My favorite Christmas memories revolve around my parents and the small bakery they owned in Fostoria for 16 years. It would begin shortly before Thanksgiving when Dad, a.k.a. Bud Bovee, would happily announce he had made the first batch of fruit cake for the season. Dad had been a baker all his life and Christmas was his favorite time of the year.
The day after Thanksgiving began endless rounds of making, icing and decorating cookies, anise and butter cut-outs. Our hands were stained red and green the whole month of December, with some blue and yellow mixed in. You see, the Santa cookies were always sprinkled with red sugar, the trees were green, the bells were blue and the stars yellow (because who wants a blue Santa or a green star?), though sometimes I did it just to make him laugh. Closer to Christmas would be the cakes, cupcakes and petit fours decorated with bells, poinsettias, holly and, though I didn’t know it at the time, some of the best memories of my life.
Mom spent her time in the store area, happily decorating the show window for the holiday and filling the cases with seasonal treats of sweet rolls, pies, cakes, breads and cookies. I spent my share of time in the store too, but we were both there because of Dad. Mom always said he was born with flour in his veins.
As a teenager, I took working alongside Dad at the bakery as an everyday occurrence and even did my share of complaining about the early morning hours, no later than 6 a.m. I wish I would have realized just how special that time was. Oh, what I would give to spend one more day in that sweet smelling building with Dad laughing at my blue and yellow Santa cookies.