The Accidental Christmas Tradition


Christmas is my favorite time of year.

I deck the house out in decorations and watch every Christmas movie ever made. My Mom has always made Christmas a big deal so we have many traditions that we do not skip. Ever! Once I got married and had kids I continued those childhood traditions and we began to create some of our own as well.

One of my favorite traditions happened accidentally a few years ago. Here’s how it happened.

christmas, tradition

Our boys were little and we were putting up the Christmas tree. We always had treats while putting up the tree when I was growing up. But with three kids under the age of 5 there was no way I was baking fancy Christmas treats. So as I picked up some last minute lights for the tree at the local dollar store, I grabbed a tin of “Holiday Cookies.” You know the ones, shortbread cookies in Holiday shapes sprinkled with red and green sugar sparkles.

Christmas, cookies, traditions

Now, baking is my thing so buying $1 cookies was a fairly low moment for me. “This is what it’s come to.” I thought. “Motherhood has taken me here.” But one thing I learned from my Mom was that Christmas tradition was about the memory of the moment, not how much the items cost that surrounded you. That night we put up the tree and enjoyed hot chocolate and our dollar store cookies. It was lovely.

The next year, as we got out all the Christmas decor, my oldest son announced, “Mom, don’t forget the special cookies!” I couldn’t believe it! He remembered the dollar store cookies! Naturally, I ran off to the dollar store and grabbed some before we put up the tree. As the years went on, he always asked for those cheap cookies. I would try to make “fancy” treats and he would insist that the  tree could not go up until we had the dollar store cookies. As his brothers got older, they too expected the cookies of shame. I was so pleased that I passed on the Christmas tradition addiction that I couldn’t say no!

Now that they are older, the boys still ask for those dumb cookies. This year I was able to upgrade to the Pepperidge Farms brand, although there was slight disappointment at the lack of sugar sparkles. Next year I will definitely get the sparkly dollar store cookies.

Like I said, we never skip a tradition. Ever!

christmas, tradition


  1. Enjoyed the “dollar store cookies.” Our accidental tradition began when my son asked if I had the recipe for his grandma’s sugar cookies. I told him she kept a roll of Pillsbury sugar cookies in her refrigerator to slice and bake whenever the grandchildren were coming. Later that day, we stopped to see him and his wife and little one, and he was in the kitchen, sprinkling slice and bake cookies with red and green sugar, delighted to be making “Grandma’s cookies.” My mother was a wonderful cookie baker, but she kept the slice and bke ones on hand so she would never miss having “homemade” cookies for the grandkids. Merry Christmas to all!


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