On the eleventh day of Christmas, Christ revealed to me: Christmas cookies baked and shared with glee.
I pressed my hand into a slab of cold, spice-fragrant dough, feeling the small grains of sugar against my skin. My large hands may not be the best cookie cutter, but for the moment, I like the image of my skin against the dough, a reminder of the piece of myself that goes into each baked good we will make this afternoon.
When you take a bite of this gingerbread man, iced and decorated to look like and “ginger Lady Liberty,” I hope you taste the moments of laughter that came so frequently when we tossed around the flour and sugar and cinnamon, giggling when we morphed circular and dog bone shaped cut-outs into a German snow-woman named Olga.
Within the hints of nutmeg and cloves, I hope you taste the flavors of friends coming together to carry on this cookie making tradition, that you can hear the Christmas carols that played in the background as we reminisced about the comical cookie creations from years past.
I’ve said before that many people bake to show their love and care for others. The practice of baking and sharing cookies throughout the Christmas season is a perfect example.
Maybe you don’t bake any other time of the year expect during December, breaking out your cookie sheets, Christmas tree cookie cutters and the recipe for your grandma’s ginger cremes that you’ve made every year since you were 5. Christmas allows you to get creative in the kitchen, to go wild with those sprinkles – the chance to let the child in you come out and play with a ball of dough in your hands.
Jesus broke bread to share with his disciples on the Last Supper, and I know this may seem like a far-flung comparison, but when we bake bread, or cookies, or those delicious “magic brownie bars,” and then give them to others, it’s our way of connecting, nourishing and sharing a taste of our home and memories.
Through Christmas cookies, we offer a chance for communion.
Makes you want to bake cookies more often, right?
And when you’re polishing off that last gingerbread boy and girl, I hope your are left with the tastes of Joy and gladness that we doubled when
making the recipe. After all, during this time of the year, who couldn’t use an extra reminder of the Joy of our Savior’s birth?
** Check back tomorrow to see what Joy I’ve discovered on the last day on my 12 Days of Christmas journey! Miss Day 10, Day 9, Day 8, Day 7, Day 6, Day 5, Day 4, Day 3, Day 2 or Day 1? **