Mom rarely baked cookies. At the holidays, there really was no need. Everyone seemed to give us cookies at Christmastime, so there was never a cookie shortage in our house. At one time, Mom kept the cookies in a round, ceramic cookie jar decorated with images of cookies of every kind. Even the knob on the lid was a cookie.
But the cookies I remember best at Christmas were Danish Butter Cookies presented in a tin. At Grandmother Danko’s apartment, there always seemed to be a supply of these cookies with the different varieties – round, pretzel-shaped, rectangular, or swirly – stacked neatly in paper dividers that reminded me of cupcake wrappers. When the cookies were gone, someone would always save the tin.
Grandmother Danko only spoke Polish and my sisters and I only knew a few Polish words. When she would offer us cookies, we took our cues from her actions since we couldn’t understand what she was saying and, because we couldn’t have a conversation with her, during most of the time at Grandmother’s apartment we’d read the funny papers, work the puzzles in Highlights magazine, or watch television.
Grandmother enjoyed watching television, especially Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, The Lawrence Welk Show, Sing Along with Mitch, and The Ed Sullivan Show.
We’d watch with Grandmother as Marlon Perkins sent his sidekick Jim Fowler to wrestle an alligator on Wild Kingdom. We’d watch as Lawrence Welk introduced the Lennon Sisters (our favorite act on Lawrence Welk). We’d watch as Mitch Miller instructed us to “follow the bouncing ball” and sing along. We’d watch as Ed Sullivan bantered with tiny Topo Gigio and laugh when Topo Gigio would shyly ask “Eddie… kiss me goodnight!” We’d watch, and we’d eat Danish Butter Cookies.
|YouTube – topo gigio.flv|
Written for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Day 8.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko