Life's Little Gems

I was watching 60 year old Christmas movies starring a cast of puppets and strings, when I was moved by a particular scene.

Santa was galavanting around town pretending to be, um, not Santa when he starts chatting up a young boy.

Can you name this movie? I’ll send a batch of cookies to the first person with the right answer!

Due to a nasty cold, Not Santa Santa sneezes, which alarms the young boy’s mother.

Upon learning that it was actually that it was not her son that was suffering from sinus issues, the mother promptly invites her son’s “new friend” into the house and offers a nice home remedy to combat his cold.

That would NEVER happen today.

Today we would assume that man was probably some sort of pedophile who was trying to take advantage of an innocent little boy.

We would probably call the police, or at the very least, punch him in the jingle bells.

Essentially we have become so jaded and so cynical, we don’t even trust Santa anymore.

And if you can’t trust Santa, who can you trust?

All of this got me thinking about the 12 Challenges of 2012.

Thanks to my co-workers generosity, we were able to raise enough money to provide a full Thanksgiving meal for a family in need as part of November’s challenge.

For December’s challenge, I put some serious thought into adopting a family for Christmas.

But cynicism was sucking the spirit of the season right out of me.

What if the family sells the gifts for drugs?

What if the kids get mad and break the gifts in fit of rage?

What if they’re not grateful because the gifts aren’t good enough?

But Christmas is about having faith.

And goodwill towards men.

And other catchy snippets of songs that remind us not to be so grinchy.

So this year, I am going to have faith that if I choose to adopt a family, the money and gifts will go exactly where they need to go.

And you can have faith that even though the ingredients in this recipe might sound unusual, they make one fantastic tasting cookie.

It’s the softest, chewiest, gingerbread cookie you’ll eat all season.

GINGERBREAD GEMS

1 (8 oz) package of pitted dates

2 tablespoons molasses

1/2 cup flour

*Tidbit: I used white whole wheat for this recipe. You can use 1/2 cup finely ground oats to make a gluten free cookie!

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4-1/3 cup turbinado sugar (for rolling)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Add dates and molasses to a food processor and process until dates are finely chopped.

Add flour, spices, and salt.

Process until mixture forms a ball.

Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to divide mixture into about 24 cookies.

Roll into a ball.

Press each ball gently with the palm of your hand to flatten into a disk.

Roll each disk in the turbinado sugar.

Tidbit: Turbinado sugar (raw sugar) is larger and more coarse than regular white sugar giving the cookies a golden sparkle and a bit of crunch.

Place on baking sheet about one inch apart.

Bake for about six minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely to allow cookie to set.

This Christmas, I have faith.

And I believe.

I believe in Santa.

I believe that Christmas movies that feature puppets and claymation are the best Christmas movies of all time.

I believe that we need to go back to a time where we helped our neighbors.

And I believe cookies made with dates might be just what you need to help you get the spirit back in Christmas.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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