I always get sentimental at this time of year. The holidays are a time when we remember holidays past. Some of those memories are wonderful, while others can be sad. We miss those who are no longer with us and cherish the moments with those who are.
I remember what it was like when I was a child. My parents had four children and money was tight. Nevertheless, they made sure that we received presents and a wonderful dinner and lots of love over the holidays. My father was adamant that none of us would receive more than the others so he went out of his way to make all giving equal. He never knew that we did not care; we were just happy to receive gifts.
When I got older and had a family of my own I tried to keep some of my childhood traditions with my daughters, while incorporating new ones of our own. It was fun creating new traditions that my daughters remember as the ones from their childhood. It is the little moments that we remember that are the most special.
My daughters are getting to the age where they are starting to have families and I hope that they continue to create that sense of tradition within their own homes.
One tradition that we still hold onto from my childhood is for us to enjoy holiday movies together. Year after year we would roll out the tapes and DVDs of classic holiday films like White Christmas; It’s a Wonderful Life; and the Bishop’s Wife. We would curl up with tea or hot chocolate and baked cookies while enjoying the family time together. I can recall every word to the songs from White Christmas since we sang then over and over as children. As the years passed, we added a few modern classics like Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation and Love Actually to the viewing list.
Family time together is never boring. I look forward to the holidays with anticipation of laughter and good times.
Whatever you have planned for the holidays, I wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season!
Here is another holiday cookie recipe that will impress your family and guests. These cookies are filled with a burst of chocolate flavour that makes them so delicious you will probably want to bake them all year round.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Set aside and let cool. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
With an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, and then melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide each piece into sixteen 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat, then in confectioners’ sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until surfaces crack, about 14 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up for to 3 days.
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies from the editors of Martha Stewart Living