Holidays = Cookies.
In my big Italian family, food is of crucial importance. You arrive somewhere: "You must be hungry! Let me make you something." But more importantly: "Here, have some cookies."
Every holiday and every big event (weddings, funerals, Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, anniversaries) results in huge platters of cookies from the family. The picture on the left (a random online one) is nothing in comparison.
My great-grandfather was a baker when he came to America, and remained one until he was 86 years old. His sister, his children, everyone knows their way around the kitchen. My dad is good, when he does it. My mom is a baker too. We love baking!
There is a sense of abundance and extravagence in cookies. As Charlie said in the Chocolate Factory, candy doesn't have to have a point; That's why it's candy. The cookies at our celebrations are, first and foremost, homemade. There is never, ever, ever, anything bought from a store or made from refrigerated Pillsbury dough. Nothing is really plain. Chocolate chip cookies are rare, pizzelles and thumbprints more common. Peanut butter cookies with peanut butter cups inside... nutrolls... 7 layer cookies... princess bars (heavenly, with dates)... mmmm. All of these things take time, which is perhaps the most crucial point. Here we live in an instant gratification world, and these cookies are a testimony to patience and details. Some of my aunts participate in cookie swaps- brilliant. Since every recipe makes dozens of cookies, you get together with some friends and come home with 4 or 5 of each kind. It is such a good tradition, and I hope to do that soon enough. Maybe I should start next year :)
This post does not have much of a point... kind of like the greatness of cookies. ha.