Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday cheer

Years ago, we burned wood for heat. Fearing that Santa might decline a slide down the chimney into a hot fire, my children opted for reindeer insurance. Every Christmas Eve we arranged nine piles of best green hay, then scattered around them a mixture of oatmeal and glitter. The glitter would sparkle in the moonlight and the reindeer would see the hay. Unlike Santa, who had more cookies than he needed, the reindeer were hungry. They'd swoosh down to park and eat. Santa could use the front door. (Unlocked. See sign.) Presents were under the tree in the morning.

The city granddaughter came up with her mom last weekend. We celebrated, and she took back a big box of hay. The next door grandkids have hay stacked by the front steps for Thursday night. When something works, you don't fix it.

My choice for Santa cookies are called Tillie's Coo-coons. My grandmother's cook made them every holiday. I ate them as fast as I could find them.

1/2 lb. butter
4 Tablespoons confectioner's (powdered) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and 1 cup flour. Mix well. Add remaining flour and walnuts. Roll into balls and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Roll in confectioner's sugar two times until covered. Cool. Store in a tightly covered container.

I wish for you and yours a peaceful, joyous holiday season.

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