Baking lots of goodies is one tradition in my family that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Each year, I bake with my girls. We bake cookies, make fudge, Oreo Cookie Balls, and usually some kind of other baking project we try for the first time.
If anyone knows me, you know I don’t cook. I never really learned how to cook, other than figuring out little things here and there and following directions on the back of a box. I have no desire to learn and the kitchen is generally my enemy, no matter how much I like being in it. The ongoing joke in my household is that I always buy the wrong thing in the grocery store, so I can’t even do grocery shopping correctly. The reason why most of this makes no sense is because my father was a chef. So the cobbler’s kids having no shoes thing really is true. The chef’s kids don’t know how to cook.
But Christmas baking is something different. It isn’t just the baking part, it it is the sharing of the moment with my daughters. Getting all the ingredients, the stain covered handwritten recipes, finding the cookie cutters, melting the butter, rolling out the dough and covering the kitchen in flour, brushing the cookies with milk, cutting the hardened fudge into squares, and generally making a huge mess.
When I was a child, my mother (also…not a cook…at all…) did this for me. I hope that some day, my daughters will take this tradition and continue it on with their own families. Traditions are part of what builds us and are the things that make us carry something special through from year to year and generation to generation. Traditions are strings that we can pull upon, binding us to our heritage, our past, and our ancestors now long gone.
What are your holiday traditions?