Thursday, December 20, 2012

...Another Holiday Tradition

Santa Cookies

When my mom was growing up, her mom, Grandma Dorma, made Santa cookies.  It was a thing.  A big thing.  I don't remember the exact number or quite how the story goes, but when my Uncle Larry (who is not my uncle, but rather my mom's 1st cousin) and Grandma's bff Gertrude's son, Bob, were in Vietnam, Grandma made something insane like 82 dozen Santa cookies.  (This could be an unbelievably extreme exaggeration.  Sue me.  I can't remember what I did yesterday, let alone exactly how the story goes.  I just know it was an UNGODLY amount of cookies.)  They're no joke.  Roll-out sugar cookies (with lemon extract because frankly, we're lemon people) with chocolate chip eyes, a red hot mouth, and a coconut beard.  Back in the day, Grandma used to make a powdered sugar and milk frosting.  Then, after they had cooled and the frosting had hardened a bit, each cookie was individually wrapped in a fold-down top sandwich baggie.

Well, my mom (together with my grandma as long as she was able) continued this tradition with us growing up.  Grandma gave her "The" Santa cookie cutter.  I remember waiting at the end of the counter for the dough scraps to make my own cookies in the toaster oven that were covered in red hots and chocolate chips.  I made some pretty great cookie worms back in the day.  I also distinctly recall severe stomachaches from stuffing my face with as many chocolate chips and as much raw cookie dough as I could handle.  

One year, after she learned about the power of the Internet probably in 2001 or so, my mom found the original manufacturer of said cutter.  And they were going out of business.  Or maybe she was just feeling nostalgic.  Whatever.  So my mom bought a set for me and for each of my 3 female cousins so we are able to continue the tradition with our own children.  
Disregard dinner cooking in the background.
For a few years, I made them religiously.  And then I had kids.  Wasn't the point to do this with my children?  Yeah.  Well.  Maybe when they're older.  Luckily, my mom still makes them every year.  And every year, my brothers and I each receive a box of them in the mail.  And the boys get party mix, too.  This is a point of contention.  But she claims she doesn't send me party mix because she sees me.  I don't understand how this logic works.  
Yesterday, after H ate his lunch, B told him he could have a Santa cookie from Grana.  H was concerned that we wouldn't have enough to leave for Santa.  (Yep, another tradition.  A Santa cookie for Santa.)  After he made sure Santa would, in fact, be getting a Santa cookie, H set to work eating his cookie.  Then he started cracking up.  B asked him what was so funny.  

I don't like coconut, so mom sends ours with extra frosting for the beard. 
"Dad.  Santa's going to look at these cookies and say 'Hey! That's my face!'  He's really going to love coming to our house."  Yeah he will, H.  He sure will.

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