December Stories #2: Baking

It wasn’t that she didn’t like the baking, she loved that. And she loved the eating part even more, but she hated the cutting out. Christmas cookies were all about the shapes, Santa, stockings, candy canes, presents. Each one a mess of corners and edges that needed to be carefully pried from the cutter.
She hated the rolling, too. Sprinkling the flour, getting the dough all the same thickness, then, after the cuts were done, gathering the scraps and rolling them into another sheet of dough. It was tedious and it was time consuming and she could barely stand to do it.
And to make matters worse, when the cookies were done – hopefully without too many crispy edges- she had to wait for them to cool and then decorate all of those edges. Making four bowls of different coloured icing was entirely too much.
It wasn’t that she hated the baking, she just hated the fuss. And she hated that she had once enjoyed it and had started bringing fancy, little cut-out cookies to all the holiday parties. She had set a precedent and now she was having to drag herself through the consequences.
Yes, she could make a different kind of cookies, or she could buy some, but then she’d be spending the evening listening to people ask where her cookies were. Or, worse, joking about how they missed her treats and then saying ti was a shame that she didn’t get to them this year. No one would be mad or anything, they’d just have an air of disappointment about them and she didn’t think she could bear an evening of that. Especially if she didn’t have a good reason for not keeping her end of this particular social contract.
It would be different if she could claim an oven malfunction, or perhaps say she was busy at work, but there was nothing like that on the horizon and everyone knew that the office ground almost to a halt this time of year. It just didn’t seem right, didn’t seem in the ‘Christmas spirit’ to say that she didn’t make cookies because she didn’t feel like it. There was no way she was going to a party with that as her reason, she’d never hear the end of it.
Sure, there would be sympathetic smiles and small nods from some, but mostly there would be that sense that ‘of course you don’t feel like it’, that what you felt like doing had nothing to do with Christmas preparation.
She dragged herself out of her chair and went into the kitchen to face the bowl of cookie dough. She looked at the oven, with the light flicking on and off as the temperature hovered around the 375 mark and that’s when she decided.
Half the cookie dough went back into the fridge. The other half she flung on to the cookie sheets in little misshapen lumps. She wasn’t going to any damn party and the wine would wash down cookie lumps just as well as it washed down fancy shapes.

Perhaps what she felt like doing could be part of her Christmas preparation.