Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

A Wee Christmas Story


I’m taking up Susanna Leonard Hill‘s challenge of writing a children’s holiday story. It must be about a holiday treat and it must not exceed 250 (that is a challenge). From what I understand the prizes are an array of writer delights–critiques, writing courses, book bundles, references and resource books. How could I not be tempted!

This story is based on an actual recipe handed down to me from my German grandmother, my Oma. We always called it her Christmas cookie recipe, but I have since learned it is a type of shortbread. I might be convinced to post the recipe (if I can find where it’s been tucked away in my recipe books). I’ll be anticipating whether my story made the finalist list…

OMA’S SECRET INGREDIENT
 by
Pam Webb

(207 words)

“What makes your Christmas cookies taste so good, Oma? Do you use a secret ingredient?” 

Oma laughed. “I use nothing but what you see here in my kitchen,” Then, as if a thought had tickled her, she smiled just ever so. “Actually, Engelin, I do use a secret ingredient. You guess what it is.”  

Greta looked at all the different spices and canisters in Oma’s kitchen, wondering which ingredient it could be that made the cookies ever so delicious. 

The next day, after Christmas Eve dinner, Greta brought out the dessert tray. Glancing at Oma, Greta saw the happiness reflected on her grandmother’s face as she watched everyone enjoy the baked treats. Realizing then what the secret ingredient was, Greta selected a heart cookie from the dessert plate. She quietly made her way over to Oma, presenting it to her. “I know what the secret ingredient is,” she whispered.

 Oma whispered back, “Is this so?”

“Mmhmm,” Greta nodded. “It doesn’t come from any of your spice jars. And I know you put it in all you do, not just cookies,” she added, giving her grandmother a measured hug of love.

“Yes, my little angel, love makes everything taste that much better.”

Shortbread Cookies, the ultimate melt in your mouth cookie.Traditional or brown sugar. Your new Christmas Shortbread recipe.
These cookies disappear fast!

Do you have a special Christmas recipe handed down from a special relative?

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18 thoughts on “A Wee Christmas Story

  1. What a sweet moment between Oma and her granddaughter!

  2. Cute story! I am lucky to have my paternal grandmother’s large wooden recipe box with a few written recipes inside. One is for “weisse pfeffernusse,” which is a type of German spice cookie, I believe. I think that the recipe card must have been written out by another relative, though, since it notes, “1/2 mom’s recipe” at the top. My favorite holiday memory about this grandma is the year she let me and my older sister help decorate gingerbread houses that she had baked for her friends:)

  3. A measured hug of love! Nice.

  4. Thank you for this sweet holiday story! My mother’s cookies were made with that special ingredient, too. And I find it sneaking its way into my own cookies…good luck in the contest! I’m not sure if I’ll have time to enter, but I’m cheering everyone else on! Cheers!

  5. Thanks for sharing this very sweet story. Good luck in the contest!

  6. Beverly Love Warren on said:

    Hi Pam, I was browsing through the contestant names to see if there was anyone I knew and surprise, surprise I found you. This is a cute story, great secret ingredient! I wish you the best of luck in Susanna’s contest.

  7. What a sweet story. Love is the best secret ingredient in everything. Best of luck

  8. Colleen Owen Murphy on said:

    It is so cool how Greta realizes what the special ingredient is by watching her Oma. Very sweet and well-told story.

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