For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV

In search of Mom’s Pecan Sandie cookie recipe, I flipped through the “DESSERTS” section of my blue, tattered box. A Christmas gift from our three girls in the early eighties, the lid disintegrated years ago.

I found the card in the very back where I placed it last December for easy access. Every year, I barely recognize my penmanship of forty years ago compared to my cursive today.

Desserts occupy more than 50% of the box’s contents, which represents my favorite course in a meal. However, I’ve also abused my Quiche Lorraine, Mexican Skillet, and Chicken Fricassee recipes.

For these dishes most influenced our family table and history. For instance, Kelly, my California daughter, once suffered the stomach flu after I served Mexican Skillet for dinner. To this day, she cannot think Mexican Skillet without gagging.

Then again, her father and younger sister still crave the simple blend of elbow macaroni and hamburger (or ground venison), flavored with chili powder, homegrown canned tomatoes, and sour cream.

And no savory flavor satisfies our hunger like hot biscuit steamed in lemony Chicken Fricassee sauce.

Yet, Mom’s Pecan Sandie shortbread with my chopped chocolate chip addition remains the supreme Christmas cookie in my household.

A tradition, I carried my Christmas cookie tin to our small Seven Ponds Friends of Herb meeting last Friday. After we assembled fresh, festive decorations for the building, we cleaned up our mess and brewed herbal tea.

Aware of the awful losses within a local community, we shared our sweets and memories they signify—Betty Crocker’s Caramel Walnut Refrigerator Cookie created with the working mother in mind.

And Golden Cups our group’s co-chair learned to master with a sister in their mother’s kitchen where they pressed the dough into mini-cupcake tins. She later embellished the walnut filling with tiny holly and berries for her children.

We lifted one another with blessings of long-lived flavors and meaning. We dared speak our sorrow for the parents of the lost.

For in the midst of oppressive darkness, we evoked the Christmas story and the goodness and light given to us in our childhoods.

God so loved us that He gave us our parents, and His only begotten Son that if we believed in Him we wouldn’t perish, but have everlasting life.

A life that perpetuates from a tin bucket my mother purchased for me after a special Christmas Day—all her children and grandchildren gathered within her Kentucky home for supper, fruitcake, and Pecan Sandies.

Gifts given with love, purpose, and longevity.

None of my family foresaw that Christmas Day would be the last we would share with our daughter Becky.

Dear Reader, I believe God sent His Son into the world to heal our brokenness, not condemn us.

May the eternal light of the babe Jesus bless you with peace, joy, and salvation.

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