A cup of sugar, a story for the season

Editor’s note: In the Saturdays of Advent, a story will be told on the installment plan; this is part one of four.

Melanie wanted her two children to have a lovely, memorable Christmas.

The last year had been memorable, but not in good ways. Melanie’s mother had died after a long illness, and she wasn’t sure the boys even remembered her when she was still up and around and making cookies in the kitchen. Their father had stopped calling even on their birthdays as he traveled with his work out of state. She was thankful for a promotion at work and a pay raise, but it meant longer hours and she covered shifts more than she wished.

Jeff Gill

So tonight she planned to make sugar cookies for Christmas. It was something her mother did when Melanie was a child, and she realized they hadn’t ever done that in this home, and it was five years since the divorce and their move to this neighborhood.

She pulled up a simple sugar cookie recipe on her phone, and checked the canisters, dusty along the back of the kitchen counter, and was relieved to find a hardened container of baking powder in the back of the cabinets. There were eggs in the fridge, and she knew vanilla and flour were sufficient because she did make pancakes fairly often . . . well, often enough. (Make pancakes every Saturday this December, she thought to herself as she got out the big bowl.)

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