I have been Christmas busy all weekend. This year my whole family will be here for Christmas and there are many things to prepare. I want to share something my mother used to do for us with my grandchildren this year. I am making what we called a “cookie crib”. It is the manager scene with Christmas cookies. My mom used to make the sugar cookies and all of us kids would paint them then she would bake them. When they were done they were stored until it was time to make the crib.
She would build the building out of sugar cubes using powdered sugar and water as the mortar. I have never built one of them but I watched her build them every year. I am finding out how tedious a job this is. You can only put three layers of sugar cubes in a day and then you have to let it dry over night before you can add any more layers. It is very time consuming. When the walls are all the way up you have to put a roof on.
Some years she would put mints on cardboard for the roof and later on I remember her using shredded wheat and drizzling icing to make it look like snow. (This was before frosted mini-wheats.) Shredded wheat would go on the floor of the manger scene. I have made it six layers up on the sugar cubes and have found that I am not a brick mason. I realized when I was on the fourth or fifth level that I had not tied the walls together and one started to fall off…so I had to improvise and begin to add some cardboard on the corners to help hold the walls together. It is not unlike what brick masons do to tie walls together.
One of the most tedious things that I have done is cutting sugar cubes in half so my walls are even. According to my sister my mom did not do that but I like straight ends so I am doing it. The ends are not turning out straight but I like them.
While I think about the intricate work that it takes to build this reminder of what Christmas is all about I begin to think about Jesus and His life on this earth. Usually I like to take the easiest path through life but Jesus never did that. He worked long hours helping people and teaching God’s word to people. He set an example for all of us to follow. He showed us how to live a life that is pleasing to God.
I will finish the cookie crib even though some of the walls tried to fall apart. I will also continue working on follow Jesus’ example in my everyday life. Will you join me this week in following in His steps as we make our way to the Christmas celebration? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.