The "Pfefferkuchen" have arrived from Germany and the fight is on in my family.
My aunts (and my grandmother when she was alive) have made these special cookies every year of my life for Christmas and their arrival is eagerly anticipated. We bring out three boxes and very carefully divide the cookies evenly. You aren't even allowed to eat them during the division or it counts against your final bounty. It sounds crazy, but for me it isn't just about the cookies, but the family tradition. We only get these once a year and even the good-natured fighting over the cookies is part of what brings us closer.
Family traditions are important to me and I am trying to pass them on to my sons. My mother made apple Santa men with me every year and I do it with my sons to give out to teachers and friends. I love when I see other families and their traditions.
We are at my mother-in-laws for Christmas and her friend Cheryl just said that they had to rush home to get ready to drive around to see Christmas lights because her 11-year-old daughter Michelle had asked why they hadn't done their annual ritual yet. She told Michelle that obligations like soccer, work and home renovations had gotten in the way. With the reminder from Michelle, the family decided to take a breather and follow their tradition. They were going home to pop popcorn and put hot cocoa in a thermos to take along. That is what her kids will remember when they are grown even more than the Wii video game they are getting for Christmas.
Make these Apple Santa Men by sticking the walnut to an apple with a toothpick. Glue on a little cotton and a hat. Ho, ho, ho. Ours are German Saint Nicholas men but you can add a little puff of cotton to the top to make a traditional Santa.