Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Holidays are Approaching

The holidays are approaching and what does that mean to you? A frenzy of shopping, cooking, and trips to visit family. Is it like your own version of Home for the Holidays? Or is it about family traditions?

I'm one of those people who shops all year and basically has my shopping finished by Thanksgiving. I make my own Christmas cards. Yes, I send actual paper cards to people I know. The holidays mean to me a time to spend with family, give thanks, and cook. I miss not being able to go to church; but, I cannot attend church because of the noise during the service and my migraines. Family traditions matter to me.

One such tradition is making cookies. I made cookies with my mother from the time I was a toddler. For years, as an adult, I made Christmas cookies. Not just a couple of dozen, but cookies on the scale of a bakery. I would send these cookies to my husband's office where they would be consumed within a matter of hours. To make the sugar cookies I would use the same cookie cutters I used as a child. They are my mother's cookie cutters from the 1960s. To me they are the best cookie cutters ever. They are red plastic with design details imprinted in the cutters instead of mere outlines of shapes.

Through the years some of the cookie cutters were lost or broken; but, I maintained a collection of ten cookie cutters. I treasured them and remembered fondly the ones that used to be. Recently I was surfing the Internet when low and behold I found the same cookie cutters. I found the ones I was missing plus one to replace the package with a broken handle. It turns out these magical cookie cutters are HRM red plastic cookie cutters.

These cookie cutters were originally made in the US in the 1940s by Loma in Ft. Worth, TX. In 1961 Loma sold its molds to HRM. At that point the cookie cutters were made in the US and then in Hong Kong. HRM still makes its cookie cutters today but focuses on cookie cutters for companies and famous characters as opposed to the generic Christmas cookie cutters I own.

After cutting out my cookies, I spend hours painting the detail lines of the cookies with frosting made from confectioners' sugar and creating my own masterpieces. They are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. One day I will pass my cookie cutters on to one of my nieces and she will remember how I taught her to paint the cookies when she was little. A tradition passed on.

Val Swanson
Designed by Val