BITS AND PIECES... an occasional peek into my world
Christmas At My House:
Sunday night the grand-boys spent the night at our house.
(Mo, Jude and Duke)
Tammy needed a few hours in which to wax her floors (they live in a recently remodeled mid-century modern home with smooth cement floors which need waxing from time to time) and I was feeling all nostalgic about cookie baking and gingerbread men and memories from long ago.
Somewhere back in the stuffed down recesses of my mind I remember promising myself never to do the glitter/silver balls/ colored frosting mess again… but that was years ago and now it seems fun again. I think.
Duke came over in the morning to join with “JuJu-Mo”, his contracted name for the cousins he thinks are the coolest guys in all the world. His mom escaped as fast as she could— home to do her own cleaning and fluffing and wiping away boy messes.
I’d already made the gingerbread men and cutout Christmas cookies from recipes I’ve used over and over again. The Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are most certainly the best in the world… and the gingerbread cookies are okay too, though not likely to win any awards.
Before we got started, I sat the boys down in front of the tree and we read The Gingerbread Boy. It’s the story of a deliciously feisty boy who runs away from the people who’d baked him. A classic tale.
But somehow I’d forgotten about the sudden and violent ending— the part where the fox tricks the naughty boy and eats him with relish! The boys, never exposed to graphic violence or bad endings… loved it!
They laughed and laughed and seemed to understand that he was a cookie, after all, meant to be caught and eaten and swallowed whole.
They swarmed the table, exclaiming over the wonder of candies in bowls and bright colored goo and sparkly things and lots and lots of choices.
I’d already decided to have as few rules as reasonably feasible, and so told them to eat away… after all, their mamas would come to get them by the time the sugar high turned to blood sugar low.
What fun we had! Eating and licking and giggling over beaded eyes and curly beards.
Jude scorned the angels, letting all of us know in no uncertain terms that angels aren’t sissies, but mighty Warriors with swords and guns sent to protect us and get the bad guys.
A theologian like his daddy.
All three boys conspired to make a snowman for Uncle Matt.
I didn’t even attempt to try to make anything covertly spiritual about our morning. I can never seem to remember what holly leaves are supposed to symbolize anyway, or why we do a tree and stockings and mistletoe and all that fun. We just do.
And somehow just loving each other and laughing loud and feeling free to have some fun seems almost like worship to this woman surrounded by these boys.
My Father gave these gifts to me and I see Him in their smiles. And I think He’s smiling too, loving every minute of this gift He calls life.
And I hope they’re tucking all these times away. I hope someday they’ll pull them up and tell their kids about messes they made and the Amma they loved and the way she loved Jesus and so do they…
And I hope they’ll worship Him then… by playing with their boys and laughing hard and reading stories and loving every moment.
From my heart,
Diane (aka Amma)
The sugar high led to some wild wrestling matches between cousins.
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Recipe:
3 1/2 C flour
1t. baking pwd
¼ t. salt
¼ t. nutmeg
½ C butter
½ C shortening
8 oz. cream cheese
11/2 C sugar
½ t. vanilla
1. Combine dry ingredients, mixing well
2. In mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening until smooth
3. Add cream cheese and sugar, beat until well blended and fluffy
4. Add egg, vanilla, beat well
5. At low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed
6. Divide dough in half
7. Refrigerate 2 hours or more
8. Roll dough on floured surface- about ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes
9. Bake 375 for 7 minutes.
These cookies are soft and absolutely delicious, but they must have frosting! Lots of frosting! I usually mix up some butter with powdered sugar and vanilla and a bit of cream. Add a few drops of food coloring for the kids… or keep them creamy and add silver sprinkles and white sugar for a charming presentation.