Once, and sometimes twice, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, my Mom would make her famous Christmas sugar cookies. They were, and still are, the best tasting cookies in the world! As fun as they were to eat, they were perhaps even more fun to make. Let me take you back to 1970…
Mom would make up a big bowl of her sugar cookie dough on a cold winter morning, and put it out into the garage to chill for a few hours. The garage was attached to the house, and still had a few leftover apples sitting around in boxes giving off a pleasant, fruity scent.
I came in from outside and was greeted by Tennessee Ernie Ford singing “Oh Holy Night” on my parent’s console record player. Mom already had the oven preheated and said we were going to start making cookies as soon as I washed my hands. I washed up and sat down at the kitchen table ready to do some decorating. I was seven, so I was going to have to help my little sisters Debbie and Beckie, who also wanted to help, but weren’t grown up like I was.
Mom rolled out the dough on her cutting board, and used a set of aluminum cookie cutters to press out the shapes. There was a reindeer, a star, a bell, a Christmas tree, and a standing Santa who carried a bag over his shoulder. Mom filled up a cookie sheet with the cutouts, and set it on the table for us to decorate. We used “Red Hot” candies and little silver colored sugar “BB’s” to decorate by pressing them into the dough wherever we thought they looked best. We sprinkled colored sugar to add green or red, and various other decorations to make the cookies look special.
While we meticulously made our own little masterpieces, Mom decorated a few dozen of her own and got them baking. When hers came out, ours went in, and eventually they were all sitting on a newspaper cooling.
When Dad came into the house, we all anxiously pointed out which ones were ours. He licked his lips in mock anticipation and tried to grab each one from under our little fingers as we squirmed with excitement. Mine were expertly crafted, and Debbie even had a few that looked pretty good, but poor Beckie, who was only three, couldn’t quite get the hang of decorating. One poor bell had about 50 “Red Hots” on it while her star was totally buried by green sugar. Everyone knew stars weren’t supposed to be green!
Dad raved about what a fine job we had done, and made sure he tried one of each of our cookies. I remember he scooped little Beckie up into his arms and said hers tasted the best as he smothered her with kisses. Beckie shrieked with delight, and soon Debbie and I were also involved in the wrestling match. We were just one big happy family sharing an evening of Christmas fun together!