I was one of five children, and there wasn't a lot of "alone" time with my
parents. As a result, sharing on a one-to-one basis with my
"adult" relatives had special importance for me. This story is one
of my fondest recollections from my grade school years.
One of my favorite Christmas
memories from my childhood was the visit to my great Aunt Hazel's house to
make Christmas Cookies.
Now Aunt Hazel was an orderly,
efficient woman, and although her kitchen was tiny, she was determined to
make 30 dozen cookies in one afternoon.
The first batch was already in
her white ceramic Hotpoint oven when I arrived, and the heat and glorious
smell radiated through her apartment. Bing Crosby sang from the
small brown Motorola radio on the shelf above the counter as we mixed the
ingredients, rolled, dropped, squeezed, and cut the dough.
When the cookies were taken from
the oven, every possible surface was used to cool them. Steamed
windows were opened to hasten the process. Sheer white curtains
billowed in the cold breeze and snowflakes fell sparkling for a brief
moment on the dark floral carpet.
My favorite part was adding the
decorations. We rolled some in soft powdered sugar and some were
covered with frosting (I got to lick the bowl). Others were
sprinkled with colored sugar. Silver balls or red candies were
Aunt Hazel had bowls filled with
walnuts, dates, pecans, chocolate bits, butterscotch pieces, raisins,
colored frostings and of course I would simple each of them. My
taste buds were in Heaven.
Five hours later, 15 white boxes of cookies
complete with red ribbons and bows were sitting on the kitchen table.
Warm hugs were shared, and I skipped out the door
to sit on the cold cement steps to wait for my mother and my ride home.
I didn't feel the chilly cold as
the warmth of my own box of cookies was slowly creeping into my heart.
I was now ready to go home for Christmas.