Those Darn Christmas Cookies

I have a highly embarrassing holiday story to share.

A few years ago on Christmas Eve, Petey was freshly home from a long hospital stay so we didn’t make the trip to Greensboro.  The Kid went alone to visit Gramma and Grampa and would bring home presents, plates of dinner, and boxes of homemade cookies, including my mother’s very special and extremely well-loved frosted sugar cookies.

Petey was upstairs in bed, while I sat, watching the clock, waiting for The Kid to pull up with dinner.Finally, I heard my child arrive, and ran outside to help haul in the booty.

It happened when I pulled out the final load.  The lid on the box of Mom’s sugar cookies was not completely closed, and when it tilted, many of those heavily anticipated confections spilled out and landed in the gutter.I almost cried (actually, I think I did).

I almost cried (actually, I think I did).I ran in for a flash light and came back to take an illuminated look at the crime scene.

I ran in for a flashlight and came back to take an illuminated look at the crime scene.

I’d lost about a third of those brave, sugary soldiers.  So, I did what any cookie-loving, former girl scout would do in these circumstances—I rescued some of those treats from the street.

I was pretty sad, but not that cute.


Luckily, it had been dry so they hadn’t floated down the street, or turned into cookie soup.  The ones that hit the concrete first had shattered; they were a total loss.  A few had landed upon their cookie brethren—they were good as new, and went back into the box.

That left the middle layer.

I performed a cookie assessment.  There was some errant pine straw mixed in—I removed it.  Once I picked out the vegetation, quite a few were seemingly untouched by the plunge.  They went back to the box.The cookies that remained were imperfect, but a portion was still salvageable.  The very small fragments were abandoned.  The bigger shards were inspected using two criteria.

Did they look soiled?  The sullied sweets were likewise abandoned.  I checked out the final population of clean acceptably-sized pieces with one question in my mind.

Did they have an obscene amount of frosting?

If so, in they went.  If not, they were voted off the island.

Picture me, Gentle Reader; 10 o’clock at night, in bare feet and pajamas, feverishly grubbing about in the gutter, snatching up cookies and secreting them away.

I resembled nothing so much as JRR Tolkien’s Gollum, desperately trying to possess his “Precious”.I recently asked The Kid what thoughts were present that night, witnessing my demented performance.

This was my child’s response:

“I was thinking, here’s where we’ve ended up after this hellish year.  We can’t even have a simple cookie without disaster and disappointment.”

Were my actions extreme?  You bet.  But it’s a great example of how good those cookies are.  I would do worse than gutter diving to hold onto those things.

In the end, I didn’t lose too many holiday treats.  And when we took our dog out, he made a beeline for the cookie carnage.

For my pup, those amazing cookies became his very own Christmas miracle.Thanks for your time.

*For the cookie and frosting recipe, see the next post, “A Christmas Miracle”.

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