Sweet traditions: Cookies bring families together, nostalgia of holiday

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As much as jingle bells, bright red stockings and decked-out evergreen trees, the smell of freshly baked cookies is ingrained as a sign of the season.

From classic sugar cookies decorated like reindeer and candy canes to homemade peanut butter cups to minty peppermint bark, baked goods serve as mouthwatering gifts for friends, neighbors and co-workers. The goodies provide perfect snacking foods in between opening gifts.

And pity the house that doesn’t leave a cookie or two out for Santa Claus; its residents might find coal in their stockings as opposed to presents under the tree.

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