Christmas cookies, motherhood and perfection

Isaac and I have just completed day two of Operation Christmas Cookie. We have spent the past 24 hours measuring, mixing, stirring, tasting (some hands a bit more eager than others) and decorating a large amount of sugar cookies. Some are for friends, some are for a cookie exchange this evening and a few are for our family (No worries…we will be repeating this sceanario in a week’s time, where there will be plenty of cookies for my little family).

As I attempt to clean up the red and green disaster that is my kitchen, I am reminded of a blog post from Christmas past. In this post, I am once again found in the kitchen baking cookies with a blonde hair little boy.

Enjoy these thoughts as I continue to scrap up sprinkles and icing off my counter tops…

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Yesterday I spent a great amount of time in the kitchen baking in preparation for a holiday cookie exchange at my monthly MOPS meeting. Isaac was my sous chef in the dough making process (I am a bit hung up on the whole “sous chef” thing, as you might have guessed). Baking with kids is a great way to teach various math skills and enjoy quality time together and I attempt to have Isaac help me in the kitchen whenever he can. In the morning we poured, mixed, stirred, and chilled large amounts of dough.

As soon as nap time began, I set about baking and decorating my cookies. This, too, would have been an enjoyable activity for my two year old, but I wanted my cookies to look cute. Two year olds don’t know how to do cute…..just messy and destructively messy. I baked and decorated 3 dozen reindeer cookies, painstakingly placing mini chocolate chips as eyes and red M&M’s to serve as the nose. Pretzels were cut with a serrated knife to serve as little antlers atop the peanut butter cookie head.
Two hours later I surveyed my masterpieces, deciding which were the cream of the crop to be placed on my cookie exchange platter and which were the rejects to serve my family. I wrapped my platter in decorative cellophane, tying it with a coordinating ribbon, snowflake ornament, and tag.
This morning I gathered both children, two diaper bags and a purse, and my beautiful cookies and off we went to MOPS. Isaac and Evelyn were both deposited into their respective classes, then I rushed back out to the car to get my festive platter, brimming with cute Reindeer cookies.
I bet you can imagine what happened next….
I dropped them.
Upside down.
On the gym floor.
Antlers were broken off in sad little pieces, noses were without a face, and that beautiful ribbon/tag/ornament combination was askew.
A perfectly good nap time wasted.
Because I am feeling introspective this afternoon (must be the weather), here is the little lesson I learned from my experience (aside from not hurrying while wearing boots and a skirt in wet weather): I missed out on a perfect opportunity to spend quiet time with one of my children because I was seeking perfect cookies simply to impress others. I missed out on some family time last night because I was still packing away my cookies and cleaning up the major mess I had made in the kitchen during the creative process. I missed out on a nap because I devoted my free time to making sure eyes were even and antlers were straight.
Sometimes I put too much focus and energy into making my plate of cookies look beautiful and flawless which causes me to neglect the important areas in my life. God does not ask that our life cookies resemble a Martha Stewart creation. Rather He asks us to bring him the broken pieces, because He is the only one to make us whole and perfect.
As the holiday season is beginning to hit crunch time, take a minute to check your priorities. Make sure that your focus is set on God, your family, and creating a sense of peace in your home and not on attempting to make everything cookie-cutter perfect.
And to the Mommy who received my broken cookies at the exchange this morning….just pull out a spoon and dig into those crumbs. I am sure Rudolph is just as tasty in little pieces.
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