When I was growing up as the oldest of nine children, I don't remember mom doing a lot of Christmas cookie baking. There were the occasional batches of oatmeal, chocolate chip, brownies and so on through out the year but I don't remember a concerted effort of Christmas baking. What I do remember is Maurice Lenell Cookies. Usually a two pound tin of them. The tins featured a different Currier and Ives type of Christmas scene each year and were always saved!
When I married, my husband worked for the telephone company and the Telephone Pioneers sold the cookies every year as a fund raiser. We bought them every year and saved the tins. I used the tins for the cookies I made with my children. In my house we made rum balls, spritz cookies, and sugar cookies to supplement the cookies which arrived from Ohio every Christmas. My husbands Hungarian made wonderful cookies filled with apricot, prune, nutmeats,and poppy seed. I have tried to replicate her cookies to no avail. I recently came across what I believe is almost exactly her recipe thanks to Lisa of the Smallest Leaf blog and I am anxious to try them.
The first time we went to visit our grandchildren in Germany we began building gingerbread houses with them. The first ones used a rectangular butter box as a base and instead of gingerbread we used graham crackers. It didn't matter there was a lot of candy to decorate with! This year the girls will build five gingerbread cottages.