Rituals. We all have them. As a child raised in a predominantly Italian-American family (don’t let my surname fool you) baking dozens and dozens (probably hundreds) of cookies each December with my mother and sister was ours. And I loved every minute of it. These specialties were only made once a year, steeped in tradition and ritual of generations past. The kitchen cupboards brimmed with an array of nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and spices in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We had our favorites and classics and always tried something new each season. Each neighbor received a hand delivered (by yours truly) wrapped sampling of our efforts.