The fire roars and the Christmas lights flicker. Outside, a layer of fluffy white powder covers the warm Earth. The ground sparkles with the light from a frosty moon. A gust of wind blows snow from the roof and tree limbs, but we pretend it is sprinkling down from the stars to make this the perfect Christmas Eve.
My family gathers around the TV, bundled up in blankets, to watch our favorite Christmas movies about talking snowmen, red nosed reindeer, and an elf looking for his father. Between movies, we migrate to the kitchen to whip together chocolate chip cookies for us and Santa. First we gather the ingredients and sample to chocolate chips to make sure the are Santa-worthy. Christmas music flows from the speaker as we throw butter, sugar, and eggs into the bowl. Mix and pass. Mix and pass. As the bowl makes it way around the table, the cookie dough begins to mysteriously disappear. After a few scoops, we manage to stop ourselves and put the dough onto the pan and into the oven.
The dim lights in the kitchen let the Christmas tree shine bright. It is dressed top to bottom with ornaments that tell our life stories. Mine begins with a teddy bear with my name and birthday on the back. Next comes the gingerbread man with “Jack five years old” scribbled on it’s back. Some are barely legible and others have my picture on them. The tree is filled out with similar ornaments that my brother made and my parents favorite ornaments from their childhood. Our tree is unlike all others, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Suddenly, the scent of the fresh cookies invades the room. As it drifts by, we each get a whiff of the delicious treat soon to come. The timer rings to tell us the cookies have finished, but the race to the kitchen has just begun. We run across the carpet, slide on the wood floor, and scramble to find the oven mitts. As we take the cookies out of the oven, the sweet scent must have could have filled our entire street.
The first bite is the best. My teeth sink smoothly through the warm treat. The soft chocolate and gooey center mix and melt in my mouth. One cookie is never enough so we all grab another. And another. And the last one is quickly snatched up. Another batch needs to be thrown into the oven. After a while, I checked on the cookies to make sure they were not burning. The cookies had barely cooked, which seemed odd. I felt certain they had been in the oven for at least eight minutes, but when I checked the timer only three minutes had gone by. These cookies could not come out soon enough. I went back to watch our Christmas movies with my family and prepared myself to wait for what would feel like hours for these cookies. After I watched Rudolph discover the island of misfit toys and meet a flying lion, the timer finally rang. We all rush into the kitchen and swing open the oven door. The cookies are the perfect golden brown color. Before they are all eaten, we set aside two cookies for Santa and pour him a glass of milk filled to the top. We carefully walk over to the fireplace and set down the plate and cup. We zip back to the kitchen and grab a cookie. I break mine in half to expose the warm, moist center and take a big bite. As I walk back towards the plate by the fireplace, I know that Santa will love our cookies.