It's a good Christmas when the cookies are homemade. I had two kinds this Christmas.
First, my niece, two of my great-nieces, and I made Christmas cookies with my mother's red HRM plastic cutters. (I've blogged about these before, so I won't again.) My niece Jen made the dough and helped us cut out the cookies. Then she baked them. The next day, E and I painted some cookies in the morning, and after lunch V and I decorated some more. V loved painting with the brushes, bright colors, and confectioner's sugar and cream. When studying the cookie cutters, she announced that she was afraid of the witch (there are a gingerbread house, witch, and Gretel; Hansel disappeared years ago). However, when we cut the cookies, she made two witches, and when we decorated, she insisted that she paint both witches, which she left for Santa before going to bed.
Christmas Eve afternoon, I visited my friend Betsy, her sister Mary, and their father. Just about Every Christmas I can remember, at least from 10th grade on, Betsy sneaked into the basement of my childhood home when no one was there and left a tin of homemade, decorated sugar cookies. Even after every one had grown and gone, she continued the tradition until my father and his second wife moved elsewhere. Hers was a true gift of friendship, a sign of which was evident in two of her gifts this year: one to E and V about cookies and one to me, Robert Sabuda's pop-up book, Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up.A surprisingly sweet holiday, indeed, thanks to friendship, family, tradition, and cookies.