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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Cookie Cutter Christmas
Date Posted: December 16, 2006

The sugar cookies I helped my mom bake as a child were always as much fun to make as they were to eat. In fact, I liked the dough better than the baked cookies - and still do. We had a great collection of tin cookie cutters including Christmas trees, angels, stars, Santas, candy canes, gingerbread men and just simple shapes like circles and diamonds. Mostly we would top them with green or red sugar sprinkles, but sometimes they would be iced. I loved making the Christmas trees the most because they always got one little silver ball at the top. It looked like a BB but tasted better.

Many times we made the cookies to give to friends and neighbors or take to a church event, but mostly they were to keep at home and share with Christmas visitors. They were a part of the whole Christmas package - decorating, baking, playing Christmas music and inviting friends over for games, gifts and conversation - a cookie cutter Christmas. I'm sure it wasn't always as Better Homes and Gardens-perfect as I recall, but it sure seems that way when I think back and try to recreate it at my house. I rarely make sugar cookies, at least not the rolled out kind. My excuse is that I don't have the counter space, but there are numerous obstacles that get in my way, mostly stemming from a busy schedule and a lack of enthusiasm for the culinary arts.

I have found, though, that I can have a wonderful Christmas without making cookies and that it doesn't have to be perfect. That cookie cutter image on the magazine covers is just that - an image that's beautiful to look at but has no deeper value on its own. My tree make take a few days to get decorated and I may only get one kind of cookie baked. I may be in a frenzy attempting to get the house clean fifteen minutes before my guests arrive but we can still enjoy each other's company and I have a clean house to revel in after they leave.

Best of all the most important part of Christmas - the Christ we celebrate - requires no shiny tree or fancy cookies. The joy of Christmas can be mine to delight in and share without stressing about the decorating details and baking everyone's favorite treat. One of the titles bestowed on Christ by Isaiah, a prophet of old, was Prince of Peace. During this overbooked Christmas season keeping or finding that peace through Him is at the top of my list.

Now I think I'll go mix up a batch of cookies . . .

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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