Perhaps at no other time of the year does Connecticut live up to its nickname than in December. The "Land of Steady Habits" has particular meaning during the holiday season, as families pass traditions from generation to generation.
What is your favorite holiday tradition? My husband's family never decorated their tree until Christmas Eve. Other friends always see The Nutcracker or The Big Apple Circus. Our daughter, Adaire, likes the tradition of opening one gift before going to sleep on Christmas Eve. When I was younger and living overseas, my job was to attach all of our holiday cards to ribbons that we hung in our home.
For many, the holidays mean baking cookies—and who doesn't love the homemade variety? (Maybe Connecticut's other nickname, The Nutmeg State, works just as well in December!) Admittedly, I have stowed away my rolling pin in favor of the delicious morsels made by my sister-in-law, Diane. Nonetheless, I am always on the search—for the readers, of course—for the perfect cookie.
Early in November, I drove to Litchfield to check out a bakery known for its special Dutch and German sweets. I walked into the shop and was instantly greeted with a rich, buttery aroma. Watching this father-daughter team whipping up holiday goodies like a well-oiled machine reminded me of a time when we participated in a friend's family tradition. A ferocious snowstorm was raging and we were housebound until she called to invite us to her annual cookie marathon.