Family: Making memories and cookies

Family: Making memories and cookies

I had lunch with my cousin last week.

It was a great lunch where we digested morsols of family history along with our salad and reminisced about grandparents that we both could only vaguely remember.

I was totally enjoying the lunch and the chat until she said, rather off handedly, “I pretty much have my Christmas shopping done.”

“What?” I said, choking on a mouthful of coffee. “It’s not even the end of November,” I added, somewhat unnecessarily

“Yup,” she said, cheerfully.

I have always envied and admired early Christmas shoppers. I like how they are so decisive and organized. When I imagine my future self, a self that doesn’t lose car keys and glasses, and plan a lot of stuff that doesn’t happen, I visualize myself as being one of them.

It’s a beautiful vision.

In the vision, I see myself as having all the presents bought, beautifully wrapped and carefully placed under the tree no later than December 1.

After I finished that task, I see myself plugging in the tree lights so the living room glows softly. Then my future self trots up the stairs and puts out an attractive plate of homemade Christmas baking which I managed to whip up in between my successful, but spenddrift shopping trips. Finally I snuggle down on the couch to watch a Halmark movie, content in the knowledge that I am ready for the big day.

People would marvel at my efficiency and, secretely, I would marvel at it, as well.

Alas, the vision of my future self does not match my real self and my own reality.

But, still even though I know, without a doubt, that I will be one of those last minute shoppers, who will rush around in a disorganized frenzie trying to get everything done that I should have done yesterday, I’m already feeling it, that spirit that hovers around us at Christmas.

The Christmas spirit. It’s here!

Last weekend three little spirits of Christmas (alias, three small grandsons) visited me.

In keeping with the season, we decided to make Christmas cookies.

And so I hauled out a plastic table cloth left over from Halloween, dug out Christmas cookie cutters from the recesses of my corner cupboard, found a recipe on-line and so it began.

A Christmas cookie baking afternoon.

We made angels and stars. We made Santas and Christmas trees and bells.

We used a whole lot of icing and very little cookie dough.

As the afternoon wore on, the plastic tablecloth and the boys’ hands and faces became coated with a rainbow of sticky icing. The boys were fascinated with their creations and, actually, so was I. Mostly, I was amazed my dough was working and not sticking hopelessly to the cookie cutters, like it sometimes does.

It truly was a Christmas miracle.

The clock over the sink ticked the hours away as we happily rolled and cut and tasted the cookies (mostly tasted).

And as I watched the three small chefs, I realized they we had created a lot more than cookies that afternoon.

We had created memories.

My little charges have long since gone home,, leaving behind them a dirty bathroom sink and, a crunchy kitchen floor.

But mostly they left behind the echo of their boyish laughter and a grandma who is still smiling at the memories.

Next time they want to make gingerbread houses and I’m ready.

Well, almost ready.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ponoka RCMP said Traytyn Okeymow, 22, was last seen at this residence at about 9:45 p.m. on April 4. (Photo contributed)
Missing man located by Ponoka RCMP

Ponoka RCMP seek public’s help

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP lay cattle rustling, drug and firearm charges in central Alberta

A cattle rustling investigation in Clearwater County led to firearms and drug… Continue reading

(File photo by Advocate staff)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a statement after a meeting of the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced plans Wednesday for a major contract extension for COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer stretching to 2023. (John Thys, Pool via AP)
EU reaches major climate deal ahead of Biden climate summit

Provisional deal reached after officials negotiated through the night

Mountain Men’s Barbershop co-owners Laura-Lee Gambee, left, and Heidi Forster pose in their Collingwood, Ont., shop in an undated handout image. Small business owners and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses say companies started in the months leading up to COVID-19 or those that opened during the pandemic don’t qualify for the recently-extended rent or wage subdies or a new hiring subsidy the government announced Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiley VanderMeer
New, young small businesses left out of federal budget want more aid: CFIB

Eligibility requirements for subsidies need improving

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Opinion piece
Opinion: Federal budget spends more on everything with no plan to pay for it

The British politician Nigel Lawson once said: “To govern is to choose… Continue reading

FILE - Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Aug. 16, 2013. Nugent revealed he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.” “I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Ted Nugent, who once dismissed COVID-19, sickened by virus

Rocker a supporter of ex-President Donald Trump

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Most Read