• Dixie Ryan: Santa exists, to this very day

  • To put my mind into a  Christmas mindset this year, I began to try to remember different special memories with the children when they were young.

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  • To put my mind into a Christmas mindset this year, I began to try to remember different special memories with the children when they were young.
    One event that will stay with me forever involved our oldest daughter, Renee. She was a “Santa specialist” and reminded us often of Santa’s plans for her for each year.
    When she was about 11 years of age she began coming home from school with reports of getting into fusses with her friends. They no longer believed in Santa and made fun of her for still believing.
    She felt that if her dad and mom told her there was a Santa then that was it. The “Bear” and I discussed the problem between us and felt it was time to try to explain as gently as possible the truth.
    So I sat down with her and explained as best I could think how about Santa. Kind of a “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” routine, and I was shocked at the reaction.
    She got really mad at me and let me know so. Then for the remainder of the Christmas season she remained a bit tiffed at me.
    On Christmas morning she brought a large white box to me and said, “See this thumbprint, mom? That belongs to Santa and you did not believe me when I told you there was a Santa.”
    What faith she had! To be totally honest, I think she still gets mad when we discuss the event.
    She has an annual “nieces” Christmas party each year. The girls put her massive amount of decorations up, they make cookies and sometimes go shopping. She is a great aunt, but just don’t ever try to tell her anything about “Santa.” I was wrong and Santa is definitely real.
    Candy Bar Melt Aways
    1 (18-ounce) roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie
    13 Milky Way fun sized candy bars from 13.3 package, unwrapped, cut into 1⁄4 inch thick slices
    1⁄2 cup crushed Golden Grahams Cereal
    1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Break up cookie dough into ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan. Press into bottom to form crust. Bake at 375 for 12 to15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove partially baked crust from oven and arrange candy evenly over crust. Return to oven, bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until candy softens. Meanwhile in small bowl mix cereal and walnuts. Remove pan from oven. With spatula or knife quickly spread candy evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cereal mixture. Press in lightly. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled. Cut into 36 bars.
    There is something special about making Christmas cookies. It is not just special to the children but to mom’s, aunties and grandmothers as well.
    Page 2 of 2 - See you next week.
    Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years.

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