Christmas Cookies and Other Business

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If you’re reading this on Christmas Eve, we’ve obviously made it through the end of the Mayan calendar last Friday.  Now that we’re all still here, we can relax and have a great Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago,  I heard a TV news talking head disparage the “religious” part of Christmas.  NBC’s Nancy Snyderman—Doctor Nancy Snyderman.  She used to be the medical correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America.  During a brief chat session on the Today show, Dr. Snyderman told her co-horts  that the season is just so stressful and that we just need to get the religious stuff out of Christmas because it “mucks the whole thing up”.  Snyderman proves that knowledge and wisdom  are two very different things.  You can have more degrees than a thermometer and still lack common sense.  Dr. Snyderman, when you take “Christ” out of Christmas, all we’re left with is…well, a mess.  Perhaps it never occurs to her that it’s when  people take their  eyes off of the reason why we celebrate this wonderful holiday that they get stressed out and become Grinch-like.  Click here if you care to hear the good doctor’s crummy comments for yourself.

One part of Christmas that I love is making cookies and fudge.  Last year, in an effort to find something new to make, I decided to “steal” (with her permission) my mother’s  Betty Crocker cook book.  It’s called The Cooky Book (not “cookie”) .  It’s from 1963, and I guess that’s how it was spelled back then- I’m not sure because I wasn’t born yet.  Aside from the irregular spelling of “cookie”, this book has recipes for treats from the early part of the 20th century.  I learned a lot from looking through its pages…but not necessarily about baking.  The first ten pages are gone, and many of the pages that remain are covered with the remnants of flour, cocoa and powdered sugar from days gone by.  This was the cook book that helped me when I first was learning to bake, and this was the book my mother obviously went to for her favorite recipes.  When I got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas one year, my mother used to give me batter from whatever she was making to use.  I loved that oven, and I still love to bake.  This year, I was happy to volunteer a couple of dozen cookies that were going to a group of soldiers in Afghanistan.  It’s the least I could do for those who are doing so much for us.

2012 is coming to a close, and I personally am not sorry to see it go.  It’s been a year of loss and sadness for so many, especially the last couple of months.  This year took away three people that always made Christmas and New Year’s special to me.  For as long as I can remember, New Year’s Eve was presided over by Dick Clark on his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  In recent years since he suffered a stroke, his part was considerably diminished, but he would come out just before the ball dropped in Times Square.  Andy Williams, who sings so many classic Christmas songs will also be missed.  No one sings “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” quite like him.

Most importantly, 2012 saw the passing of my beloved father, who left us just before Easter in April.  It won’t be the same Christmas morning to see someone else sitting in his chair when presents are opened or at the table when we sit down to eat.  Although we know he’s always with us in spirit, his quiet presence will be missed on Christmas Day and every day.

Even in loss, we look forward to 2013 and the new possibilities that every New Year brings.  God bless  you who read The Liberty Belle Blog and have a Merry Christmas!

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