Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cookie Jars

The first Santa cookie jar arrived in 1994. It was filled with the best home-made chocolate chip cookies ever, baked by my mother-in-law, Ruby. Little did we know - it was the start of a Christmas gift tradition.

For the next few years, we took Santa for a visit to Ruby’s house, where he’d get a fill of the delicious cookies, then return to the kitchen counter of his sweets-loving owners. (One of us has since reformed.)

After a few years, Ruby (now Grandma Ruby) filled and delivered a new cookie jar - a sophisticated, top hat wearing snow man.

One of our annual Christmas season visitors is Jim. He’d seen the first Santa displayed prominently every year, and decided to give him a companion, a snowman with a stylish blue and white matching hat and scarf.

Jim is Italian, so he named the snowman Tony Torrone and filled it with Italian candy - I think it was Barone’s or something like that.

Unbeknownst to each other, the two snowmen showed up the same Christmas.

A year or two later, Nutcracker Santa arrived carrying his candy cane and his bag of gifts, but most importantly, the nut-filled chocolate chip cookies.

It was the last cookie jar from Grandma Ruby. She died in 2003. The cookie jars are one of many things that give us daily memories of her.

Jim (now Uncle Jim) continued the tradition. Two more Santas would join the family in recent years.

The gold ball on the end of Santa’s hat had a little accident, but thanks to super glue, his outfit is back to perfection.

The array of cookie jars began drawing attention and remarks from our holiday visitors. One of our young visitors, Nirali, gifted my daughter Hayley with a penguin cookie jar. It was black and white with a yellow beak, until Hayley decorated it with colorful markers included in the package.

On two other Christmases, Uncle Jim broke the trend of the more common Santas and snowmen, by switching over to a moose and a reindeer. The reindeer has a big red nose, perhaps in honor of Rudolf. The moose is missing an antler. Hayley’s pitching arm was a little “off,” which caused the moose’s antler to break “off.” Maybe we’ll super glue it back on before it hibernates until next December.

Check out this snowman from Jim; isn’t he regal?

A couple of years ago, Uncle Jim began to fill the cookie jars with butter balls, made with his mother’s recipe.

My husband and Jim kinda have this “guy thing” going on. Each Christmas they give each other a gag gift. This year we received Maxine into the family. She came from an antiques store, so she’s peeling a little, but she’s welcome too.

The latest Uncle Jim cookie jar is our “Twas The Night Before Christmas” edition. It was an attractive centerpiece for our dining room table during our New Year’s Eve dinner with family and friends.

Hope you enjoyed the cookie jar tour!

p.s. In memory of my husband’s alma mater, another character cookie jar existed with the school’s emblem on it, but met with its demise, caused by yours truly. Oops.

What do you have “a lot of” that people notice when they come to your home?

My post titled "Passion" received heartfelt comments and was said to be one of the most thought provoking. Read it (the comments, too) to see what comes to your mond. Add it to the post if you'd like.
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Judy Thomas said...

What a lovely story and tradition (there's a kids book in there somewhere! I envision hand drawn versions or each jar, like something I am about to e-mail you, and recipes too!)
To answer your query-I have a lot of plants. No surprise there. And botanically or zoologically themed things, mostly stuff I made.

Mass Hole Mommy said...

That is a super cool tradition! I love it! And I love that Maxine cookie jar! LOL!

Unknown said...

Okay, I saw a snowman cookie jar at the thrift store and I kept wondering, "Who can I get this for?" Now I know, it was you! If it's still there, I'm definitely going to send it to you and who know? Maybe with some goodies inside!

I love your collection.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Anita, what a wonderful collection triggered by such sweet memories of Grandma Ruby. I loved the tour!

I guess what would draw attention in my house is my collection of vintage Fireking Tulip Mixing bowls. They were acquired on eBay because my grandfather who passed away in 1988 had the exact same set in his kitchen when I was a little girl. Looking at those bowls remind me of him (I think you can actually see them in the upper cabinet in my Wednesday Kitchen post).

Over the years, I have collected a lot of vintage mixing bowls from both Fireking and Pyrex. Funny because I don't do much baking!

