I think, in years to come, Friday, December 14th, 2012 will be one of those days where you'll always remember where you were, and what you were doing when you heard the news.
I was at my mother's house, baking cookies for her office Christmas exchange while she played with my son. My mother had the TV on, turned to a channel that played music all day. I had just finished mixing a batch of Caramel Apple Oatmeal cookies, and was about to start scooping the dough onto the baking sheets when the phone rang.
I only heard my mother's end of the conversation. "Hello? . . . No, well, I have the country station on . . . A school? . . . An ELEMENTARY school?!? . . . ok, bye."
She turned on CNN, and we watched in horror the images of the parents rushing to Sandy Hook Elementary School. We listened as they speculated about the murderer. We cried as we listened to the number of fatalities rise higher.
I looked at my son, playing with his new Playskool guitar on the floor. I picked him up and squeezed him tight.
I know that I eventually put him down and finished the cookies. I know that I eventually drove home. I remember feeling a little guilty that I felt so sad; after all, I had my son with me, laughing and cooing from the backseat. I would be able to rock him to sleep that night, and see his smiling face in the morning. I cannot imagine the grief of the parents who will never again see their children smile, hear them laugh, or watch them grow up.
In remembrance of those 20 innocent children, the brave women who died trying to protect them, a group of bloggers organized a tribute post with two purposes. One is to help raise money for Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc., a licensed non-profit mental health clinic and youth services bureau that will provide support for the families in the victims in the wake of the tragedy. All donations made to them are going to go back to those affected by the school shooting. If you are able to donate, please go to the organization's website.
Alternately, you can choose to patronize some of the Etsy shops that have pledged a portion of their proceeds from today to Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. The list of shops is available on Crazy for Crust, and includes a Pampered Chef sale, blog designers, paper crafts and more.
And finally, we want to encourage you to step back from life and simply enjoy your family. The day after the tragedy, we said, "Forget cleaning the apartment, it can wait." Instead, we started a new family Christmas tradition. In Philadelphia, there used to be a department store called Wanamaker's. At Christmastime, the store would put on a light show several stories high in the Central Lobby, complete with music from an old organ. The chain was absorbed into Macy's in 1995, and thankfully Macy's has continued the light show and kept the organ. My parents took me to see the show at Wanamaker's when I was a little girl, and I've been looking forward to bringing Liam. He was fascinated by the lights, and laughed and clapped his hands during the show.
My hope is that you, too, will put aside the vacuuming, dirty dishes and laundry, and spend time with your family, however you most enjoy doing that. I've included a kid-friendly recipe below, mostly because this is a food blog, and I can't wait until I can share my love of cooking and baking with Liam. Most of the other participants have included recipes as well, though some have included crafts.
I chose a variation on Rice Krispie Treats because that is one of the first treats I remember making as a child. Older children can help stir the marshmallows as the melt on the stove, younger ones can press the mixture down into the pan. And children of all ages love to eat them! I saw this holiday variation on Shaken Together, and simply had to make it this holiday season, and I couldn't think of a better time to share it with you than now.
Please visit the other bloggers participating in Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook
Read more: http://whatscookingboard.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=6282#ixzz2FgmuQa1j