I’m Thankful for our Holiday Cookie Tradition

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE License #01490977

I’m Thankful for our Holiday Cookie Tradition



Check out Debbie Reynold’s 12 Days of Thanks Giving 2017 ActiveRain Challenge, that began November 12 and ends Thanksgiving Day. It’s all about sharing why we are thankful, with some bonus points thrown in for fun! There’s still time for you to share your thoughts, and lots of wonderful posts to enjoy!



This post is about good old fashioned cookie-making, our holiday tradition at Thanksgiving time, usually on the Friday or Saturday after the big food fest.



Honey LebkuchenI was introduced to my wife’s German family tradition when she and I first started dating, then lived together in Ohio. Of course with that step it was time to meet her parents.



Kay’s Mom was a wonderful cook and the holidays were a particularly joyful time for cooking and baking at their Lansing, MI home. The cookie tradition, making about 15 dozen Honey Lebkuchen, has been around for a few generations.



What I really love about our long-standing tradition is it can involve the whole family, or friends. Kay and I have been making them personally for 39 years (not a year has been missed), even before we got married, and at about 15 dozen per round that’s about 7,000 cookies.



It’s a fair amount of work, both preparing the batter the day or two before (my job, other than the year after I fell and injured my shoulder), and making the cookies (Kay is expert with the rolling pin). And once our girls were old enough they enjoyed putting a blanched almond on each cookie before baking, then glazing them once they came out of the oven (of course you get to taste the frosting that way!).

The cookies are kept in tins for a few weeks to season and soften, but of course who wants to wait too long before testing them out – after all, I have to be sure they are good enough to share with others. The flavors develop over time (cardamom, citron, honey), so in addition to having a wonderful flavor after they sit for a while, they are a joy to share with family and friends…and hopefully they last until Christmas Day and maybe beyond.



The tradition has shifted a little now that the grandkids are getting old enough to help. So now we make ½ the cookies at home, then head to Los Angeles on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to make cookies. This year we could very well have 3 helpers (Giada, 6 1/2,  Enzo, 4, and Ella 2 1/2), and with both daughters, their husbands, and our newest grandchild there it will be a special day indeed.



We have some other traditions but this is one I am most thankful for because of the family involvement, and making something we share with family and other people. We’ve also had friends over a number of times to make them as well when our kids left the house, and I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving or a Christmas without this long-standing family tradition.



What traditions are you thankful for and enjoy?


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

WE don't need  a lot of cookies so the exchange my wife does is just perfect.

Nov 21, 2017 02:44 PM #1
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff you are sooooooo generous in offering to test the cookies.  It is a risky job

Nov 21, 2017 03:18 PM #2
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Jeff, it's so fun to bake as a family, wonderful tradition to have and pass on. I'm not a baker, I've tried, not happening.

Nov 21, 2017 03:22 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Jeff- things change so quickly and so much these days, I love having some kind of traditions to hold on to.  Love that you involve the whole family as well as friends. I'll have to put my thinking cap on to pick a tradition we have that I love. 

Nov 21, 2017 05:07 PM #4
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Jeff Dowler  I will be looking in the mail for my cookies

Nov 21, 2017 05:39 PM #5
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

How lovely a tradition. I would love to try that cookie for several reasons. The spices sound delightful and the almonds are my favorites.

Nov 21, 2017 05:40 PM #6
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler - What a sweet tradition! It's a family affair in your household and your wife's German tradition must include many happy and wonderful memories. May the tradition be passed down through the ages!

Nov 21, 2017 07:04 PM #7
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Jeff Dowler first of all, I can't imagine anyone, other than a commercial bakery, making that magnitude of cookies.... that's incredible... but what a great tradition.... I love family traditions....  

Nov 22, 2017 03:43 AM #8
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Jeff... I'm always envious of anyone who can bake cookies... just not in my dna and I've tried many a time. One of my best friends baked the best and always sent me cookies at Christmas... unfortunately, she passed away two years ago and now I'm facing my third Christmas without her and her wonderful cookies. Still can't quite believe she's gone after decades of sharing Christmas traditions with her.

Nov 22, 2017 04:24 AM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for  sharing. Wishing you and your family  Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 22, 2017 04:58 AM #10
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


This is a beautiful tradition and I heard all about your cookies from Hannah Williams 

Dec 15, 2017 03:04 PM #11
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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