Above you see several pictures of my family making Christmas cookies, not really a big deal to most. However, for me this year it is a milestone. You see there are many memories that stick out from my childhood, but the annual cookie making events with my mom and her sister shine above the rest. It was an event that we looked forward to each year with great anticipation. My brother Ron, sisters Nicole and Amy, and cousin Dawn would make cut outs for what seemed like hours, then we would race off to weak havoc somewhere (usually outside in the snow) until it was time to decorate cookies. It seems that this one thing brought us together as a family like nothing else. As I grew up and had a family of my own I ensured that cookie making was a part of our annual family Christmas tradition. We faithfully made cookies to share with those we love. Last year I bought all the ingredients to make cookies and fully intended to carry out the tradition which had been handed down to me. However, the ingredients sat in the cupboard (so many ingredients that when we moved to Guam and gave all the items in our pantry to our neighbors they asked if we were starting a bakery.) and the kids continually asked when we were going to make cookies. Last year was my first Christmas without my mom, as she passed in October last year. Sure I had lived away from home and had not made cookies physically with my mom for over twenty years, but she was a phone call away each year when I called for the recipes yet again. Yes, they were in my cook book, but I wanted them from my mom:-) Last year the cookies didn't get made and Christmas was a little pitiful, I just couldn't bring myself to celebrate admist the lost.
This year however, I have made it far enough in my grieving process to make cookies with my children, over decorate my house, and celebrate with family and friends. I did cry as I made the first batch and Rick was there to hold me and pat my back. But I wanted to make Christmas cookies and I wanted to celebrate Christmas, so that is a milestone. I will forever be grateful for parents who took the time to instill family traditions and loved us. As we continue to pass these traditions on and create new ones, we will forever hold my mom and the children's Nana in our hearts.