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The Perfect Way to Spread the Season’s Joy

Cookies are a delicious way to share the holidays!

Christmas stories: Baking cookies brings people together

All the signs are there. Reindeer pop up on neighborhood lawns. Cars drive by with pine trees tied to their roofs. Holiday tunes fill the airwaves.

But for me, Christmastime doesn’t really arrive until the house is filled with the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies. I’ve been making them for more than 50 years. It always puts me in the spirit of the season.

One year when I was eight years old, my twin sister, Linda, and I got to help our mom make hundreds of cookies for our daddy’s work. Daddy was a foreman at Procter & Gamble, and every Christmas he gave presents of homemade cookies to his coworkers.

We got up early, threw on some clothes and bounded into the kitchen. Mom was already there with the mixing bowls and measuring cups. Linda and I took turns mixing the butter, flour and sugar into a creamy batter.

We plopped the dough down onto the counter and used a rolling pin to flatten it out. Then came the cookie cutters. We pressed the metal molds into the dough, stamping out cookies in shapes of wreaths, trees and angels. The extra bits we crumpled up and cut again. Never any waste.

The best part was decorating the cookies. Sugar crystal sparkles, candy beads and red and green sprinkles. We couldn’t get enough of that. I shook the sprinkles furiously over the cookies.

Batch after batch, Linda and I colored the cookies, making different sparkle and sprinkle designs on top of each one. Circles and zigzags and more shapes than you could make from fallen snow.

By the time we were done hours later we’d used up all of the sprinkles, sparkles and sugar beads. The cookies were as colorful as the ornaments hanging on our Christmas tree.

We had to taste the first batch as soon as they came out of the oven. We all agreed they were the best cookies ever.

“Pretty good, girls. But now you have to clean up,” Mom said. I groaned. The kitchen was a complete mess. Sparkles, sprinkles and flour were everywhere. Maybe we had a little too much fun decorating.

After putting the bowls away and wiping the counter, we had no energy left. I was almost glad we baked Christmas cookies only once a year.

“Your mom tells me that I should be thanking you girls for the cookies,” Daddy said to us when he came home that evening. “I’ll have to tell everyone at work that this year they’re extra-special because you two helped!”

Word got around Daddy’s company that Linda and I had spent all day making the cookies. Then the public relations department got involved. They thought it would be a cute idea for everyone to see us in action. They sent a photographer to our house to take pictures of us decorating cookies and wrapping them up for gifts.

Of course, Mom wouldn’t let us wear the old clothes we usually baked in for the photo. We dressed up in our Sunday best. And the kitchen was unnaturally neat. The picture appeared in the company newsletter. “You two better be careful,” Daddy told us. “They’ll expect you girls to make cookies every year.”

We did. And I still do. Every Christmas I make a batch for my coworkers at the children’s hospital where I work as a nurse. I make some for my sister too. We learned when we were little girls that the whole point of making Christmas cookies is giving. It’s a way of saying thanks to your friends, your coworkers, even your sister who has the same recipe you do!

Although Daddy loved all the cookies and ate them by the handful, his favorites were the Sand Tarts. We got the recipe from Mom’s best friend, Myrl. The cookies were so good, we always kept the recipe secret!

Now I’m giving the recipe to all of you. After all, didn’t I say that Christmas is a time for giving? And cookies are a delicious way to spread the love and joy of the season around. I think of them as the sprinkles on top! So don’t forget to share.

Try Myrl’s Sand Tarts!

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