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  • Ann D. Watson

Christmas Cookies

decorated cookies
Cookies decorated by Emily Bissonnette

My family celebrates Christmas by making and decorating gingerbread cookies. Mom and Dad started it in the 1940s when my eldest siblings were preschoolers.

Wendy (1942–2017) and Peter (1944–2015) Watson in our kitchen in Putney, Vermont, decorating cookies, Christmas 1948. Note the Pepperidge Farm whole wheat bread, corn meal from the Vermont Country Store in Weston, raw sugar, and the Gold Medal flour, all on the shelf above the kids. Mom was into natural foods long before they were the thing in the general public.

Each advent season we spent hours baking and decorating cookies, then hung them on the Christmas tree, where the dogs ate them off the lower branches and the people from the higher ones.

Dad, who in addition to his artist skills was good at many things, took to making cooky cutters in his workshop. He cut strips of galvanized tin, bent them into shapes, and soldered them together. I used to love watching the magic of a thin wire of solder melting as he held it to the soldering iron, and dripping onto whatever he was "glueing."

When I grew up and started my own household, Dad gave me my own set of cooky cutters. Here are a few.

The Statue of Liberty is about 9 inches high and always a challenge to bake and remove from the tin without breaking the arm off.

Although I haven't made any rolled cookies this year, the family tradition carried on and today my daughter, her husband, and their eight-year-old were gathered around their kitchen table decorating their own gingerbread cutouts. Here are a few of their creations:

Children really enjoy decorating cookies.

Cooky by Maurice Bissonnette

Cookies by Emily Bissonnette

A Very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, happy Kwanzaa, and all other Festivals of Light to All!

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