I am a HUGE fan of traditions – whether they’re traditions with family, friends, loved ones, I am always looking forward to them around the holidays! They always put me in a feel-like-a-5-year-old-giddy-with-excitement kind of mood that lasts all month long. With the winter holidays just around the corner, I’ll be sharing some of my own traditions for the month of December.
To kick things off, I wanted to share a little bit about what my family likes to call… Cookie Day. Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family has selected a day in December to make thousands of cookies, and I mean, THOUSANDS.
I look back on years ago, coming home from elementary, middle, high school, and even college, to find a kitchen swarming with my family all leaned over the oven. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were in attendance as we threw our first batch of lemon cookies in the oven around 8:00am. From there we’d move on to batches and batches of Nana’s Cookies (an old family sugar cookie recipe) and continue with biscotti, amaretto chocolate chip, almond, linzer tarts and finish off with a tray of rainbow cookies. My aunt arrived with pigtails in her hair and cookie sheets in hand in preparation for this joyous day. My sister, Sarina, and my other aunt artistically iced the batches of Nana’s cookies; creating snowmen, boughs of holly and candy canes with ornately decorated designs, while my cousin conducted the stove. She managed the timer to ensure there weren’t any broken cookies – and if there happened to be a casualty, she’d delegate and ensure it was “taken care of” appropriately and eaten as soon as possible!
The entire day is a beautifully chaotic, sugar-filled mess to commence the holiday season. And I absolutely love it.
At the end of the day, we spread ALL of the cookies out on my dining room table, divvy them up amongst our immediate families and of course, divulge in some treats for ourselves. Each of us then further divided our share of cookies around our community. Our school friends, neighbors, churches, and volunteer groups, all have grown accustom to this time of year in our house and get excited about receiving trays of cookies on their own doorsteps.
Through the years, this tradition has grown to include boyfriends, girlfriends, college roommates, toddlers, and now, a newborn on the way – a bun in the oven, so to speak 😉 It’s bittersweet to watch this tradition evolve, from something that initiated when I was about 6 years old, to the place it is now. No matter what form it’s taken or continues to take in the future, whether that means accounting for growth or adapting for change, the values behind the tradition stay the same.
Love. Family. Celebration.
We’re the family that finds excuses for celebration, for get-togethers, for “Hallelujah it’s Friday, let’s have homemade pizza and wine.”
As the holidays commence, I hope you all find extra time for love, family and celebration to create some traditions of your own!
Need help getting started? Check out the links below to view some of our favorite holiday cookie recipes!
Coconut Snowballs! Recipe Below!
Lemon Cookies – Recipe Below!
Lemon Cookies, fresh out the oven 😉
Topped with icing!
Head to Part 2 – Holiday Sweater Parties