Show of hands: how many of you guys ‘believed’ when you were little? Yes, I’m talking about Santa Claus. Let me see how many of you believed in him when they were kids.
Don’t be shy or embarrassed. My hand’s up.
I don’t regret my believing in him- in fact, I think that it made Christmas all the more exciting for us when me and my sisters. I’ll even admit that when I stopped believing in him, Christmas did kinda lose some of it’s magic for me. I was actually depressed for a while when my mom finally told me the truth.
Not that I’m not still in love with Christmas. I definitely am. This is gonna sound corny, but I’l say it anyway: it was hard to let go of the mystery and enchantment that’s behind the idea of Santa for a little kid. Believing it was just a lot of fun.
Plus in my defense, if you guys knew what the lengths the adults in our house went to just to make the three of us ‘believe’, you’d understand why I did. They SERIOUSLY went out of their way.
First of all, our house didn’t have a fireplace or chimney. You’d think that would present an issue for the grown ups in trying to explain how Santa would get inside our house. I mean, we had an alarm system that got turned on at the end of every night. And Santa didn’t know the code, so we would’ve seen straight through that fib.
But nope; we got told that OUR house was very special, and that there was a ‘secret room/passageway’ that only Santa and the grownups knew about so that he could get in without setting off the alarm or using a chimney. I can still remember my mom smiling and giving me ‘hints’ about where the secret room was and how they accessed it. I also remember spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the secret lever, switch or button she told me was in the wall to find it for myself.
One year we woke up on Christmas morning and got told to go outside and see ‘something’. Our roof was low enough so that if we took a few steps back from the house, we could see on top of it. When we went outside, we saw that there were 9 (yes 9, for every reindeer in the team) sets of ‘reindeer hood prints’ made in the snow on the roof, as well as boot foot prints that walked in a path.
C’mon, be honest. If you were a little kid wouldn’t that have convinced you a LITTLE bit?
I wrote letters to Santa, but rather than ‘sending’ them to the North Pole ahead of time, my mom encouraged us to instead leave them for him to pick up on Christmas Eve night. Why? Well, because I didn’t write Santa telling him what I wanted for Christmas. That part wasn’t as interesting to me as was the ida of being to communicate with a ‘magical’ person. My letter for Santa was more like a game of 21 Questions: “What’s your favorite cookie?” “What’s Mrs. Claus’ first name?” “Why didn’t you two ever have your own kids?” “Are you and Jesus friends?” “Where’s the secret ‘switch’ in our house?”
Toys weren’t as important to me as finding out all that stuff. Because I was just weird like that.
I have a very clear recollection of one year in particular where on Christmas morning, I woke up to the cookies being gone, and a detailed letter written to me in an unfamiliar handwriting answering every single one of my questions in a warm, appropriately jovial tone. There was even a little porcelain Christmas ornament next to the letter that Santa left for us as a ‘special gift’ from his ‘personal workshop’.
(Wasn’t my mom the greatest?)
Day 4’s recipe of the 12 Days of Christmas Series on the blog is one of my personal favorites and another one that I’ve known I was gonna do for weeks. If I were to try and summarize Christmas in one bite (no small task), it would be in this cookie right here. Which is probably why the cookie isn’t small. It’s huge. Incidentally, so are the flavors; molasses and spice lovers will be doing Snoopy Dances with this recipe. And even if you’re not a molasses and spice lover, I still feel pretty confident that you’ll be dancing.
Just a reminder: if you’ve missed the other recipes we’ve done so far in the series, I’m including a list of links to them below. Until tomorrow!
Giant Molasses Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup coarse sugar
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses.
2. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate dough overnight or at least for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Scoop 1/4 cupfulls of dough and roll in coarse sugar. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool.