To share this story, I had to dig deep into The Archives -- those photos pre-digital and stuck rather hapharzadly into an early scrapbook-style photo album. With archival glue. Never to be scanned.
But this story is worth it.
It was Christmas Eve, 1996. I was a worn-out, hassled Mom . . . looking for a way to take the edge off a Most Exciting Day for my kids. (My kids got VERY excited about everything-Christmas, all season long. But by Christmas Eve, we're talking Fever Pitch.)
I decided we'd bake some extra-special Santa cookies to leave for Santa Claus that night.
I made red and white batches of sugar cookie dough.
We rolled and shaped and decorated.
Erin (2nd grade) was VERY into the Santa cookie making. Brian (preschool) lost interest in the blink of an eye.
In the end, the cookies were magnificent!
I piped on frosting for the beard and Santa-embellishment, and we left the cookies on the counter to "settle" while we went to church.
When we came back, I noticed that Tom (dear man!) had put the cookies away for me -- although one arm had fallen off and was still laying on the counter.
I got my near-frenzied kids into their jammies, ready to hang their stockings (with care!) and set out the cookies for Santa Himself.
Honey, where did you put the Santa cookies?
Like . . . deer-in-the-headlights stare.
I thought YOU put them away!
Seems NOBODY put the Santa cookies away.
And that's when Jake . . . our dog . . . skulked in.
Seems JAKE . . . put the cookies away.
Leaving one little Santa arm behind.
And that photo, above, was the closest any of us ever got to one of those magnificent Santa cookies!
While I was digging in The Archives, I also found a couple of photos from one of our very early gingerbread house decorating sessions.
Here's my Mom -- in 1997. That year, she was teamed up with Brian -- who, in his Kindergarten-level zeal, stuck on the first piece of candy and collapsed her whole masterpiece! (I decided to leave out the photo of my Mom's clenched-teeth smile as she assured him it was . . . Just fine, Brian. Really. Just FINE.)
And here's Erin (3rd grade) - my partner-in-gingerbread that year, putting the finishing touches on our house.
Christmas memories are such fun!