Did your family make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?
They were beautiful: large, soft sugar cookies, cut out in Christmas shapes such as bells, snowman, candy canes, and Santas. Well-frosted and covered with colored red or green sprinkles, they begged me to bite into them! Closing my eyes to savor the moment, I sank my teeth into the sweet holiday treat...and nearly gagged. Something was wrong, dreadfully so! The first sense of taste was all I could hope for, but it was overpowered by something...smoky, and sour, and nauseous: cigarette smoke. And not just any kind of cigarette; it must have been the strongest, unfiltered brand out there.
They were gifts, those cookies; Christmas gifts from the neighbors, whose last name, ironically, is an adjective for sugar, honey, and cookies (I'm refraining from writing it here; experience has taught me that the last people you'd expect to read your blog, do!). We rarely visited their home, because the interior always was clouded by a heavy pervasive fog of smoke. The cook of the house surely made those delicious-looking cookies while a cigarette hung from her lips. How disappointed I was!
The following year, the event was repeated. And, I believe for the five years I lived in that neighborhood, it occurred every holiday season. I always took one hopeful bite. "Maybe this year..." I would silently pray, only to be let down once more. While we occasionally made Christmas cookies at home, we usually didn't make sugar cookies, so to be given them was a treat--a terribly dissatisfying tease, in this case. To this day, I can't look at a sugar cookie without thinking of those neighbors! Then I sink my teeth into a sweet, well-frosted cookie, ever so grateful that I'm not tasting nicotine!
This post is a part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" meme created in 2007 by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Visit Geneabloggers to participate and to read others' posts on these topics.