Tabor said...

Well, of course I have a lot of books. I also have a lot of pots for summer plants. But in my kitchen I have a lot of spice jars.

gayle said...

I loved looking at your cookie jars...we don't even have one now...makes me want to go out and buy one!!! Every Gramme needs a cookie jar!!

Buckeroomama said...

What a wonderful collection of cookie jars! I love how each one has a story. I think I like the white Santa and the all-white snowman best. :)

Anonymous said...

Those cookie jars are sooo cool!!! What great memories!

yonca said...

Anita, I love this tradition. Very cool! Penguin cookie jar is so cute!

Anonymous said...

What a great cookie jar collection. Wonderful memories within each jar to remember each year. Lucky you.

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Wonderful! I love the fact that each jar has it's own special story! The only thing I have a lot of is books!

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

The story was wonderful; the tradition actually inspirational. My bff of 30 years decorates for the holidays like no one I've ever seen or known, but one thing I haven't gotten her is cookie jars!!!!

GENIUS!!!! Thank you!!!!!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I really love this idea,I will do this next year. The regal snowman is my favorite,I love snowmen and I leave mine out thru the winter.

Anita said...

HELLO EVERYONE! What great comments, and the children's book suggestion...hmmmm...
Thanks for telling me about what you have in your homes too. As I read, I tried to get a vision of the things you mentioned.
I'll be looking to see pictures of newly acquired cookie jars in your blogging future!


Annie Z said...

So cute! What a great tradition and a wonderful way to remember your loved ones.

angsiaufang said...

waaaaaah!!!! i love the jar tour auntie anita!!! :D
*can i call u that* hehehe
you have a cute family, seriously!! maybe someday i will add one jar to your collection!! hihihi. who knows ;)

about the question.. hmmm.. i think people will notice many jars too. but they're not as adorable as yours.. lol

Dori said...

Saw you over at Miss Kris's place...I recognized the Butterfly bench in your profile I had to stop in and say, "Hi!"

I love the cookie jars--especially the fact that they all come with stories. Since I'm still in the "diapers and spills" stage very few breakables are out in the open!

Dorraine said...

Loved your cookie jar tradition. And enjoyed seeing the pictures. What a sweet reminder of your Grandma Ruby.:-)

Michelle Schraudner said...

What a fantastic tradition!

Laura said...

What a great cookie jar tradition. I think what I love the most is all the wonderful memories associated with each one! I've been to Russia and China each twice and so I have many things in the house from those two trips. Many great memories associated with each item! I'm all about making memories!

Tracie said...

I love your cookie jars. They're so cute!

I have a lot of toys in my house and a lot of noise. That's it.

Anita said...

NEWMUM, PINK, DORI, DORRAINE, MICHELLE, LAURA, KYS - You've all made me smile, and laugh, too. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I'll be visiting your sites tomorrow. :)

Morgan said...

Do you have a picture with all the cookie jars displayed together? Do you keep them in different parts of the room/house, or do you have them grouped together?

Unfortunately, what we have is a lot of clean laundry in piles! I do well with getting the laundry clean, but not so much with actually getting it put away.

I used to keep more collections, now it's mostly just books. We have TONS and TONS of books! 2 giant bookshelves, and 2 normal sized ones.

Anita said...

MORGAN - I have two fairly long countertops along two walls of my kitchen. Most of the cookie jars are on one of the counters, about four inches apart, and the two are on the other counter. Today, they will slowly begin to go back to cabinets, high up near the ceiling. My family doesn't like to see a sudden disappearance, so I clear out the Christmas stuff over a week.

I'm with you concerning the laundry! I hate it. It never goes away. :)

We have books everywhere too!

Abby said...

Wow! What a lot of cookie jars! Great tour and memories.

What do we have a lot of? Uhm... NERF crap?

Unknown said...

What a fun tradition! I enjoyed the cookie jar tour!

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Iva Messy said...


ps thank you so much of your fabulous happy birthday wishes to me!! they mean so much! thank you, I really appreciate it!!