Cookie Church

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I have been on my feet in the kitchen for three days straight, faithfully baking the eleven different kinds of Christmas cookies my family expects to see displayed on the table when we sit down for our holiday meal.

Each cookie type calls for a specific set of ingredients and requires that I perform a carefully choreographed ritual that usually involves standing at the counter, kneading the dough, kneeling before the oven,  wearing the ceremonial mitts,  and arranging the finished offerings in a sacred tin.

At the meal, my cookies are the final course before we head off to church.  But at that point I’m sore from standing and exhausted from the cookie-baking effort.  I feel like I’ve already been to worship and I’d much rather take two ibuprofen and have a nap.

Does that make me a heretic?

Confusedly,
Aching Baker

I told Aching Baker she is NOT a heretic because all of her rituals seem perfectly ordinary and are widely practiced whereas heretics go very much against the grain. Also, “heretic” would be a good name for a twelfth type of cookie – probably something with a big fat walnut in the middle.  

But cookie baking is a form of personal sacrifice, and if she is concerned that not going to church after all that work will somehow count against her in the final tally, I would like to suggest that a good long nap is also form of sacred meditation.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

40 thoughts on “Cookie Church”

  1. I confess, I have as yet baked nothing, which makes me feel like another sort of heretic.

    I love holiday cooking and baking, but I have come to a place in life where for me the ultimate good is to not rush through things with a feeling that something is in hot pursuit.

    Did some bits of decorating at my leisure yesterday. S&h seemed well pleased in that “I’m a teenager so not actually going to say anything” sort of way. He has a tabletop Christmas tree to decorate today.

    I have gotten out the recipes and made a shopping list of what I don’t have. The only thing I am committed to is wild rice for dinner tomorrow. I think I will do that today. Anything else can be considered a Christmas miracle.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. God is everywhere, not just in a church, and God doesn’t care if you bake cookies or take a nap, only that you love, and not just at Christmas, but every day. This holiday frenzy and feeling that whatever we do is not enough, that we are sooooo not good enough, don’t give enough, is a bottomless pit that sucks the life out us. Sometimes leaving us perhaps a tad resentful and anything but loving and especially towards ourselves. I think expectations of ourselves and others needs to be dialed back so the holidays are enjoyable again. But that’s just me, now a seriously dialed back, recovering, holiday rebel. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Kneel before the Stove, then Rise and Shine!

    I have not been baking simply because I display a remarkable lack of self-control after the baking is done. Right now I can’t afford the extra 5 pounds!

    However, I agree that this is a sacred ritual. If it requires skipping church, please do. Then invite me over to help you worship the cookies.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I believe, Christina, that Renee is already working on a blog post about dialing back. It is a theme mentioned several times in this group. Many of us are dialing back, doing so with varying degrees of shame or regret. But if anything defines this season, it is the pressure to do more than is reasonable–more giving, more visiting, more cooking, more card-sharing, more everything. My son-in-law gave a Scrooge-ish speech about not spending too much on gifts, then went out and spent too much on gifts. One of the few gifts of aging is that it becomes easier to dial down without shame.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. There seems to be no way to escape the excesses of the holiday season. If I only had myself to please, I could do it. That’s not the case so I see very little chance of dialing back on all the tensions of the holiday season. If you can get it all done well in advance, that would help. I always tell my self I should do that. It never happens. I’m afraid, Aching Baker, you will just have to grin and bare it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. i dont dial it up for christmas i simply put it on the to do list instead of something else. i have a problem with too much all the time and at christmas its just too much christmas as soon as christmaspasses its too much of whatever is next. i love taking all the opportunities there are and trying to wring every last drop of joy out of the experience.
    i find places like church ( i dont go often anymore) the perfect place for a nap. i am well practiced at sleeping in my chair and i find that a 15 minute rest is usually all i need. i go to concerts and plays and talks and presentations and often if not always fade for a minute during the heart of the brouhaha and wake up refreshed. then i go home have a cup of tea get the last couple of things ticked off the list so i dont have to deal with that tomorrow and check the laptop. emails blog postings tweaking a project i had time to think about while i was out running around. put it on the list and it gets priority. it sounds to me like the person who runs the marathon without any training and complains they are sore. if the person standing and cooking was a trained doer the couple types of cookines would be a cakewalk’ sherrilee 11 types of cookies in 3 days? how does that stack up. a normal days work or just a rookie that needs planning shills honed and some additional mixong bowls? quit your whining ab get a life and get to church woth the family that you suggest you are doing htis all for. they have their version of hoilday traditions too. buck up toots. ho ho ho

