Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mama Grinch

I am really not in a Christmas mood.

My mother worked. She was not an educator, and she did not have a Christmas break. She was a nurse and she did not always even get Christmas day off. We always set up and decorated together and she did cook a Christmas dinner, but that was about it. And we never thought anything else was supposed to happen.

If my sister or I got it into our heads to make cookies or some sort of candy we would mention it and my mom would gladly help. We would usually end up trying to do one thing. The three of us would be in the kitchen together, laughing and fighting, and then we would eat whatever we made.

Hubby's mother does Christmas. When Hubby was a kid she never really expected much from anyone else. She has a list of Christmas cookies and sure they are a lot of work, "but Christmas would not be Christmas without them."

My family is willing to help. They know it is a lot of work and that I don't want to do it all by myself, so they will help.

Take for instance the damn sugar cookies. I don't normally like sugar cookies, but these are delicious. The dough, which includes the zest of one lemon, must be mixed the night before. In the morning you must clear counter and freezer space. The dough is rolled between layers of wax paper (very thin) and then put into the freezer, flat, for a couple of minutes. You the cut the cookies, carefully move them to cookie sheets. They are brushed with beaten egg white, sprinkled with colored sugar, and then baked. You have to watch them like a hawk because they will go from done to burned in a flash.

Hubby will roll them for me. Since the dough is so cold and stiff it is real work. Whenever I need another batch rolled I can call him, he will yell that he will be there in a minute and then he will come in and roll and leave. The kids will decorate them. I can hollar to them and they will say, "Give us a minute" and then they will run up, decorate and leave. Sometimes they will ask to cut them, and I will let them, but they will waste dough and break cookies and so it will have to be re-rolled.

Though these cookies are delicious, I have come to hate them with a passion. I am having trouble getting people to understand that I don't want HELP, I want to know if anyone WANTS to MAKE them. I will be very happy to provide all the assistance they need if they want to do it.

They don't understand the difference. See, I either want the baking experience to be a fun Christmas activity, or I don't want to do it. I don't want it to be a chore they are helping me with.

So I think I am going on strike. I am trying to decide what cookie, if any, I really want. Then I am going to go make that cookie and enjoy it and see what happens. But that isn't really what I want. I guess I miss Christmas with my mother and sister, and I guess I miss the older boys too. They were more interested in actually participating in at least some of the baking.

The truth is though that I want to do some of the baking. I just want for someone to want to do it with me.

But I can't make them want to do it anymore than they can make me want to do it for them.

I feel like saying that I hate Christmas. The truth is that I have always loved it.

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