"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Lisa Hammond

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 4, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday.


As I said in last week's Nostalgic Sunday, I'm highlighting Christmases past during December.

On Thursday of this week I actually made some homemade Christmas cookies. (Well, if truth be told, they were from a package mix, but at least they weren't purchased at the bakery.) My motivation was because of an invitation to a Cookie Exchange/Chili Luncheon. I love cookie exchanges and I haven't been to one in years, therefore I was excited about doing some baking.

I made 2 dozen Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. I'm dangerous around these cookies...or is it they are dangerous around me?!



Then, I made something I haven't made since my youngest son (age 24) was a little boy. Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies! I used a mixture of old and new tools. My handy-dandy Pampered Chef pizza and dough roller, and three of my mom's cookie cutters! I can't tell you how happy I am to have them.




I've never had cookies turn out so well. Not too brown on the edges or bottoms....


This is the bottom of a star cookie. All I can say is....it must be the parchment paper!
I've never used it before! (I'm sure there are some voices saying, "You haven't?!")
I'm a true believer and will always use it from now on.

Some of the finished product!

SO thought of my mom while I made these. When I was a little girl she always let me help: Rolling out the dough, pushing a cookie cutter into the dough, learning to put it on the cookie sheet without it tearing, and of course, the sprinkling of colored sugars on top!

I was home alone when I made these, except for Vern snoozing in the family room. I also had some Christmas music playing and I truly had fun. I was surprised at my feelings because I thought I'd be sad making these by myself. I did feel a bit melancholy but I also had fond, happy memories mixed in. I had a major "Aha moment," too, which was quite powerful and I hope it will help with my writing. (You just never know when those epiphanies will occur.)
I was either six or seven here. (1959 or 1960) I'm modeling the new robe I got for Christmas. Behind me is my sister Marian who I thought was so pretty and looked just like Betty Anderson, on "Father Knows Best." I was the flower girl in her wedding around this same time, too.


Here's another picture from the same evening. We always opened our presents on Christmas Eve, after Midnight Mass. Notice my brother, Mike, also received a new robe. I can't tell what he's holding, but it looks kind of like a pocket-watch. I don't remember anything about that. I do remember the chess/checkers game he got and the "Learn to Draw with Jon Gnagy" book. We both got one of those and I loved mine. I vividly remember drawing a dog; a boxer. I also see a couple of books there, which does not surprise me one bit. We grew up with books!


Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more
Someday soon, we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now. (lyrics from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Martin/Bane)


 

This Christmas song has begun to mean more to me over the past few years....must be that aging thing.

46 comments:

  1. Love the words of that song at the end Becky! What a lovely post for Nostalgic Sunday, and a very good idea of yours to do this. Lovely to see the old photos. You did very well with all your cookies, and I'm very impressed my friend!!

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  2. Hey, Becky, I see that you have insomnia too. Lately I am wide awake at 3:00. ugh
    You Christmas pictures and memories made me smile. Your sister does look like Betty!

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  3. What a nice post because I can feel your pleasure from your memories. Aren't you lucky to have them?

    I have never had any luck with cut out cookies. Glad you had such a good time doing yours.

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  4. I love this post, Becky. It brought back some fond memories of my own for me. Sounds like you had a nice time making the cookies. Enjoy your Sunday! :)

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  5. What a nice connection with your mother, it's so heartwarming. Times like that have a way of staying with us always, don't they?

    I few years back I saw Liza Minnelli in a December concert, and she sang that beautiful song. Words can't even describe those moments.

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  6. Hi Thisisme (Diane!) Thanks so much. You're such a sweetie!

    Hey Linda! Thanks for stopping by. I'm always pleased to know I've provided some memories!

    Hey Bookie (Claudia!)Thank you! I'm sorry you haven't had luck with cut out cookies. Maybe try the package mix?! :)

    Hi Daisy! Hey, Love your hat! I'd forgotten you use that photo during Christmas time! And I'm also very happy you had fond memories, too!

    Hi Joanne! Thank you! I love the way you said "Words can't even describe those moments." I always struggle attempting to describe some of those!

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  7. I am trying so hard to really relax and enjoy the season...getting better every year. hugs, Linda

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  8. I love the kisses cookies! And I hardly ever make sugar cookies, either. They are so much work!

    I love your nostalgic pictures. And I absolutely loved the poem at the end!

