Every year, I need to be reminded that holiday treat making is more about the experience and memories than it is about the finished products. I have to put my perfectionism aside and accept that what ends up on the cookie tray might not look as perfect as I want, but the treats will be enjoyed all the same.
This year, I opted to forgo the usual method I use for decorating sugar cookies in an effort to save time. Instead, I thinned my go-to icing recipe and poured it over the cookies. The result is perfectly imperfect: little drizzles of icing drape over the sides of the cookies here and there. The finished cookies taste as delicious as always but took less than a quarter of the time to decorate.
I believe accepting imperfection applies to matters beyond the cookie tray too.
The Christmas season is filled with lots of opportunities to seek perfection. We want our Christmas trees and houses to be perfectly decorated. We want our family photos on our Christmas cards to look just so. We spend countless hours and dollars searching for the perfect gifts and then even more time and money on wrapping them perfectly. We dress and groom our children so they look perfect for their holiday programs and recitals. We expect perfect behavior from our children (and everyone else) at gatherings with family and friends.
But, really, does it matter if all of the decorations are on one side of the tree? After our new cat, Norbert, knocked our Christmas tree over while trying to swipe an ornament, all of the ornaments now adorn the top of our tree.
Does it matter if one of the kids is wearing mismatched socks at the Christmas program? What does matter is that we do our best, have fun and cherish our time with family and friends. Christmas shouldn’t be about perfection. I hope you’ll join me in embracing our imperfections – culinary and otherwise – this holiday season.
From my family to yours, may your Christmas season be full of blessings and joy.

Cookie icing
Makes enough icing to pour over three dozen 3-inch cookies.
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon flavored extract* (almond, raspberry, orange, vanilla, etc.)
pinch salt
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until completely blended. Transfer icing to a liquid measuring cup. Place cookies on cooling rack inside a baking sheet to catch drips. Drizzle slowly over cookies, covering as much of the cookie as desired. Top with sprinkles. Let sit overnight or until icing is firm before stacking cookies.
    Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 100 cows near Melrose, Minnesota. They have three children – Dan, 15, Monika, 12, and Daphne, 9. Sadie also writes a blog at www.dairygoodlife.com. She can be reached at sadiefrericks@gmail.com.