December 08, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

December 7 - Holiday Parties
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?

Our family believed that holidays were for family, and since we had a large family, it turned into a party. The only exception was Christmas eve, when we invited neighbors with children over after dinner to sing Christmas carols and have cookies and punch - a way to keep excited children busy and distract them from the pile of tantalizing gifts under the tree.

December 8 - Christmas Cookies
Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

Gramma Schulmeister baked sugar cookies every year, dozens and dozens. She would make and roll the dough and let us go to town with the cookie cutters and sugar sprinkles. We felt like we were doing our part to bring Christmas when we stacked cookies in waxed-paper-lined cookie tins to bring home with us. We didn't frost them, but colored them with red, green and yellow sugar sprinkles, and the multicolored little round ones, too. For many years, she bought silver balls and we'd add them to the Christmas trees, wreathes, and stars.

Over time, other cookies became favorites: date bars, macadamia snowballs, and peanut butter blossoms made with Hershey's Kisses. And ginger snaps, too, flattened with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar.

When I was in college, the Honolulu Advertiser published a recipe for an authentic German gingerbread house. I still have the original clipping and cardboard templates for cutting the pieces out of the baked cookies. Now my daughter has shown an interest, and she and her friend made one last Christmas from the same recipe!

No comments: