Luna ate my cookie list.
Twice. (She is still a cute puppy.)
Every year I fantasize about making glorious cookie and candy plates, and every year I give up because I tell myself someone else has the corner on the cookie plate. I make our favorites—sugar cookies, fudge, cinnamon nuts, and candies— throughout the season. They pile on the counter in baggies and containers and we eat them when we eat them. On Christmas day, I take the left overs and put them on a fancy plate.
Last Christmas I received a holiday cookbook as a gift. It’s become one of my favorite reads of 2020. I’ve paged through it over and over, dreaming of special holiday meals and making cookie plates happen this year.
Things haven’t went how I think they should go this holiday season.
I keep trying to make things happen, rolling with the punches, as they say, and finding my joy from within instead of from the way life goes. I cling to a fierce determination of a holiday of wisdom and whimsy.
I know that neither wisdom nor whimsy can be forced.
I know that it is what it is.
I know that others have hard holidays.
I make my cookie list again. I decide I need to let go of expectations. I breathe deep and remember the heart of Christmas. It is a baby in the manager who came to earth to live and die so I would know that I don’t have to hold it all together.
I jot down the red and green spiral cookies that Jay wants. I doodle a picture of a lemon to remember to add a couple to my grocery cart so the sugar cookies will be just right. I dig through my cheesecake recipes, sure that I am going to bake them, slice them, put them on sticks, freeze them and dip them in chocolate. I start jotting names of people from church who may appreciate a small cookie plate curated by an amateur. I send a text to my mom about the cherry chip cake mix.
I let myself feel sad because of the way things are going. The Serenity Prayer wisps through my mind—
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
I cannot change many of the things that hurt my heart this holiday season; I can make cookies and give them away on fancy plates. I smile a small smile and relish the wisdom and whimsy of giving away cookies. I close my eyes and tell myself Christmas is coming and I will be okay.
And then Luna eats my cookie list a third time.