The Shape of Christmas

My mom makes the best Christmas cookies on the planet. Nothing fancy, just straight up sugar cookies with vanilla frosting, but they are amazing. Every year since I was a kid, we would plan a special day to make a huge batch of cookies for our entire family, that is, of course, unless we ate them all first. We call it Cookie Day, and it’s one of the best days of the year. For the past five years, my oldest daughter Emma has been in on the action too, but last year, she gave us a gift that put the day in a whole new light.
A few years ago my aunt and uncle bought us a box of 101 cookie cutters filled with every shape
imaginable. It has cutters for all the big holidays – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving & Halloween – but it also has random shapes like airplanes and footballs, letters and numbers. You name it, we’ve got it.

I told Emma her special job was to go through the box and pick out the ones that looked like Christmas to her, while I went and got some other stuff ready. Emma’s a smart girl. This would be no problem for her. Of course, I expected for her to pull out Christmas trees, reindeer, Santas, all the usual Christmas shapes. But like I said, Emma’s smart, so she found something even better.

The first two cookie cutters she pulled out were a cross and a heart. She looked at me and said, “That’s Christmas, isn’t it, Dad?”

I looked at the cross and heart, a little stunned, and felt tears welling up inside.

“Yeah, babe,” I said, “That’s Christmas.”

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