Monday, December 06, 2010

This Good Day

By Belinda
Combine 6 children aged 4 to 12 with a double recipe of sugar cookie dough; add masses of coloured sugar and sprinkles of every hue and let loose with rolling pins and cookie cutters. The result was an afternoon of happy creativity and one very tired Omie at the end, and a very full one too.

We had lunch to start with; Shepherd's pie, made with the remains of Friday's roast beef dinner; roast potatoes and cheese topped chicken in cream sauce and spaghetti. 

When all of the lunch dishes were cleared away, the baking began. I was in charge of putting the baking sheets into the oven, setting the timer and keeping an eye on the cookies. Since they varied wildly in thickness, the baking time varied equally.

I was struck by the differences this year. Tippy made 24 small stars and 2 large ones: for everyone in her class, and for 2 teachers. Elizabeth carefully used a knife to push the sugar into a design of four quarters on some of her cookies and each one was a separate work of art. William made a tray of hearts that was also meant for his class at school, but when they came out of the oven he was overcome with generosity and circled the room with his plate of cookies insisting that we have another, and another. Little Claire's tray was showered with so much sugar that it it melted into a sea of toffee upon which the cookies shone like bright gems on a shield of bronze when they came out of the oven. We ate the toffee as well as the cookies!

The rolling, cutting, decorating and baking went on for unhurried hours this year, In past years the trays came thick and fast and there was a line up at the oven door. This year much thought and care went into the process.

Finally it was done and the last of the trays, rolling pins and cookie cutters were washed and put away. It was time to circle the tree, beneath which lay a gift for each child, and chocolate letters for all of us.

Before the gifts though, I read a story from a book that my friend Lori Lei gave me on Friday, A Read Aloud Family Christmas. I love reading out loud and will pin down anyone who will listen to a story. I chose a delightful little tale: How the Fir Tree Became the First Christmas Tree.

After the small gifts it was time for dessert and for the adults to collapse in exhaustion--at least this one did! :)

When the last guest had left we two grandparents, alone at last, sank onto the couch, plugged in a dvd from the library: J.R. R. Tolkien: Origin of the Rings, and struggled to stay awake to watch the fascinating documentary while outside a snow storm began to swirl around our house in the dark night. 


Dave Hingsburger said...

When we visited with Ruby a few weeks ago, I made a little joke with her ... 'one day you are going to be all grown up and you won't even remember Dave and Joe'. She grew serious and said, 'I'll remember the special things we did together, it's easy to remember special things.' There is a real wisdom in traditions and purposely planning for children to have fun. Special moments mean forever memories. The photos were wonderful, thanks.

Belinda said...

Thank you dear Dave. I told one of our friends at church in the morning what the afternoon held. He said, "When you plan for the children to have fun, it always goes well. When the adults ignore them, it is never so good." Having grown up in the "children are to be seen and not heard," era, I am glad we turned that corner with our generation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bel(Q)- I love how the cookies ``varied wildly in thickness``! My ``Christmas Mission`` this year will be to insert that phrase into as many conversations as possible!Oh,what glee!Poppy