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It is that time of year when the word “busy” barely explains what life feels like. And I love it…every last gift-wrapping, tree-trimming,  pine needles all over the floor, menu planning, cookie dough snitching minute of it. But there are times when I am exhausted, addle-brained, and tied up in knots. At these times I like to leave the “busy” behind and go for a walk.

After the holidays, a winter trip is always nice and relaxing. Today is the first day of winter, and I love winter…every bone-chilling, snow covered landscape, scarf over my nose, I need some hot chocolate minute of it. So in addition to getting ready for Christmas, I am also dreaming about those winter journeys, long or short, that Jim and I will be taking in January and February.

So, I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on the beauty of the winter, as we have seen it, over the years…and to share the most important part of Christmas dinner in this house, the Christmas cookies we have made for decades, the one my mom made for decades earlier.

First, winter through my eyes…

I love winter!

And now those really good Christmas sugar cookies…

All the grandchildren like to come and help decorate the cookies.

All the grandchildren like to come and help decorate the cookies.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

In a mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Chill for at least one hour.

Roll dough to 1/8″ thick on a lightly floured board. Cut with various Christmas cooky cutters. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. About 4 dozen cookies.


This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, which was first published by General Mills in 1963.