The first Christmas that Scott and I were married, we bundled up warm and drove up into the mountains in search of our very own Christmas tree. We found the perfect one and carried it back to the car, wading in deep snow and having the time of our lives. Along the way, we found a tiny tree that had been broken down by the weight of the snow. It came home with us too.
Scott and I didn’t have a lot to spare when we got married. We didn’t have a single decoration to our name. So we did what any resourceful couple would do: we headed to the tiny local thrift store. It turns out, you can get a lot of ornaments for ten bucks if you are willing to dig a little. We came home with an armload of assorted bulbs and lights and a 50 cent garland. Our first tree was perfect.
But a few days before Christmas, a car lost control on the icy road and smashed into Scott as he was driving to work early one morning. It totaled our car and Scott was lucky to walk away with only minor injuries. But that was just the beginning of a crazy season for Scott and I. That Christmas, we didn’t have money for gifts. So we stuffed stockings with trinkets and treats and handmade tokens…and I baked us cookies.
We’ve seen a lot more crazy seasons in the past half dozen years. Not every Christmas has felt full of holiday cheer. But those little traditions we started at the beginning have made all of our Christmases special in their own way. And one of my favorite traditions of all is always taking the afternoon to bake up a plate of what I call our Christmas Eve Cookies.
This year, I’m looking forward to introducing Charlotte to our little tradition. And I’m looking forward to reading her our new book, The Legend of The Christmas Cookie.
Jack and his mother knew hard times and lean years too. But his mother also knew that the true blessing of Christmas comes when you share not just food, but the real meaning of the season–the Salvation Story– with others.
She bakes Christmas Cookies for the homeless in the shapes of the story of the nativity, and tells Jack the story of the first Christmas Cookies. Jack later has a chance to practice the sometimes difficult lesson of true sacrifice, and experience the real joy of giving to others.
I have always enjoyed Dandi Daley Mackell’s books. Not just for their simple, meaningful words but for the warm and realistic art that fill the pages. I wasn’t disappointed when I read The Legend of the Christmas Cookie!
The story was simple, but I appreciated the emphasis on giving that was present through out.
Even though Christmas is still a few months away, I let Charlotte have a sneak peek. She was completely absorbed by the pictures and my simple version of the story. I loved the pictures too, and was especially thrilled that there was a recipe for traditional Christmas cutout cookies in the back. What a perfect way to celebrate the season with your little ones!
I’ll probably still make our favorite Christmas Eve cookies this winter. But maybe, just maybe, Charlotte and I will try out the cutouts too.
I love Russian Tea Cakes because they aren’t too sweet, and they are indeed the perfect thing with a cup of tea. I sometimes dip them in chocolate ganache if I’m feeling fancy, or sometimes use different kinds of nuts in them. But usually we enjoy them just as they are in the recipe below.
- 1 cup of Butter
- ½ cup Confection Sugar
- 1 cup chopped Walnuts
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- more confectioner's sugar for tossing the cookies in
- Preheat the oven to 350*
- Cream butter and vanilla. Add confectioner's sugar and flour. Mix until just blended.
- Stir in chopped walnuts.
- Roll dough into 1 inch balls.
- Place about 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool, and then roll in confectioner's sugar.
If you have a Christmas Cookie Tradition, I’d love to hear about it!
This book was provided by BookLook in exchange for my honest review.