Christmas Cookies

December 21, 2011

Santa’s Whiskers, Sugar cookies, Shortbreads, Chocolate-dipped Nut cookies, Gingerbread cookies, Toffee, Orange Cream Cheese-Pistachio Cookies….

I love cookies. All kinds of cookies are my favorites, and tomorrow, Debbie and I will begin playing with the new Cuisenart ice cream maker that came in the mail today. Homemade ice cream is another one of my family’s traditions from when I was growing up. Cookies and ice cream – it was all good. But not everyone grew up like I did. Sometimes cookies and ice cream memories seem incongruous with real life stuff.

I found out today that a dear friend has lesions on her liver, which meant a 4:00 appointment at the oncologist’s. A recent guest here told us that “the doctor found something.” More child abuse allegations surfaced on today’s yahoo news…..

“What’s happening?”
Henry burst into his parents’ room. …
“He doesn’t have long, Henry,” the doctor explained…”He’s been holding on for you.”
…His father opened his eyes and found Henry. …The words rattled out between haggard breaths. I did it for you.
That was when Henry knew….His father was confessing.
“You fixed it, didn’t you?” Henry spoke with quiet resignation, unable to feel anger toward his dying father. He wanted to feel it, but unlike his father, he wouldn’t allow himself to be defined by hatred. “You used your position…and fixed it so that my letters never made it….That was your doing somehow, wasn’t it?”
…he… left his father’s side and looked out the window…The excitement of the Japanese surrender was still palpable in the air, and people wandered about the streets looking for a place to continue their celebrations.
Henry didn’t feel like cheering, he felt like screaming. He did neither…
(pp. 262-3, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford, 2009.

Like I said, not everyone grew up with “sugar and spice and everything nice” at Christmas, or at any other time. And so there are some days when I just don’t know what to do with all of this… Some things make no sense.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel – God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Many would say that this makes no sense either. But you know what? When it comes right down to it, I think it’s the only thing that does.

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