Cookie Cutter Catastrophe?
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do this time of the year is to bake cookies. I just love the smells, the warmth of my kitchen and the memories that I am creating with my children. I usually make about 6-7 different kinds of cookies, including the sugar cookie cutouts. My kids love to slather on frosting and toppings until each cookie weighs about 5lbs each! The last two years I ordered some pre-made cutouts because they were so much easier to deal with than making the dough, letting the dough chill and then rolling it out and cutting each cookie out....much easier. Well, this year I decided to do it the old fashion way and make my dough from scratch, chill it, etc... I had everything ready and with my rolling pin in hand I realized that I needed to find my cookie cutters. Now I have some cookie cutters that have been in our family a long time, I think that some of them my own mother may have used as a little girl. So, these cookie cutters are special for many reasons, not just for making cookies. These cookie cutters were part of a tradition and they were so cute! We had santa, a reindeer, a present with a bow, a sleigh and many more-most of these you can't buy anymore. Do you get the drift that these were special cookie cutters? Ok, good:) I began to look for these cutters in the usual places; my baking supply cupboard, all the drawers in the kitchen, and even the tub of play dough-but I couldn't find them anywhere! I was almost in tears;where could I have put them??? As I reached my hand toward the back of a high cupboard I felt a plastic bag and something hard inside of it-could it be? No, it couldn't! What I did find there were only two cookie cutters and honestly I didn't think I had ever seen them before that day. I took them out of the plastic bag and discovered that I had a cross and a star. Great-two cookie cutters and about 50 lbs of dough-those will be exciting to decorate-but I didn't have any other options so I began to roll out the dough. As I was rolling the dough and I picked up the star to cut it out, I got this overwhelming feeling that God was speaking to me. It was as if He were telling me that the two shapes I had before me to use were the true meaning of the Christmas season. I looked at the star and thought about how this one thing that we gaze up at on any given night was the symbol that led men to the birth of Jesus. "...The star that they had seen in the east went before them until it stopped above the place where te child was. When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy." Matthew 2:9-10 The next shape I held was the cross. Now, I had probably bought this to use at Easter, but how appropriate it seemed to use at Christmas. The cross is the symbol of Christianity. We would not be able to worship or have forgiveness without it. These verses are from Luke and they are words spoken by a criminal to Jesus as they both hang dying on a cross; "But the other criminal stopped him and said, "We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man(Jesus) has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:41-43 Wow! I just stood there in my kitchen thinking to myself how I was holding what should be the two most important symbols, not only of Christianity, but of Christmas. The beginning of Jesus' life was at the star and the cross symbolized the end of his life, but the beginning of our salvation. Later on my daughter came into the kitchen and saw all of the stars and the crosses that I had cut out and baked just waiting for her to decorate. She asked me, "Mom, why didn't you do any of the other ones?" I told her that if she thought about the Christmas story and the life of Jesus that these two shapes were perfect for our Christmas cutouts. Later on I heard her explain to my mother-in-law why we only had stars and crosses. She said, "Grandma, if you think about it these are perfect. The stars were the beginning of Jesus' life and the cross was the beginning of ours." Very well said indeed. Christmas is more than what symbols you associate with it. It is about the birth of a child who would not only forever change our live, but also forever change the world. I pray that you stop to look at the stars and kneel at the cross during this special time of the year. Blessings-Nicole