When I was growing up, my grandmother used to bake cookies every Christmas. My dad would stop at her house on his way home from work to pick them up. The sheer amount of cookies this little Pennsylvania Dutch lady baked every year always astonished me. Apease (thin butter cookies), M&M, chocolate chip, two types of snickerdoodles, two types of thumb prints (one with jelly, one rolled in nuts), and candy canes (butter cookies twined to look like candy canes). When I was in college, she upped the ante. Not only did my family get all of the above cookies, but I got my own to take back to school with me. She doubled her output for 4 years. I guess she didn't want my friends to go hungry, either. Those cookies have become synonymous with Christmas for me. After she passed away in 1992, I didn't realize how much I missed them until my wife and I got her recipes and started baking them 2000. We don't do as much as she did (who could?), but we make a couple types every year. This year it's snickerdoodles & candy canes. For me, the holidays wouldn't be complete without those cookies. I think a lot of people have strong food memories of the winter holidays. Maybe it's the roasted Cornish game hens you had for lunch every Christmas day. Maybe it's your great aunt's latkes. Whatever it is, is there any food that it just wouldn't be Christmas/Chanukah/etc without?