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The holiday season is upon us. And with the celebration of holidays, I ask myself, do I celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah? How about both? Gifts are gifts and cookies are cookies. I’ve never been one to turn down either.
 
When I was a child, my family would celebrate Hanukkah as a four-person unit. Christmas was reserved for the outside world. In school, the mall, the homes of most everyone we knew. My grandmother, who was supposedly Jewish, liked the look of a Christmas tree so much, she insisted on having one every year. As I imagine many people do, I don’t immediately associate Jesus or church with the celebration of Christmas. Instead, my eyes light up at the sight of red and green M&Ms, candy canes, and plates piled high with assorted cookies.

For our holiday party, Roxie and I made Christmas Wreath cookies. For Hanukkah, you could dye them blue and shape them into menorahs or candles. Or make them pink hearts for Valentine’s day. Or make them in the middle of summer at the cabin like my aunt used to. 

Christmas Wreath Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes.com

bad photo, good cookies

bad photo, good cookies

1/2 cup butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups cornflakes cereal
1 (2.25 ounce) package cinnamon red hot candies
 
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows, stirring constantly until saucy. Add food coloring and extracts, mix until uniformly green. Mix in cornflakes until completely coated.
 
Drop by spoonfuls in clumps on greased wax paper. Using lightly buttered fingers, form into wreaths. Caution, these will be hot! Decorate with 3 red hots each (or sprinkles if you hate red hots, like me.)
 
Once cool, transfer to plate or store in an airtight container. I suggest using wax paper to keep layers from sticking to each other.
 
My family had few traditions, but the ones we embraced were uniquely ours: moving houses (every year for six years), Friday Night Pizza Night, and Good Sister Gifts. As I enter adulthood, I’m making up my own traditions. Like celebrating the entire holiday season. It’s a lot more fun that way.

Just in case I don’t get a chance to update you before my five holiday celebrations (five!), Merry Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, and happiness to all and to all a good night.

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