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  9. My sister loves those kiss cookies. My grandma made a cookie with almonds and a powdered sugar coating. I don't know what they were called. Sometimes they were ball-shaped, sometimes they were crescent-shaped. They were my favorite.

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  10. Hi Linda! I'm very relaxed and enjoying things, too. No big rushing around, or big spending, etc. Don't stress yourself out by trying too hard! :)

    Hi Peggy! Thank you! I love just about ANY kind of cookie! :)
    And yes, those sugar cookies take a lot of time and work. That's why I haven't made them in years! :)
    So glad you liked the pictures and the lyrics!

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  11. Hey Val! Your comment landed in my Spam folder again. That is so weird. I'm just glad I still get an e-mail for every comment, even the Spam ones! I know the cookies you described and I like them, too. Can't think of their name right now and too lazy to even Google 'em! :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Cut out cookies are a tradition for us every year. Christmas is not the same without them, although I certainly don't need the frosting infusion!

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  13. What fabulous Christmas memories, Becky! LOVE the photos!!

    I have been making cut-out cookies with my kids for years. Son (now 20) has long since dropped out, but daughter and I still enjoy an annual Christmas cookie baking day...and we MUST make cut-out sugar cookies. I have the exact same bell and star cookie cutters that you do!!

    All your cookies look delish!!! Just pour me a glass of milk!!

    Love,
    Patti

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  14. Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by! I admire you for making those cookies every year. Maybe I'll start doing that again...hmmm...!

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  15. Hey Patti! That is SO cool that you have those same cookie cutters! I'm glad your daughter still makes cookies with you. Your comment about pouring a glass of milk made me want cookies RIGHT now! :)

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  16. Hi Kelley! Well, thank you, m'dear!

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  17. Hi Becky,

    What a wonderful nostalgic post. Loved the pictures of you and your family, and seeing your cookies! I have never used parchment paper either; great tip.

    We used to have a couch like you guys did. I can't see how they were very comfortable, lol.

    Have a wonderful week, and I am glad that you blessed yourself by baking. Mom has cookie cutters like that too.

    Hugs,

    Kathy M.

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  18. Hey Kathy! Thanks so much for all your sweet comments! Yeah, I cannot imagine sitting on that couch...and definitely not taking a nap on it, either! I DO remember very scratchy fabric...Ick! :)

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  19. Hey you need to come to our cookie exchange! Looks good. sandie

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  20. I love that song, too, and I love those peanut butter kiss cookies. My best friend always used to make them.

    NIce pics from the past, too!

    =)

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  21. Oh my goodness, you took me back! I almost cried! My mom used to make sugar cookies that looked just like that, and with those same cookie cutters. We also opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, before Midnight Mass so that we could wear our new clothes to Mass. To this day, I would much rather open gifts on Christmas Eve, much to the chagrin of everyone I know. They think I'm crazy, but I love the romance of opening at night, in semi-darkness and colored lights. I remember getting my first bathrobe and how thrilled I was! Now I have to go do something Christmas-y while you've got me in the mood.
    P.S. You were soooo cute! :)

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  22. Oh. My. Freaking. God. Cookie cutter's that mirror the ones handed down to me?! A, from what I can see, nearly the same fancy bathrobe and same fancy-because-I'm-wearing-a-fancy-bathrobe grin I was wearing in 1959 (or was it 60?)?! A sister that looks like my back-then teen neighbor, who was also "Betty-ish?! Eyes wide openny for Midnight Mass?! And the topper: Jon Gnagy?! (<--Although it was never proven, I'm pretty sure he's my father!) People aren't going to believe this, but YOU AND I ARE THE SAME PERSON! (How cool is that?! LOL!)

    P.S. I got your message today. Please know that I feel simply awful about neglecting you, and I will probably have to make a batch of Christmas cookies and eat the entire wad of them in order to regain myself. LOL! All kidding aside, I left you a fun, little, sweet reply back at The Farkle Blog. (cLiCkY-cLiCkY HERE to get to THERE. Thanks! And thank you , as well, for this delightful read!)

