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.
Photos • Poems