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sometimes I think the posts that show up here from “tim” are actually the work of thousands of monkeys typing randomly. But it would take a LOT of monkeys to come up with the good stuff here:

    just a rookie that needs planning shills honed and some additional mixong bowls? quit your whining ab get a life and get to church woth the family that you suggest you are doing htis all for.

    Words to live by. ho ho ho

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I always say, better to be doing something you love and thinking of god, than sitting in a pew thinking of whatever it is you’d rather be doing.

    I have just received the most bewildering Christmas present ever. Three pairs of Sensicare non-latex gloves for cleaning! Not exactly sure what this friend is trying to tell me, but I choose to chalk it up to her peculiarity rather than mine. Husband rated a bag of dark chocolates, along with wishes for a sweet Christmas. My greeting was “happy cleaning.” I’m very glad this woman is not one of the ancestors looking over my shoulders; my own are bad enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I have shopped everything I might need should I get around to everything I would like to do.

    I only have one thing I NEED to and will either do without or use what I have already for anything I don’t get to.

    Happy Holidays indeed.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Dear A.B.
    No, you are not a heretic but are now part of a long standing theological debate over “works” vs “faith”. In the first century A.D.,A.B., Saint Paul and Saint James were two of the main theology bakers. There were twelve others, more or less, but “Oatmeal” Paul and “Oatmeal and Raisin” James get the most attention in the dessert section of the Holy Recipe Book. Paul’s recipe for salvation declares that it matters not how many oatmeal cookies you bake as your heavenly reward is given to you free of charge. Faith alone will save your soul. With this dogma you don’t have to bake anything at all. If you choose to bake, remember: You’ve received free; give free. Don’t sell your product. (Unless they are REALLY good, then some other Biblical recipe can be applied to that problem). Now James puts “raisins” in the doctrinal mix by determining that “works” are a demonstration of faith. “Show me an oatmeal cookie without raisins and I’ll show you a dead oatmeal cookie” James 2:17. I tend to agree with James. Of course, this means the theological cookie must be rather soft which does tend toward cultic teaching. Beware.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Since that is the case, it is likely that you also missed this story from the book of Genesis chapter 40 as to how dangerous it is to bake the wrong cookies. Jacob’s son, Joseph, has managed to get himself put in jail. His cell mates come to include Pharaoh’s cup bearer and chief baker. Both men have dreams that need interpreting and Joseph gets the job. The cup bearer gets good news that he will be returned to his assignment. The baker? Big problem. In his dream, he was carrying three baskets on his head. The topmost basket had lots of cookies for Pharaoh but birds were eating the contents. Clearly a bad recipe that displeased the palate of the head Egyptian honcho. Maybe the baker burnt the batch. In any case, Joseph gave him the bad news that he was doomed. Sure enough the baker lost his head. A cautionary tale for bakers everywhere.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Evening AB–
    We all get stuck in that space feeling that *this all must be done!*
    It takes a while to realize it doesn’t all *have* to be done; it will be OK without. But it may be breaking traditions or expectations and that’s hard to face.
    Still.
    At some point, you’ll figure that out. We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way.

    Merry Christmas my TB family. Thanks for being here.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. my wife wanted to watch Christmas story as she wrapped for the tree. I love turner clasic movies. my kids laugh because it’s sooooo true it’s 8am now and I am on my 4th veiwing

    Like

  13. Dear Heretic – if you don’t enjoy it, quit doing it. If family members whine, hand them the mitts.

    Easy for me to say, since I did 16 kinds of cookies in TWO days but I love to do this, so doesn’t feel like sacrifice at all!

    Like

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