One of the Key traditions at Christmas is me baking cookies. Why? Because I'm an idiot, that's why.
I've been doing this for more than 15 years and every year it's the same thing. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I start planning out my Christmas prep. Presents, decorations, budget. So, what cookies to make? When will I make them? What will I use them for? Can I get anyone to eat any of them? If someone says something cruel about them will I have to employ fisticuffs? Lots of things to consider.
Going into it my thoughts run along these lines:
1) Well, I'm not going to do anything big this year.
2) I'll have to do the chocolate ones or the wife will get sore; Mr. Philbin will be disappointed without the pfefferneuse; Aunt Mary will disown me without sugar cookies, even if I burn them again. So, before you know it there's at least five different cookies that will have to be made on the first available Saturday.
3) The plan is made for how this will be accomplished; everything is purchased but maybe one crucial ingredient, which will be remembered when there are things in the oven and boiling on the stove.
4) About half a recipe into the big day the whole thing seems to look like a bad idea.
5) About one and a half recipes in, it's obvious that it is. Is it too late to back out? Yes.
6) Emergency substitutions are made; prayers of thanks for the invention of the dishwasher are said; slowly the table begins to fill with finished cookies. And they taste pretty good.
And when someone eats a cookie and tells you it's delicious, and you sit back and sigh and know that a tradition has been fulfilled for another year, like some little piece of civilization being brought forward on your cookie tray, then you know it was all worthwhile.