Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Last Year We Decorated Christmas Cookies with My Mom

Christmas cookies.

We make and decorate Christmas cookies. 

My sister-in-law, Nancy

We have made and decorated Christmas cookies ever since I was a young mother. My mom would make some cookies, my sister would make some cookies, and I would make some cookies.

My niece, Sarah

We'd all meet together with bowls of icing and flavors and colors and all those lovely stacks of plain shortbread cut-out cookies. 

My brother-in-law, Gary, and my nephew, David

Then whoever wanted to help would show up and we'd decorate and decorate and decorate. My kids. My sister's kids. My brother's kids. My Grandma Ashley. My dad. My husband. 

My nephews, Wade and Colin
And, of course, my mom.

My mom

We'd skipped a few years but it just seemed like something we should do again, so just before Christmas in 2009, we mixed up a lot of batter and stamped out all kinds of Christmas-y shapes. Just my sister and I made the cookies this time. Our mom was too weak from all the chemo to stand over a hot oven.

Wade and his mom

But she could decorate. We all got together at my sister's house and decorated cookies. All kinds of unexpected decorators turned up. My nephews. My sister-in-law. My brother-in-law. My nieces. Crazy cookies. We get really silly when we decorate cookies.

Sarah                                                                                     Wade

My mom

It was the last time my mom was able to decorate cookies with us. She passed away in 2011.

A little message for you young people out there:  It goes fast, folks. Enjoy these family get-togethers while you can. I don't remember one thing about what I got for Christmas in 2009, but I'm glad we got together to decorate cookies.

Holiday Sugar Cookies
 (for Decorating)

Cream 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water. Beat until light. Add 3 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add to creamed mixture. Divide in half. Chill one hour.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8" thickness. Cut in shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Cook a little and then remove from pan. Decorate at will, with colored icing, sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, or whatever you want.

Here are my posts from the past:

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your mom with us. I'm sure you miss her very much. My first husband died from cancer, and it really sucks. But, we have lots of beautiful memories and I'm a better woman because of him.

    May you have a blessed holiday filled with more cookie decorating so you can follow in your mother's footsteps.

  2. Thanks for sharing this special memory - it js a good reminder to enjoy the get togethers while you can.

  3. What a wonderful tradition and a precious memory to have of your mother. I enjoyed your advent post very much. Have a Merry Christmas. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

  4. What a wonderful tradition! I wish had more in my family. Thanks for joining in on the tour!

  5. Love the cookies you guys have made. I think the crazier and wacky the cookie the more memories it has for you guys. I love this :) Merry Christmas

  6. Your post made me smile and cry at the same time. We have a Christmas cookie decorating tradition at our house, too. I think it must have started with my mother because I got all her cookie cutters when my kids were little and we started making sugar cookies to bring at Christmas.

  7. I have quite the collection of cookie cutters, too!

  8. My mom and I make Christmas cookies every year, too. The sameness of it from year to year can be very comforting.

  9. I love that you shared your cookie tradition. It brought back many memories. You have a lovely family and I liked seeing the whole family involved. Merry Christmas to the whole clan.

  10. This post actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I love that you had/have these huge cooking decorating parties! So many people and such happy, happy faces. And so many cookies!

  11. Decorating cookies together is such a great tradition! Thank you for sharing it and your family with us.

  12. Boy do I understand this story and really agree. I lost my mom in 2009 and we too had the Christmas cookie tradition. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and pictures.


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