On Saturday I was baking gingerbread cookies for a cookie exchange party. It was chilly and rainy, the kitchen radio playing good tunes, I was working the dough and then, shades of sadness moved in. My kids are now old enough so that baking Christmas cookies with Mom is no longer an annual event. They were gone, one working at the Dime Store, the other on the Plaza with friends. I was alone.
Naturally I started to think about all the holiday memories with the girls when they were small. As we would drive through Brookside at night, Erin would shout out from her car seat “the lights, the lights!” all the way home. We would make little gingerbread houses from graham crackers, frosting and candies. I still have written Christmas lists, dictated to their babysitter, asking for ‘clicky-clacky shoes’ and a Barbie dreamhouse. Erin cried for the first few years visiting the Crown Center Santa; I remember Siena stepping right up to plop on his lap. They would fight over who would put the angel on the top of the tree, and we would leave out food for the reindeer as well as the Big Man. On Christmas morning, they would carefully read each gift tag, stacking up the presents, so anxious to see what’s inside while Dad and I tortured them by saying ‘no gift opening until the coffee is ready!’. We would drive for miles and miles over two days, visiting relatives and coming home late, both kids blissfully asleep in their car seats, holiday music on the radio. They were two normal kids, so excited about everything Christmas brings–not just the gifts but the music, the neighborhood decorations, the visits from friends, watching the holiday TV specials and….the annual tradition of making and decorating cookies with Mom.
Well, the kids are still here…not for long…and I’m still making Christmas cookies. It’s mostly a solo project now. But the tradition will continue, as I know they will always enjoy eating them! And although they aren’t around to help out, it’s wistfully sentimental to think about the memories of when they were kids at Christmastime. Those memories will out last the cookies…
Sweet post, Mary.