When I was a kid, we had this Christmas tradition where my mom would bake a bunch of sugar cookies, and then my sisters and I would decorate them with frosting paint. Occasional we’d attach accessories such as glitter or marshmallows or chocolate chips. It was a grand time, and a neat tradition, and we’d serve the painted cookies at Christmas Eve, along with all the other goodies.
I don’t remember how it happened, but at some point, this tradition took on a macabre turn. Instead of a cheerful Christmas stocking, we ended up with a bloody severed foot. Instead of a jolly reindeer with a shiny red nose, we ended up with a zombie reindeer. And so on.
And I’m not sure what it was that ended the tradition; perhaps it was the beach bunny elf with the strategically placed chocolate chips, or the swarm of zombie snowmen. Or maybe it was just that my sisters and I moved away and ended up with grown-up responsibilities such as jobs and no longer could make it to my mom’s house to paint the cookies.
But the spirit of the tradition lives on! At Thanksgiving this year, my mom gifted both my sisters and I with this:
Naturally, Jennifer and I were thrilled and couldn’t wait to make these cookies. Last night was the first night that we both had free, so we decided it was time.
So we looked on the back of the box for the instructions. The first thing we noticed was this:
We figure it’s pretty generic text, and probably shows up on the back of each of the different gingerbread kits that the company produces. On the back of this particular kit, though, we thought it was particularly funny.
Anyway. We put together the dough, mixed up the white frosting, baked the cookies (during this part I Tweeted, “The house is full of the smell of baking gingerbread and the screams of the damned’), and decorated them. This is what we ended up with:
Neither Jennifer nor I will be transitioning to a career in decorative baking anytime soon. But I think they turned out quite spiffy anyway. And horrifying. And truly in the spirit of my family’s holiday tradition.
(And you can’t quite tell in this picture, but the three gingerbread men in the middle are normal ones, made with a normal gingerbread man cutter, screaming, because they’re surrounded by zombie hordes.)
‘Tis the season for (undead) Holidailies!
Supplement: My story, “Night of the Frozen Elf”, was selected as an Editor’s Pick at Book Country yesterday. Read it here!