The Christmas baking starts today. Ever since I was a little girl, making cookies has been an integral part of celebrating Christmas. And let me tell you, we don't make just 2 or 3 kinds of cookies. Oh, no. At the least, we make 10-12 different kinds of cookies. At the least! Half the fun of baking the cookies is going through the stack of recipe cards beforehand trying to figure out which ones we are going to make. There's the sentimental cookies, "Grandma cookies" (pizzelles); the decadent cookies, Hello Dolly bars (which as a kid I could never understand why my mom cut them into such little pieces - give me a big piece of pure sugar!); the classic cookies, molasses double deckers; the cookies the children make, thumbprint cookies and cookie cutter cookies; the favorite cookies, oatmeal raisin; the coconut cookies, Santa's beards; the allergy-free cookies, date pinwheels; the new kinds to try, peppermint cookies and eggnog logs; the cookie press Holly Wreaths; and I didn't even mention the cherry mocha balls, lemon snowflakes, and the apple leather yet!
Today was the peppermint cookie day. It was so much fun to turn on some Christmas music and start mixing up the batter. Little Eli wandered into the kitchen and kept me company by telling me how much he loves cookies and by licking the beater "helping". By the end of the cookie making, all of the kids had found their way to the kitchen and were rubbing their fingers on the counter looking for any dropped sugar or crushed candy cane powder!
Traditions are so important to celebrating the holidays. It doesn't matter if it's a big tradition (like making all these so many cookies), or a little tradition (like drinking hot chocolate on Christmas eve). Every little bit has a part in making this the most exciting part of the year for the children, heck, even for me! It's the traditions that I remember when I think back to my childhood, and it's what I want my children to remember when they are all grown up.