Christmas Traditions – Gingerbread Men

RDP (my daughter, that’s her nickname) gathered out all of the ingredients. She actually did a great job for not reading the recipe prior!

I’m all about Christmas traditions. I think it’s probably because they are what I remember the most growing up. It wasn’t the presents or gifts, or how much money my family spent on me. What I treasure most are the moments we spent creating memories. I remember my mom at the floured counter top making the dough and us girls got to cut out the cookies; I remember hopping in the car and riding through towns to look at Christmas lights; I remember our Christmas parties at my one Gram’s being so huge that every room was swarming with people at any given time, table after table of delicious dishes, at at the end of the night swapping names for the following Christmas; I remember at my other Grandparents’ parties opening a bottle of Coke and indulging myself because we didn’t drink soda at my house… that sweet smell and bubbles tickling my nose; I remember sitting on the couch with my sister, Mom & Dad watching all of the Christmas specials; I remember sprinkling “reindeer dust” on the snow and leaving out carrots… feeling that anticipation of Santa coming that night; I remember waking up way before my parents did and sneaking out to see the tree lit with the presents beautifully wrapped; I remember walking up to the horses and giving them a special sweet treat Christmas morning; I remember wearing new clothes and taking new toys with me to the next Christmas party… all of these things, these moments are what I remember and treasure most. Now that I have my own family these are the moments I wish for my daughter to remember. The time spent with family, doing the same things year after year that warm our hearts and minds is most important to me. We might not make the same exact traditions and she won’t have the same exact memories as I do but the principle is the same. For us we have a couple traditions already established (like going to pick out a real tree, baking cookies, and opening a gift Christmas Eve which includes new PJs, new movie, and snacks for the night) but I’m also excited to start new traditions too (like her dancing in The Nutcracker Ballet each year, if she so chooses).

Last night after Nutcracker rehearsal we stopped at Wegmans and grabbed a few ingredients for gingerbread cookies. We’ve made cut-out cookies each year but never this kind. They are so good, especially after soaking them in hot coffee! Anyways, we got home and she’s already unpacking everything and putting it all out on the table. She did a really good job for not reading the recipe first! The dough was delicious but very hard to mix. It’s a very dense dough and I am thinking perhaps next year a stand mixer needs to be put on my Christmas list, HA! (If you’re looking for the recipe for this cookie I’ll share it at the end of the blog).

She mixed for a few minutes then it became too hard. I took over, finished it up and rolled the dough out. Time to cut! This is the best part. I love the way it sounds as the cookie cutter sinks into the dough.

Aren’t the adorable?!

While the cookies baked we blared some music and had a great dance party! This is our favorite part!

Taste test.

The holiday season is such a fast-paced time in our lives. I always try to be sensitive to others’ feelings especially around the holidays. I understand that some people don’t have family either by choice or no fault of their own and feel extra lonely at times. I also understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas. But I truly hope that you’re able to find some bit of happiness in life whether that be a lot or a little because that feeling of content or happiness is really good for the soul. Take the time to slow down, and enjoy what you can. We only get this one life and no do-overs allowed… so do your best to make it the best one.

If you’d like to start your own tradition of gingerbread men baking, you can find the recipe I used here:

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