Little Kristen set aside her book and followed a voice coming from the kitchen.
“Joy to the World, the Lord has come…” Nannie put a pie in the oven and wiped her hands on her festive apron and turned to her small granddaughter. “I thought you were playing,” Nannie said as she cleaned flour from the kitchen counter before picking up the child.
“Nannie, I’m bored.”
“Bored? How can you be bored when there is some much work to do before Christmas? With all of your toys, it’s hard to imagine being bored.
“Will you tell me a story? Please?”
“Of course I will tell you a story. What kind of story do you want to hear?”
“My favorite – tell me about when you were a little girl!”
“Well,” Nannie said as she lifted Kristen onto her lap, “that was a long time ago. Do you want to hear anything special?”
“What was Christmas like when you were a little girl?”
“That was a long time ago but I still remember Mama and Papa making Christmas for us.”
“How long ago?” Kristen asked as she shifted and found a comfy spot on Nannie’s lap.
“A very long time,” Nannie said with a smile. “Lets see, the year was 1919 when I was your age. I remember it well. Since I was too young to go to school, I helped Mama bake cookies.”
“What kind of cookies, Nannie?”
“Gingerbread boys and girls. You see, cookies were part of the tree decoration but I didn’t realize that until Christmas morning. Mama always put a hole in the gingerbread child’s cap for the ribbon.”
“Did you get to lick the beaters?” Kristen asked as she remembered baking cookies with her Mama.
“Mama mostly used a spoon to mix the cookie batter but she had a egg beater for the dry ingredients. Lets see,” Nannie said as she stood up with Kristen and headed for the kitchen. After rummaging through two drawers, she picked up the red handled instrument. “This is what Mama used to beat the eggs and other wet ingredients. See? You turn the handle like this and the beaters turned around and around until the batter was nice and fluffy. Do you want to try it?”
Kristen’s eyes grew big as Nannie demonstrated how the beater worked. “How do you take it apart so that you can lick the beaters?”
“We don’t. It is all one piece. Would you like to try?” Kristen picked up the beater and turned the crank just as she had seen Nannie do. It slipped from her hands and landed on the floor.
“I’m sorry, Nannie!”
“That’s alright pumpkin. I did the very same thing the first time I tried it too. Mama just smiled and said, ‘Isabel, if you don’t get it right the first time, just pick it up and try again and again until you can beat eggs as fast as I can.'”