Saturday, December 18, 2010

Passing on Tradition

Every year for Christmas, Mom used to make Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Chocolate Spritz, Press Out Cookies, Kolacki, Almond Cookies, Fruit Cake (which she and my sister made this year), Plum Pudding, and chocolate covered fruit. She was baking for weeks.

We started the annual cookie baking process today at 9:30am this morning with the Sugar Cut Outs and Gingerbread. Things were going smoothly until we ran out of cinnamon. Dad went out to the store and bought everything on the list, except I forgot to write cinnamon on the list. He had to go out again, in the holiday shopping traffic, for cinnamon. I have cut out over 200 cookies from 10am to 7:30pm. I don’t want to cut out another cookie until the traditional Easter sugar cookies. Per tradition, this week all the local kids and grandkids will come over to decorate these hundreds of cookies.

Every Christmas since my son was born, I have made these two same types of cookies with him. Today I loved watching him bake with Mom and see how, at six years old, he knows how to properly measure flour. He knows not to over handle the cookie dough. He knows the tricks for ensuring the gingerbread dough does not stick to the counter, cookie cutters, or roller. He is learning all of the things I learned from my Mom at his age.

These are the only two types of cookies we will make this year because it is just too hard to make all of the things Mom used to.  It is hard when a loved one gets dementia or for any reason can not carry on many of the family traditions. The loss of tradition reminds you of what you have lost. We may feel a lot of pressure to try and carry out all of the traditions exactly like our loved one used to. However, that can be much too daunting for many of us. I noticed this year though that we do not need to make all the different kinds of cookies Mom used to make. We were able to pick what was most important to us traditionally, and what we want to pass on to future generations.

The best part of today was that we all spent the day together, laughing at the cinnamon mistake, and carrying on a family tradition.


Rev. Katie

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