Forget your fruit cake and your figgy pudding.
If there’s one sweet delight that best symbolizes Christmas, it’s a cookie, and area school kids, from Wewahitchka to Apalachicola and parts in between, got in the spirit of cookie decorating last week.
In Apalachicola, it was a chance for Head Start kids and pre-kindergarteners from the classrooms of Joy Floyd and Krista Kelley at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School to interact with the older generation, who come for the weekday Elder Care Community Council lunches, at the Holy Family Senior Center.
Together they decorated cookies, and sang and had a chance to tell Santa Claus and his elves (their visit arranged by Nedra and Charles McCaskill and Teresa Ann Martin) what they wanted for Christmas.
Valentina Webb, who oversees the activities at Holy Family, then handed out gloves to the children.
At Wewahitchka Elementary School, second graders in Laura Perry and Kelly Shiver’s classrooms traded in their 125 Gator Gold Coins they had earned for scholastic achievement for a chance to decorate cookies.
Christmas cookies are all part of a Dutch tradition that first began with the Feast of Saint Nicholas, the early Christian bishop who serves as the model that Santa Claus is built on. They would bring cookies to honor the saint, and to give travelers a snack for when they arrived from all over the country to praise the saint.
In the United States, cookies for Santa started during the Depression as a teachable lesson, for families who didn’t have much money, and just enough baking supplies to bake a small batch of cookies for Santa.