Ghosts Of Christmas Pasts — 1984

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She lived next door to me. We had become friends over the nearly two years I had lived on the quiet little dirt road. And she had the best kolachi recipe known to mankind.

When she found out how my mother in law had taught me to make kolachis with a yeast based, labor intensive recipe that called for you to individually fill each cookie — she was completely horrified. This was the Christmas I recieved THE RECIPE.

She came over and we made the dough together in my kitchen. When we got to the part where it said — Refrigerate overnight — we looked at each other and laughed out loud. Well — hell. Now what? We stuck the dough in my fridge, grabbed all four of our kids and drove to the nearest Target and went Christmas shopping for a few hours. That’s what! In years to come we would both remember to make the dough the night before.

When we came back to my place, I put on some coffee, cut the kids loose and proceeded to bake. And bake. And bake some more. These are the most delicious cookies on the planet. I can get you affidavits from any number of people who have had them.

Every year after that — for decades, we would make those cookies together. She moved to North Carolina the year before I did, but when I got here — we were in her kitchen— and baking.

The smell of cookies blend with coffee and fill the kitchen. Confectionary sugar covers every surface — including our faces. Our daughters or spouses pop in and out of the kitchen claiming QA rights and taste each batch. These were her husband’s very favorite cookie.

I’m divorced now. She is a widow times several years. Our girls are all married women now with their own kitchens. She no longer lives next door, but many hours away from me.

But. I still make these cookies. Every. Single Year. They are my son in law’s favorite cookies and I make him his own batch which he doesn’t have to share with anyone else.

And every time I bake them — I am taken back in time. To two young mothers, with coffee and rambunctious daughters, laughing to Christmas music while making a bit of Christmas Magic and honoring their own special tradition. And the gift of a friendship that lives on still — today over thirty years later.

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