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  • December 1993

    “Get your paws out of that tin, little miss!”

    Lara jumped in her seat and peered up at the rearview mirror to see her mother watching her with a playful glare. Her lips curled into a sheepish grin before she defiantly popped one of the tiny star shaped cookies into her mouth. After the all-to-brief moment of pure cookie bliss, Lara closed the tin. To resist further temptation she leaned forward and placed it on the floor by her feet.

    “Your cousins won’t be happy if you’ve eaten all the cookies before we get there! And you won’t be happy if there’s none left for Christmas Eve,” her mother chided from the front seat.

    Before Lara could come up with a witty retort the car skidded across a sheet of black ice and hurtled into the concrete median.

    December 2016

    A sprinkling of snow covered the windowsill and speckled the glass. Inside the small apartment was the epitome of holiday spirit. A lush tree stood tall in the corner of the living room, and soft Christmas music floated through the halls. The smell of freshly baked cookies wafted through air from the kitchen which was in complete disarray, a stark contrast from the Hallmark Card worthy living room.

    The kitchen looked as though it has been hit by a cookie tornado. Pages of recipes were scattered across the granite countertops, bowls filled with batter were stacked in tall towers, and ingredients were littered across every surface. Lara leaned against the counter next to the oven, her deep red hair tied in a messy bun on top of her head. She looked disheveled; her face, hands, and apron covered in flour and cookie batter.

    With a light touch of her fingers, the redhead tested whether the newest batch of cookies had cooled. Satisfied with the temperature, she plucked one of the treats off the cookie sheet and prepared for her umpteenth taste test of the afternoon. Taking a deep shaky breath, Lara prayed to whatever higher power existed that she'd finally got it right. She held the cookie in trepidation, admiring the texture before slowly tasting it.

    With an angry grunt she threw the remainder of the cookie across the kitchen watching it crumble as it hit one of the cabinets. She slid down onto the floor and let her head fall to her knees. Tears welled in her eyes and stained her cheeks, her goal to recreate the beloved treat no longer seemed tangible.

    “Hi Mom, I’m home!”

    Lara was pulled from her stupor and quickly wiped her eyes before getting up to greet her daughter. She’d been so wrapped up in baking she hadn’t realized it was already time for the carpool to drop Katie off. She watched as her daughter tossed her backpack onto the kitchen floor and went to grab a snack. Her heart clenched as she looked at her little girl, who was now the same age she had been on that day.

    Katie turned and furrowed her brows when she saw her mother’s melancholy expression. “Here,” she lifted up her bowl of cereal, “have a bite of this. It’ll make you feel better.”

    Lara placed her hand on Katie’s freckled cheek and smiled. She loved the sweet naivety of children, and took a spoonful of Corn Flakes to humour her. But as she munched on the bits of cereal she was suddenly engulfed in a wave of familiarity.

    “Oh my god, Katie! That’s it!” Lara bent down and kissed her on the forehead before grabbing the box of cereal and adding some to the remainder of the cookie batter.

    “You okay, Mom?”

    “Yes, I’m wonderful, thank you so much, sweetie. Now go set up our movie and I’ll be there soon.”

    Once the cookies were done and cooled Lara joined Katie on the couch. They sat snuggled up under a fluffy blanket with their cookies and some hot cocoa. White Christmas played on the screen, a movie she had watched every Christmas with her mom. She pulled her daughter close and revelled in the bittersweet beginning of a new tradition.
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