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My mother says she used to stay up all night to bake Christmas cookies without us kids underfoot. I know for sure that we never saw her make medalje cookies, a very delicate Danish cookie. As children, they seemed to break if we even looked at them! (But the advantage was that we’d be allowed to eat the broken ones, while the good ones were saved for Christmas Eve). She would bake them and lay them carefully in trays, which she would then wrap and hide in the attic for the few days until Christmas.
Gone are the days when I would bake thousands (well, ok not thousands – but it felt that way!) of delicate, intricate cookies. And then protect them until it was Christmas.
The better memories are making cookies that, although they might be uneven in shape or decoration, were all the more precious because I made them with my children rather than just for my children.
I wonder whether that’s how God looks at us, splashing around in His creation. Even when we are sincerely trying our best our results are usually a little uneven in one way or another.
Even though it is often easier and “better” to make the cookies by yourself, the joy is multiplied exponentially when you share the project. Even though God could just “fix” everything, God invites us into ministry, gives us the opportunity to experience the joy of giving, the reward of helping someone, the peace of being in relationship with God and God’s creation.
I don’t think my mother really did much baking at night, even when we were little – except the medaljes. We kids all have too many memories of helping for that to have been true.
It has been years since I’ve made medaljes, but I’m thinking I might try to make the time this year. It might be more important than I thought: I told my family that I was just going to skip Christmas cookies this year, and was met with such sad expressions that I realized it was more than just the filled tins they’d be missing. So we’ll see.
I’ve included some photos of cookies that take only a few minutes and some minimal supplies (and a touch of creativity) that could easily be done even with the youngest children. They are pretty self-explanatory. But more than making cookies, you’ll be making memories. And they’ll be learning about relationship and participation – two good bricks in a sound family.
Do you have some good recipes for favorite cookies? Or some pictures of masterpieces being created? Why not share them on the Cross of Glory Facebook page – sort of a FB cookie exchange!