Christmas sugar cookies on a plate.

It was Just a Simple Cookie

It was Christmas Eve. She sat alone in her tiny apartment. It wasn't much, but she was sheltered and warm. The apartment was small but it was all she needed. Each morning she rose and fed what she playfully called her "livestock" - a parakeet named Skylar and her small fish. She thought Skylar was a fitting name for her bird. It meant eternal life, strength, love and beauty.

She'd spend Christmas alone again this year. Her two daughters lived miles away and would not be able to visit until after Christmas. She was fine with that. After three abusive marriages, being alone was a treat.

As with most people, Christmas was a time for reflection.

She sat and stared at her Christmas tree. A memory burned like a star in her mind. Her cousin was dying from cancer and stayed with her family that Christmas so long ago. They wanted her to have the best Christmas ever. Even though she was weak, her cousin made cookies. They were hand painted with the best care her weakening fingers could manage. The cookies were not eaten. They were hung on the tree as a tribute to a life that would soon be lost.

A year later, her cousin was gone. They made cookies in her memory. Each child had to share the icing. She was the last. Her cookie was a patchwork of the leftover icing, but still, she was proud.

The cookies hung on the tree. She and the other children wanted to eat them, but they were meant to be ornaments and a remembrance.

Years later, she sat alone in her apartment and thought of those cookies. A craving came over her. This Christmas she wanted a cookie. It wasn't much to ask for. All she wanted was a simple frosted sugar cookie.

She didn't bake much herself. She never had the knack for it.

Her thoughts followed her life journey. The first mother-in-law handed out store- bought cookies. It was a good thing, because that woman couldn't bake.

The second mother-in-law gave large bags of sugar-coated cookies. She was excited, until she bit into the first one. They were paper thin and tasted horrible. She made them with bacon grease instead of lard - something they did when times were tough.

The third mother-in-law made great cookies. What a treat it was to finally have a good sugar cookie.

Now alone, she sat in her chair, stared at the tree, listened to her parakeet and drooled for a frosted sugar cookie. "Lord, I don't need much, but right now, I would love a frosted sugar cookie. I will sit in front of my electric fireplace, sip a cup of tea, and remember a wonderful moment in my life. It's not too much to ask on this special occasion.

"You need to answer so many prayers. Most need more than I do, but a cookie would be great on the birthday of your son. It's all I ask."

The year before, she saw a cookie in the store. It was expensive, but she thought it would be worth it - just a frosted Christmas tree, not too much to ask for. She took it home and prepared her tea. A cookie and tea were great together, but the cookie was hard as rock and inedible. She was disappointed.

On Christmas Eve, she opened the door of her small apartment and found a clear plastic bag tied with a shiny ribbon attached to her door. It was a wink from God. Inside were three cookies. Each door of the complex had the same. Included with the bag was a business card from a new neighbor. "Merry Christmas!"

They were Christmas cookies. One was frosted, the answer to her prayers. The second was a candy cane covered in colored sugar. The third was a sugared-covered Christmas tree with sprinkles. They were a simple gift from her new neighbor, but her heart swelled with joy.

On Christmas Eve, as the light in the sky dimmed, she sat in her chair, stared at the fire, sipped her tea, ate her cookie and thought, "Yes! There is a God in Heaven. He answers even the smallest prayers."

It was just a simple cookie.

~ Michael T. Smith ~

Michael lives in Ohio with his wife Ginny and his stepdaughter's family. You can see a list of Mike's stories here: And you can get his stories emailed to you by signing up here:  Let Michael know what you think of his story:  Michael T. Smith
[ by: Michael T. Smith Copyright © 2011, ( ) -- {used with permission} ]

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