Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the sacrifice of artistry

As an artist of sorts and definitely as a perfectionist, it's hard for me to allow my children to take part in my art. Yeah, yeah, children's artwork is beautiful and priceless and no one has any right to criticize it, blah - blah - blah. I do find my children's artwork wonderful for what it is. They're learning and I love that they're learning, but I don't like that I'm losing control of my traditions. Small sacrifice, I suppose...right?

I was married for 10 years before we had kids and I would spend several days during each Christmas season baking delicious sugar cookie cutouts and decorating them impeccably. They were stunning. Snowflakes of aqua and white, stars of blue and yellow, trees of green, mittens and hats of pink and red, each with perfectly placed sprinkles...not too many, but just enough. Each cookie was a canvas on which I painted my masterpiece.

My two daughters love baking almost as much as I do I'm pretty sure they would just as soon take over my kitchen if I would let them. It's fun to watch them learn and be artistic and I love that they are as excited about my craft as I am, but I've had to let go of my perfectionism a little bit. The last couple years, I've let the girls each decorate 5 or 6 cookies each.

This year I let the girls do all of the decorating of the cookies and most of the cutting out.  I think I gave myself 5 or 6. I whipped up a batch of royal frosting and let them do their magic. It almost killed me when I made the decision that I would not bring my annual beautiful cookies to family gatherings this year even though I didn't really have time to make them anyway. It turns out that the girls were just as meticulous as I would have been with frosting and placing sprinkles. I worked with them for a little while and eventually had to walk away so I'd stop telling them what to do.  These are my "favorites:"

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!

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