I don’t exactly remember what I got for Christmas when I was a kid. We spent the time decorating the house and our rooms in the early parts of December, and then my mother started to bake Christmas cookies.
The smell of Christmas spread around the house as we were shaping the various cookies, tasting the dough, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to Christmas songs. After we had worked “hard” in the kitchen, we would run into the living room and watch Christmas shows on the TV, while the fireplace was roaring.
My sister and I would most likely be fighting over something odd. No more decorative toppings, too large cookies, which TV channel to watch, and where to sit. I’m confident my parents enjoyed a few extra glasses of Glogg or other alcoholic beverages to keep their cool.
Fast forward four decades, and thousands of Christmas cookies later.
Every year for Christmas, my wife plans and hosts our Christmas baking event. This has been an ongoing activity since our first offspring was brought into this world. It is a joyous time where the kids get to be creative in the kitchen.
Most years, we invite friends and families to join us. Our kids get to invite some friends, making it more fun for them too. Their friends will have great memories from the baking Sunday afternoons.
Christmas backing is mainly the kids, of course, although some parents join in. Adults get really competitive and quickly get sucked into decorating the cookies and licking the chocolate covered spoons.
While the kids and my wife are baking and decorating, I entertain the other parents with Glogg, a wonderful (and dangerous) Christmas drink. Most of you know it is mulled wine. My version comes with a little extra punch from port and whiskey – the secret Santa ingredients.
Mulled wine brings the singer out in most our visitors, and it is not long until they sing-along with Elvis Presley on ‘White Christmas’.
Alcohol helps the parents breathe a little more calmly, as their kids are throwing cookie toppings all over the dining room, screaming with laughter, pumping up their sugar rush, and run around the house when they get a little bored. It is all part of the Christmas fun at our place.
Christmas is primarily for the kids, so we let them enjoy it as much as possible.
Parents, including ourselves, tend to be stricter with kids when visiting other families. We want kids to behave and not destroy anything. However, letting the kids mess up the dining room for a couple of hours and watch a Christmas movie while eating sugar is okay.
Any (most) mess can be cleaned up. I don’t mind cleaning up as long as the kids and parents had fun. We can sleep when we get older. It warms and heals my Viking heart to see the kids having fun. That is what matters the most.
This year, Christmas baking was a lot more subdued. COVID certainly puts a dampener on laughter and fun-filled activities. But, that did not stop us from baking a lot of Christmas cookies this year. The only downside is, we have been baking every weekend in December. That’s a lot of cookies to be eaten, and not constructive for our diet.
Next year will be an even bigger and more fun-filled Christmas baking event, as we will invite families over for hours of fun and baking. I might throw some chicken wings for the adults on the Traeger, and offer up some Danish æbleskiver.
Danish æbleskiver are wonderful little pancake-like balls, served with jams.
Baking cookies was part of my childhood and created wonderful memories. I’m delighted that my wife is creating memories for our kids, although it is not helping our diet. Heck, it’s only Christmas once a year, and we should celebrate and ensure traditions are passed on.