A Better Gift
Christmas cookies were big in my house growing up. As a young sweets lover I loved to bake, or do anything in the kitchen with Mom. I’m not sure which was better – the act of baking itself or the pleasure of eating the treats!
Cupcakes, birthday cakes, cookies—they were all so much fun to make! In our family each child got to choose what flavor or style his birthday cake would be each year. Biiiiig stuff! We enjoyed a variety of Christmas cookies, but decorated sugar cookies were Mom’s favorite. She joyfully told the story that when she was a little girl, they inadvertently misplaced a box of sugar cookies and found them at Easter time-- It was like finding GOLD! Knowing she loved these also made gift giving easy, because they were such a treat for her. As she grew older and couldn’t bake anymore, ANY holiday was a good time for her favorites!
Toymakers made children’s dreams come true when they introduced the Easy Bake Oven in the 1960s. One Christmas, my seven or eight year-old self circled and highlighted it in our Sears Christmas Catalog for my wish list. This was my kind of toy! MUST HAVE Easy Bake Oven! Think of all the treats I could make, and eat!
Mom said, “No, it’s too dangerous.” TOO DANGEROUS?!! What was she talking about?? I still remember my deep disappointment.
Instead, my thoughtful and caring mother gave me a shoebox filled with little Washington cake mixes, frosting mixes, a pair of hot mitts, a few mixing tools, and the promise that she would help me with my baking endeavors. Wow, thanks, Mom. (Womp, womp)
But it was a great decision on her part. Not only did I not just bake treats for myself and possibly get injured with a “too dangerous” oven, but I got to spend time with Mom, baking like a big girl. She instilled in me a confidence that “I can do this” with baking. This continues to be a blessing as I still enjoy experimenting and trying new baking projects, not just for myself, but to share with others.
Mom loved my poem, “Cookies In Heaven”. I wonder now, this Christmas, if she’s enjoying decorated sugar cookies heaven? And if so, what they must taste like??
As an adult I’ve thought of buying myself an Easy Bake Oven, but the luster is gone. But oh, what I would give to bake with Mom again.
From Evan, Kathy, Mac, Tater & Hobbs!
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for our blessed family and friends, and
giving us the greatest Gift of All - Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
4" x 4" Quilled Christmas Tree 'ornament' for Forks Area Art Society Fundraiser
It’s two months ago today that Mom passed away. We miss her a lot. These slides are taking me on an incredible journey. Each shot is like a time capsule bringing me through forgotten, happy memories of the past, sadness for our present deep loss, and hope for the future. One day we'll all be reunited again in heaven--young, happy, and completely whole. Several years ago I heard Rev. Gary Wood speak at our church about his experience in heaven. Yes, he went to heaven! You can read about it in his book, A Place Called Heaven, here . I highly recommend it. It gives a glimpse of his experience in heaven and what our loved ones may be experiencing now.
“I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night--
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.”
Just 25 years-old and taking care of three little ones while Dad worked all day-- that must have been very difficult! (L to R: Douglas, Kathy, John C.)
If you subscribe to the four temperaments theory, I notice from these photos how our personalities (in general) are developed even at this young age! John C-- exuberant sanguine, Douglas-- peaceful phlegmatic, and Kathy-- quiet melancholic... Interesting!!
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.”
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;”
What happy thoughts do you have of your Mom?
Photos • Poems