more sophisticated with the planning – an online spreadsheet helps us figure out the game plan. When the Day arrives there are a few flops, lots of successes, and all day long the kitchen is filled with butter, sugar, chaos, laughter and love.
When the brothers/spouses show up there’s a terrific, simple feast and the fun continues. (Actually, this year two of them helped with the baking, too!) At the end of the evening we all take big boxes of assorted cookies home with us. I think most of us then divide them up into pretty platters and give them as a special gift to friends and neighbors. We all keep a few for holiday entertaining, as well. (OK, and we keep one or two to have with our afternoon coffee!). But mostly, we give them away – we do it for the fun of baking and the joy of sharing. I LOVE going to my neighbors with these platters of special cookies — we have fabulous neighbors and it’s fun to have a way to say thanks.
I’ve also heard of neighbors doing a similar tradition, or girl friends, or book clubs, or church groups. I suppose you could do a cookie day tradition any time of the year – it’s always a good time for cookies:)