Being Neighborly

One memory that persists over time is baking cookies with my mom and sisters and then delivering them to neighbors and people from church.  It’s now time to confess that I have never done this as an adult.  Ever.  I started feeling pretty guilty about it this year…and at the same time, massively overwhelmed with the idea of baking for the thirty-ish houses in my neighborhood.  Finally, after much dithering, I decided to cut it back to four houses…three families whose kids play with Oldest and the elderly lady who lives behind me.

I decided that spritz cookies would definitely be on the plate.  We made them every year, and I have fond recollections of playing with my mom’s cookie press, making an unholy mess with colored sugar and burning my mouth on Red Hot candies.  Plus, I had four different cookbooks with the same recipe.  I took it as a sign.  I had never tried doing rolled gingerbread men before, but they’re cute.  I found a recipe that got pretty much unanimous outstanding reviews on Pinterest, so I decided to give those a go as well.  I kept them simple…just a little sugar glaze for face and buttons.  I toyed with the idea of doing sugar cookies, but thought they were just a little too close to the spritz.  Then, I had an epiphany in the form of…yet another Pinterest recipe…and a memory that shall haunt me to my dying day.  Long story…for another post.  When we were kids, we would also make candy cane cookies every year…half red (or green) and half white…twisted ropes of almond-flavored cookiness shaped into candy canes.  Except mine ended up being a melt-in-your-mouth minty vanilla.

I ended up delivering the cookies on Christmas Eve.  Three out of the four were kind of awkward interactions.  Time for another confession: I’m not a very social person.  In fact, I’m really introverted.  I can fake being a people person pretty well after my time in the Navy and corporate environments, but interacting with people drains me of all energy.  So, if left to my own devices…I don’t interact, which is why I don’t know any of my neighbors beyond sight and probably why this seemed so awkward.  What can I say?  I’m working on it.  However, the visit with my elderly neighbor was very nice.  I found our that her husband died earlier this year, and she lost a son last year…and she wasn’t feeling very festive.  I came home feeling massively grateful for my husband and boys.  I’m glad that I went through with being neighborly this year, and will definitely do it again this year…hopefully a couple of times.

A plate of Christmas cookies.

The plate of cookies I delivered to a few of my neighbors this year…spritz, gingerbread men and candy cane cookies.


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