Friends from work were recently talking about all the baking they were doing, getting cookies ready for exchanges, as gifts for family members and, of course for Santa.
I think for about 3 years, I practically killed myself trying to make the quintessential array of magazine- perfect- photo- ready- confections that every 'good mother' makes for Christmas - that is if she really loves her family!
(If it hasn't occurred to you already, guilt is applied as liberally as sprinkles and colored sugar in our culture when it comes to Christmas traditions - only it's not nearly as sweet!
It's toxic and should be avoided at all costs).
I bought the whole image making -or breaking - pastry myth until I read an article in which I discovered that the most common cookie left out for Santa in America is Oreos!
That article broke the shackles and set me free!
From that moment on, the fat guy got my delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies (for which I'm famous within our family, BTW, and can make in my sleep) and considering that it was a step up for him, I'm sure that's why I never heard a word of complaint!
There were carrot sticks for the reindeer - some traditions are too important to be tampered with- and those poor guys did all the heavy lifting anyway so they really SHOULD have some reward!
But, as kids, my parents convinced us that we had been so bad during the year that some cookies were just NOT going to cut it.
Besides, they intoned, Santa was in danger of going into a diabetic coma from all the sugar he had to ingest in one night and what he really wanted was a NJ Hoagie
a side of slaw
For years, my image of Santa was a cross between a Long Island teamster and the guys in the corner bar...
little did I know how on target that picture was!