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While I am definitely a summer girl, the older my kids get, the more and more I love the holiday season. It seems the cold weather and festive mood are good excuses for spending time together in our cozy decorated home. Christmas brings a steady stream of guests and the days leading up to it bring a steady stream of baking and decorating and I love it all.
For a long time, when kids are little, some of the ritual is merely habit. Soon enough though, the kids get old enough to look forward to the memories and even start asking for them. It never ceases to amaze me, some of the things the kids remember and request. Last year, it was setting out the Little People manger scene even though I thought we were way over playing with Little People. This year, The Girl wanted in on the post-Thanksgiving Costco run.
I head to Costco every year the Saturday after we arrive home from our Thanksgiving trip in order to stock up on all we need for our holiday house. We need pounds of chocolate chips to prepare for hours of baking and pounds (it seems like pounds!) of Charmin to prepare for the house full of guests. What is it about guests that exponentially increases toilet paper use?!?
I always find a gift or two when I stroll the aisles as well. This year, along with the Bounty paper towels we need for the extra messes we seem to create making memories, we also scored a winter coat for The Husband and a perfect princess gift set for our favorite little princess cousin that The Girl loved picking out. It’s funny, I never thought of the Costco run as a holiday memory, but spending that time with my girl was a highlight of the season so far.
My favorite holiday moment, and I would guess one of my kids’ favorites too, would have to be Hooky Cookie Day. As soon as my oldest was old enough for school, I started declaring one day during the holiday season Hooky Cookie Day, which is an excuse to stay home from school, stay in pajamas and bake our little hearts out for all the cookie gifting we do during Christmas.
It is a day full of sugar, sweet moments and of course, big messes! Hence the reason I stock up on Bounty! I have had to learn over the years to let go of my need to control the baking situation and let my kitchen apprentices take over. It’s been a joy over the years to watch them grow into competent little bakers. They do nearly all the measuring, mixing and even the wrapping and labeling. These days, I mostly just watch, listen, laugh and stick around to clean up after them.
Over all these years, there is one recipe that has become our signature and until today, I’ve shared with very few people. Ritzy Chips are the most decadent chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies one can make. I got a similar recipe years ago from my supervising teacher in college. Over the years, I have tweaked and added to the recipe to make it my own. The kids named them Ritzy Chips on our first Hooky Cookie Day and the name stuck.
There is nothing healthy about these cookies. They are an indulgence for sure and they are a staple in this house and many others whom we share them with every holiday. I’ve never shared the recipe because I always want it to be a gift. This year, I’m changing that. I feel like some of the reason people enjoy them so much is because they are truly made with love, so sharing the recipe won’t lessen our gifts to others in the least. Make some cookies. Make some memories and if you make a mess, you’ve got Cotsco & P&G to help clean it up!