Pies or tarts, muffins or cakes, or lots and lots of cookies?
Don’t worry about making choices, growing up with a Mum that loved to bake was every kid’s dream – she made them all!
Sweetie, Handsome and I loved the holidays from Thanksgiving (early Oct – yes, we’re Canadian) to Halloween to Christmas, because Mum was always baking – toss in a couple of birthdays in October, two more in December, one in January and six in February – and we lived like kings!
There was only one strange thing about Mum’s holiday cookies, though … most of them ended up on the Christmas tree!
Don’t know why she did it, but having asked my siblings, most of my cousins, aunts and uncles what they remember about Christmas at our house it was the cookies on that Christmas tree!
I know it was an odd family tradition … but it was a tasty one!
One year Mum tried sugar cookies and the tree looked good! But, everything fell apart within a couple days; crumbs were everywhere – in the tree and all around the carpet. My brother thought he was funny announcing to visitors that our tree had dandruff. Mum wasn’t amused, she had arranged for the carpets to be professionally cleaned earlier that month.
Any visitors, adults or kids, got to choose a cookie from the tree before they left – but the postal truck drivers delivering Christmas parcels got two! Every morning, Mum would review the tree and if the cookie levels looked low, she would get two of her many tins and hang out a fresh supply.
Ornament cookies were made of shortbread; Mum cut them out with an old coffee cup and decorated them with icing. All the other decorations were made of gingerbread – the Santa Claus and snowman silhouettes, bells, G-men (gingerbread men), trees, stars, and the infamous wounded reindeer. All the cookies were hung by one of three brightly coloured ribbons – green, blue or red.
It was after the holidays when we learned this colour system was Mum’s way of ensuring my siblings and I got the same amount to eat, but the cookies never lasted that long!