Keeping the Holiday Traditions Alive

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The holidays are a great time. The time for lights, hot coco, candy canes, festive music and cheer.

Despite the magic and the twinkling lights, this magical time of year can hit home for those who have lost their loved ones! My advice to clients that have lost loved ones is to keep their memory alive! Light a candle for them during the holidays. If you have children that never met a relative that passed, pull out their picture, reminisce, talk about past holidays together!

The best way to remember a loved one who has passed during the Holidays is to recreate a holiday tradition that was special to them. My grandmother used to have a cookie exchange party during the holidays. It was a great time to get together with aunts and cousins. Listen to holiday music and be festive and jolly! Some of my cousins even played carols on my grandmother’s piano! I’ve kept this tradition alive with friends and even co-workers during the years! It is so much fun to get different cookies and other recipes that are special to people. It also kept me close to my grandmother who I miss dearly this time of year.

Years ago, I created a Memory book with my grandmother. I spent years and countless hours interviewing her to find out about different phases of her life. I came across the Memory Book the other day and was reading about how my grandmother entertained the troops in the 1940’s with her dancing during WWII. My grandmother was a wonderful dancer and she created and sewed such beautiful costumes! I got a little teary but reading and remembering this made me feel a strong connection with her even though she is in spirit. Enjoy the holidays and find creative ways to stay close to your loved ones. They are still around you in spirit!

Here is a recipe:

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies                  

  makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature but not melted)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add butter and use a mixer to blend ingredients until butter is in small pieces.

In a different bowl beat eggs. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Add into first mixture. Mix until all wet and dry ingredients are well combined. Use your hands to form dough into a a cohesive ball. Dough is easiest to work with if you chill it before rolling and cutting.

Work with a small amount of dough at a time, so the dough doesn’t get over-worked. Flour surface before rolling dough out. I roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thick, for thick, cake-y cookies. Cut out cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375° for 6 to 8 minutes or until bottom’s of cookies are lightly golden brown

Jaime Fitzpatrick