SWEET HOLIDAY MEMORIES
A Look Back at My Mom’s Christmas Treats
From the time I was a skinny kid all the way through adulthood, I stuck to my guns on one thing: No one made better desserts than my mom. Her cakes, pies, and cookies were the hallmarks of my childhood, and I appreciated them more over the years as I realized her talents in the kitchen had skipped a generation. I strive to maintain a healthy diet, but I have a huge sweet tooth! Every Christmas growing up, there was nothing I looked forward to more than my mom’s homemade holiday cookies, caramel corn, and peanut butter balls. I always think of them this time of year and about how my mom would spend hours in the kitchen churning out vast quantities of the delicious sweets I craved year-round. Mom would whip up sugar cookies shaped like snowmen, Santas, reindeer, and Christmas trees. When I was a kid, I helped her decorate those cookies with icing and sprinkles, and when my kids came along, they did the same. We always spent the holiday at Grandma’s and gathered at her table to dig into Christmas dinner. In addition to the holiday treats, my mom always kept me and my sons supplied with chocolate chip cookies (my personal favorite), butterscotch chip cookies, banana bread, poppyseed bread, and spice cake throughout the year. Clinton and Elliot always knew that Grandma had stopped by our house when they got home from school and saw the large Tupperware container of cookies or the cake pan sitting on the kitchen counter. Of course, I was always the first person to sample the goods and was accused many times by my sons of eating more than my fair share!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the Christmas of 2017 marked the end of that tradition. Last year, my mom spent Christmas in an assisted living facility, and she passed away this past January. I’m still looking forward to Christmas, but for the first time, it feels bittersweet. Even though I plan to spend the day with my siblings, nieces, and nephews, I know it’s not going to be the same without my mom sitting with us at the table or making her famous treats in the kitchen.
That said, I’m still grateful for all of the wonderful memories I have with her. This holiday season, I’m going to keep my mom’s spirit alive not by baking (I still leave that to the professionals) but by taking the time to appreciate the little things and treating others with an extra measure of kindness and generosity.
So, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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