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  23. Hey Chatty! I'd love to come to your Christmas cookie exchange! Lemme see if I can get a cheapie flight on Air Tran again! :D

    Hi Sue! Thanks! You love WHAT song? Oh yeah, "I'll Be Home for Christmas", right? :)

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  24. Oh, Randi. Thank you for all your comments. It's memories like these that some of us share and it means so much to me to hear about them! Gosh, we really did have the same childhood, didn't we??! I'm glad I made you feel Christmasy, too! :)

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  25. OMG Sparkly Farkly! You are one crazy kinda gal! And to think, we are the SAME PERSON! Wow! No wonder I've been having strange dreams! :D
    Seriously, thank you for all your funny and sweet comments here and also on your blog!

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  26. You had me at cookies! I used to bake with my mom and grandmother, though now I have more fun if no one is in my way :P Funny how that changes over time.
    Love your nostalgic post :)

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  27. This post made me smile so much, Becky! I loved the pictures from your childhood, they remind me so much of pictures of my siblings and I during Christmases past. And the cookies look so yummy I could almost taste them through the screen. I'm looking forward to more of your nostalgic Christmas posts! :)

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  28. Oh Becky I have the same roller and those same old cookie cutters too. It is fun to look at our old Christmas pics. The one I have shows me and my little sister wearing our new sweaters over our nighties and holding our new baby dolls. I can also see a toy ironing board in the background. I have fond memories of all us girls piling up in the bed with my father and going through the Sears and Roebuck Wish Book or the Speigel's catalog for ideas on what to ask Santa for.Thanks for reminding me. Hugs!~Ames

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  29. Hi Estrella, Julie, Lynn and Ames! Thank you all SO much! It makes me so happy to know my memories have helped you to remember fond Xmases, too!!

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  30. Oh wow, those cookies look so scrumptious! And I like the robe too. Thanks for taking us back.

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  31. your cookies made me drool:) Yum! I am not baking any this year as I am off sugar but it's nice to hear others doing it,

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  32. It's wonderful to pull out those old photos and let ourselves remember! And making cookies is always fun! I'm off to see what photos I've scanned of Christmas! Happy holidays! ♥

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  33. Oh! Xmas cookies. Yum.
    Your pictures are so cute!

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  34. Hi Clarissa, Terri, Diane, and Lydia! Thanks so much for stopping and leaving a comment. I'm really happy you enjoyed this particular blog post and photos!

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  35. Okay Becky, I'm beginning to believe that we have lived parallel lives. I too, have a beautiful older sister (14 years older) whom I adored and was flower girl in her wedding. Love those memories of baking cookies. Did your mom ever make Spritz? I've got my mom's Spritz gun, but haven't actually used it. Happy reminiscing!

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  36. Beautiful post! I have those same three cookie cutters and use them every year! Love the Christmas song and it sometimes brings a tear to the eye as I remember those who I used to share Christmas with and are gone now. We always have opened our gifts on Christmas eve, too. It's so much more fun at night with the tree lights on! Merry Christmas!

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  37. Thanks for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower. I hope you like what you see and I just wanted to say welcome. I love making cookies for Christmas, too. Yours are great! I loved looking at your old pictures. They bring back such fond memories, don't they?

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  38. Great photos! Look like the ones from my childhood & those cookies bring back a ton of memories.

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  39. Wow, Debora! You are correct!! Definitely parallel lives....or twins separated at birth maybe?!
    And yes, my mom made spritz cookies which I absolutely loved, and still do! I haven't made them in years, but just might give it a try next week! Thanks for your fabulous comments!

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  40. Hi Cheryl! Another kindred spirit! Those Xmas cookie cutters must've been the only ones made during that era! I also have one of Santa with his bag on his back...kind of hard to tell that's what it is. Right now it's in a shadow box I made years ago about my mom. I need to redo it because it definitely looks amatuerish. Thanks for commenting!

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  41. Hi Jean! Thank you very much for stopping and becoming my follower, too! I'm glad you like my blog. Yours is great!

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  42. Hi MPax! Thanks for stopping and commenting! I love hearing from new (at least to me!) bloggers! How did you stumble across my blog? I've found many of my favorite ones by blog-hopping from one to another, etc. I'm glad my pictures brought you some fond memories!

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  43. I remember going to friends of my parents for Sunday dinner and us haveing "company" for dinner too. I can't tell you the last time that happened for us. It's kind of a lost phase now.

    Your little brother could be mine. Mine was born in 56 so he is a little younger. Great Christmas memories.

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  44. Thank you, Just Stuff from a Boomer! Yes, I think we lived parallel lives, didn't we?

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