While many family traditions can tend to fade away over generations, those traditions involving food have a tendency to stay around longer. Making Christmas cookies is one of those beloved holiday traditions that seems to stand the test of time.
Christmas cookies engage all of the senses and thus create a deep connectedness to something bigger than ourselves. They can create a feeling of happiness, warmth and safety that we cannot explain. Simply seeing, touching, smelling or tasting Christmas cookies can instantly move us to a place of peace and contentment.
Remember that scene in the Disney/Pixar film, Ratatouille, when the food critic, Anton Ego, is transported in his mind to a kitchen table in his childhood home after taking a bite of the peasant dish, ratatouille? That scene nails it! Food can simply be something to nourish the body, but it can also be so much more.
Maybe it's memories of you and your mom decorating Christmas cookies as a child. Or perhaps it's the joy of alone time with a glass of wine, Christmas music in the background while you bake your best recipes to offer as gifts. For some it's the aroma that speaks to them. The smells of cinnamon, gingerbread or peppermint zaps them back to a simpler time. And let's not forget the visual stimulation. The sight of dozens and dozens of colorfully decorated cookies at Christmas markets and celebrations can make one believe that Willy Wonka and oompah loompahs do exist and that you are ready to hand them your resume.
If Christmas cookies have never been a tradition for you, then maybe it's time to start that tradition now. So get going! Go see, smell, touch and taste your way into creating some fun memories...one Christmas cookie at a time.
What are your favorite Christmas cookies? We want to know.
Here are some recipes to try from Rachel Ray:
Looking for visual cookie stimulation from vibrant beautiful Christmas cookies? Then peruse these Food Network cookie photos and recipes: