It’s All About the Red Hots
By Libby Gilbertson
Christmas baking time rolled around this past Christmas and I shot out a text to my kids asking them if there were any cookies that they wanted to see scrapped from my annual cookie baking repertoire. The last thing I wanted to do was create unnecessary work for myself, only to bake something no one really liked. Aaaaaaaaaaand they responded. “Make sure you make the cornflake cookies!” “The toffee bars never really grabbed me.” “Can you make Santa’s whiskers this year?” “Don’t forget the Reese’s peanut butter cookies.” “The Hershey kiss cookies, a must.” (and then my mom’s Hershey kiss cookie recipe showed up in my inbox, so obviously they wanted her recipe and not mine.) and then came the text that said, “there has to be cut outs and don’t forget the red hots and there has to be lots of red hots on most of the cookies.” I know that I asked for their input and as I was kind of regretting it, it hit me that the cookies and red hots at Christmas have become an important piece of the season for my kids, just as they had for me growing up with my cookie baking list being almost identical to my mom’s. And I remember, just like my son does, biting into a cut out and eating the bites with the red hots first and always looking for the cookie that had the reddest hots dropped on it. The shape didn’t matter, but I knew that if I could find the wreaths and the Christmas trees I would be guaranteed some red hots. It’s not like red hots are only available at Christmas for baking, but to me, and now Gabe, it’s probably the only time that they are looked for and sought out. Do they taste differently in December than they do in June? Technically no, but psychologically, yes. In our family, red hots have become one of the symbols for stupid jokes, board game playing, pranks, too many people for the couch, laughing, late nights, movies, tipping over the Christmas tree, and the love we have for each other. How can you not see God in that? He’s also in the red hots.
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