Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do These Cookies Come With Instructions?

I have a simple question to ask you.  What is a Christmas cookie?  I've celebrated Christmas every year of my life, but today was the first time I ever thought about the what the term actually means (my son says I have too much time on my hands).   When I looked it up online, the definition read "A sugar cookie, usually cut in festive shapes, that is made and eaten at Christmas."  Really?  Could I have been doing it wrong all these years?

Does Christmas mean December 25th, or does it include the entire holiday season?  Would it still be a Christmas cookie if you ate it on Thanksgiving?  Or New Years Eve?  What about other types of cookies?  If I make Chocolate Truffle cookies, for example, can they technically be called Christmas cookies?   And should I wait until Christmas to serve them?   

Who are Christmas cookies for?  I know a lot of people, myself included,  make up platters of them for friends and neighbors or take them to Christmas parties.  Santa always gets a plate of them, too, of course.  But I know you must have heard of someone who hides the cookies they bake because "they're for Christmas".   Does that mean you can't bake Christmas cookies for your own household to enjoy?

I want to know what you think!



Willoughby

27 comments:

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I bake Xmas cookies whenever i want!
and there's a present waiting for you on my blog!!!!!

Matty said...

I think you'll get a variety of answers, or should I say, opinions on this.

As for me, a Christmas cookie is any kind of cookie for the holiday season in and around Christmas.

Sounds simple to me.

Now send me some choclate chip please.

5thsister said...

A Christmas cookie, to me, is one which is baked and shared with family and friends amid the frenzied holiday season (which for me stretches from Thanksgiving to Epiphany on Jan 8). Any cookie will do, IMHO, not just shortbread or cut outs.

Good question.

Purple Flowers said...

Excellent question - now you have me thinking. I always thought Christmas cookies were either sugar or butter cookies cut out into different shapes (i.e. candy canes, trees, stars etc). My opinion is that they are baked anytime after Thanksgiving and given whenever the Baker wants to.
I have to go now, and put a cookie in my mouth! :)

Chicago Mom said...

You are too funny! Reminds me of something George Carlin might have pondered. :)

Raoulysgirl said...

In the world of Christi, a Christmas cookie is any cookie that makes it onto the holiday platter. It varies from year to year...but there is never a shortage.

That's just me!

Kimberly said...

Philosophy about cookies...I love it!

To me, Christmas Cookies are from Thanksgiving to Jan 8th. They are made and shared with friends and family. Sometimes they make to the platter, and sometimes they don't.

I love this season!

Lissaloo said...

So many great answers! Can I just agree with everyone else?!?! I love Christmas cookies :)

Kathy said...

Christmas cookies are any cookie you receive or make from Thanksgiving to New Years!

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

It doesn't take a whole lot for a cookie to qualify as a "Christmas" one for me. Different families have varying traditions and I enjoy seeing (read:eating) the kaleidoscope of results (I though cornucopia might be a better word there, but I couldn't use it...although I'm pretty lax about ingredient criteria, I'm pretty firm that a Christmas cookie is only a Christmas cookie if it is served between Dec 1st and 31st, and cornucopia is an indisputably "Thanksgiving" word.

Deidra said...

I've wondered about the Christmas cookie tradition, too. Every year I host a cookie exchange for my neighbors and there's nothing better than using cookies as an excuse to laugh and chat and relax for an afternoon with friends!

Life Laugh Latte said...

I think whatever you think! Bake them, eat them, run them off...it's all good all year long. Have a great day. Holly

kys said...

To me a Christmas cookie is any kind of cookie that is made during the month of December. (And usually one that I purchase from the bakery in lieu of doing any actual baking.)

Amy said...

You crack me up because I ask the same questions and drive my husband crazy. We decided last week that Christmas cookies are probably the decorated sugar cookies shaped like angels, packages, christmas ball ornaments, gingerbread men. But we consider any and all cookies made between Thanksgiving and New Year's to be Christmas cookies! And Christmas Day is the 25th! All the rest is up for grabs! lol

Joanna Jenkins said...

Most of my cookie baking is done in December-- unless there's a baby shower, Valentine's Day, a special birthday or the likes-- Then I make the same cookies just in different shapes and with different colored frostings.
xo

Life Laugh Latte said...

Come by later today for some bling for your blog. Holly

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Stopping by to say Hi and to see what was going on in your corner of the world..Loved the cookie post...have butter softening on the drainboard right now to bake some shortbread to take to Buddy's vet.....

I'll be back to visit with you soon...

Fondly,
Kary

Jenn Erickson said...

Great questions! Never gave the subject much thought, I guess ~ probably to euphoric from the sugar high I get from devouring a whole batch of peanut-butter blossoms! I'm thinking that Christmas cookies may fall into two categories:
1) Sugar cookies cut into Christmas-themed shapes. It wouldn't matter what time of year they were baked ~ A Santa cookie is a Christmas Cookie year-round.
2) Cookies that are baked during the month of December that are part of other holiday traditions such as gift-giving, cookie parties, and leaving a plate out for Santa.

Joanna Jenkins said...

PS I'm heading out of town for the week and won't have an Internet connection. I'll catch up with you when I get back.

Have a great week,
xo

Attila The Mom said...

Hubby's mom used to send a big box of a variety of cookies that she only baked at Xmas, so to him, all of those were considered "Christmas Cookies" no matter what they were. ;-)

elvira pajarola said...

....dear Willoughby......
CHRISTMAS COOKIES...I just love to bake them.....I've got recipes from all over and the real special thing about it:
......My two boys do help so much to realize them.....!
I never bake cookies during the year....probably that's the reason; but we bake a lot of cakes during the year!
have a wonderful Time!
ciao elvira

Holly said...

Cookies are meant to be eaten! I think a Christmas cookie can be anything...if it reminds of you of Christmas...it is a Christmas cookie.

My mom used to bake a lot around Christmas. I do too, but I bake when I need to, not all at one time - make them, enjoy the process, get them to their destination. I would be about 600 pounds if I had Christmas cookies (any cookies) hanging around my house - I cannot control myself.

猶豫 said...

hello~nice to meet u..............................

ChristineM said...

We always think of our "Christmas Cookie" as my Chocolate Italian Spice Cookies, because the cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves make it *smell* Christmas-y! Gingersnaps are another one, but to be honest I can make or eat both anytime! ;)

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Hee hee... this made me laugh. To me, Christmas cookies are any cookies I make in the month of December. In fact, I just ate half a pan of Christmas brownies.

And I just might have a bowl of Christmas cereal in the morning... :)

sanjeet said...

cookie will do, IMHO, not just shortbread or cut outs.

Work from home India

Greatma said...

I loved reading all things you wrote, you are so funny!!
Reading mine must seem awfully dull. I'm glad you are feeling better!! I will be back. Antique Rose :-)