🎁 Gingerbread Christmas Gift 🎁 Open Thread

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When I was a kid I always looked forward to the Gingerbread cookies my Grandma made at Christmas time. We all loved her cut out sugar cookies, which were fantastic but the Gingerbread cookies had our names on them and she only made them once a year. They were big as Grandma’s heart as well as special, warm and loving, just like Grandma. A special Christmas gift straight from the oven and her heart.

The years passed, and then when I was 12 and Grandma passed. A very import part of my life was lost and I forgot about those cookies. Then when I was in my early twenties my own mother passed too. On the fifteenth of December an aneurysm took her from us when she was only 46. I was devastated.

Later, as I was going through her things, which felt like such an intrusion, I found Grandma’s old gingerbread boy cookie cutter. A little battered but still a memory that suddenly was brand new in my mind.

It didn’t look anything like the modern Ginger Bread cookie cutters. Maybe that’s why the set that I had, brand new and with 3 sizes, hadn’t brought back those long ago memories.

Maybe the loss of the second of the two most important women in my life made those memories come to the front of my consciousness. I don’t know but suddenly I was flooded with memories and I stood there with that battered old cookie cutter in my hand and sobbed.

I wondered why Mom had never used that cookie cutter. Then I remembered, although I had only been 12, how devastated she had been at the loss of her mother. Perhaps for her the sight of that cookie cutter brought back a loss she still couldn’t deal with. She had, after all, lived with the memory of those Gingerbread cookies a lot longer than I had. We all process grief differently and now I would never have a chance to ask her.

In the years since finding that cookie cutter I’ve made hundreds of cookies with it. My kids loved the big cookies that I made from Grandma’s recipe. Always with their name on it just like Grandma had done for us so long ago. And for her own children long before that.

One year I made them for every child in my daughter’s kindergarten class. With their name of course. And one for the teacher. My daughter’s smile as she passed them out lit up the whole room on an otherwise dreary December day. A memory that still warms my heart.

Over the years I have used my own set of cookies cutters to make various sizes of cookies. I have piping bags and lots of tips and have learned to decorate cookies fairly well. I’ve   gotten brave and learned to make gingerbread houses. It was all fun and it was all very satisfying as I love to bake and I love to create.

I learned to turn the cookies upside down and make reindeer cookies for my grandkids. They too were praised and prized. But this is a different day and a different world and I doubt that I am giving them the kind of memories my Grandma Hattie gave to me. Life is too fast and there are too many distractions to actually stop and smell the gingerbread.

 

Looking back Christmas baking has been a wonderful experience for me. As it was for my Grandma and my mother. We give with our hearts when we give what we’ve made. All the proper dietary requirements in the world cannot stop a woman who bakes from giving her love with what she makes.

Christmas cookies don’t make you fat unless you eat them 12 months a year. Christmas cookies, baked just for you with love warm your heart and fill your soul with contentment. At least it did for me. Both the giving and the getting.

But those long ago Gingerbread cookies are still the best. Because Grandma had so little and she did so much with what she had. Plus she had the baking gene that made everything she baked better than what I can do to this day. Any day I come close is a good day.

Here’s wishing you warm and loving cookies all through this season. As warm and loving as the ones my Grandma baked for me. Baked with enough love to still warm my heart over 60 years later. That’s a lot from a cookie don’t you think?

 

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8 Responses to “🎁 Gingerbread Christmas Gift 🎁 Open Thread”

  1. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Marge, thank you for sharing these memories of your early years around Christmas, as well as the devastating losses of your grandmother and mother. I know those are losses one never truly gets over…

    And now, not only do I badly want some gingerbread cookies, but I can just smell them baking in the oven. How wonderful that you have the very cookie cutter your beloved grandmother used, and have used that to pass down the tradition to your grandchildren. I would not underestimate how much that means to them, even in this hustle/bustle world. They may not appreciate it as much as they could now, but those kinds of things have a way of sticking with you, you know?

    The love that is infused in baking, or cooking, is something that is a gift beyond imaging. I am glad you have experienced that in your life, and are passing it down to your loved ones. How blessed and lucky they are!

    Wonderful post, Marge. I was thinking this morning as the media and politicians freak out over every little thing that is coming out, and proclaiming this person than that person than the next person is being slotted for one position after another with very few of them actually coming to pass. It is exhausting. I’ll pay more attention when the actual people are picked – for real – not the ones who are trotted out to see how everyone will react. So posts like this are a welcome relief indeed!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Glad you liked the post Rev.

      Reading about some school that no longer allows kids to bring cupcakes for their birthday or for Holidays reminded me of the love that people have baked for generations.

      Obesity isn’t caused by a small indulgence periodically, IMO, but by sustained eating of too much with too little exercise. Kids don’t run around like we did.

      But when did common sense ever prevail when some self-righteous liberal wanted to run our lives?

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Andrew Klaven: Fighting Back Against Fake News

    Every liar from Hillary Clinton to Brian Williams is up in arms at what the liars at the New York Times are calling the “Fake News Onslaught.”

    The make-believe outrage, largely aimed at censoring conservative opposition to the media’s left-wing agenda, hit fever pitch last week after an armed man walked into the popular D.C. Pizza joint and music venue Comet Ping Pong and fired a rifle, claiming he had come to investigate the online rumors known as Pizzagate.

    Pizzagate is the notion that Hillary Clinton and her minions are running a satanic child sex ring in the restaurant’s basement. I’ve taken the time to look into the theory and it’s ridiculous, wholly unfounded, its “proofs” absurd.

    But when I mentioned that the theory was bunk on my podcast the other day, a few listeners became angry with me. One was so incensed she says she cancelled her subscription to The Daily Wire, the website that hosts my cast. This certainly testifies to how attached people become to these false ideas, and how dangerous they can be.

    So as a public service — and braving the anger of my readership — I’d like to expose a few other absurd fake news stories.

    https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2016/12/11/fighting-back-against-fake-news/

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    VICTORY! Massachusetts churches get huge win in Religious Liberty case

    Four pastors in Massachusetts have scored a big victory by getting the Attorney General to back down on a ridiculous interpretation that churches were were places of public accommodation. This would have forced churches to allow transgeders to use whatever bathroom they chose in order to comply with new state law banning discrimination against gender identity.

    But the lawsuit from the pastors forced the AG to discard the new interpretation and churches, at least for now, are safe.

    http://therightscoop.com/victory-massachusetts-churches-get-huge-win-religious-liberty-case/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I was so, so glad to see this today. The continued assault on the REAL meaning of Separation of Church and State in this country needed for someone to put on the brakes. Good for those ministers for fighting back!

  5. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Well, NOW it is official. Trump has picked the Exxon Mobil CEO with close ties to Russia: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/309868-trump-taps-exxon-ceo-as-secretary-of-state

    The Right Scoop has two different opinion pieces on this choice. Art Laffer thinks it is great, and Ralph Peters thinks it’s terrible: http://therightscoop.com

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      And a good share of those commenting wouldn’t give a rat’s backside who he chose because it’s Trump and they proudly and loudly proclaim that they are still #NeverTrump.

      I don’t know how Trump’s choices will pan out. And neither does anyone else in spite of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

      But because I love my country a whole lot more than I loathe Trump I am hoping that some of these choices are good ones. Or at least not as bad as what Hillary would have done.

      Are we more concerned about ties to Russia than we are/were about Obama’s ties to Iran? About Obama making open-ended deals with Iran?

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