It's time for our cookie exchange
Dec. 17, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

OK, it is now full-force holiday time. This includes the all-important holiday baking. My seventh grade daughter (with my assistance) is hosting her second-annual cookie exchange at the Sebora residence.

Last year, she invited all of the girls in her class, plus a few boys, and they all came. This resulted in quite a cookie collection for everyone to bring home (and quite a bit of noise). I was very impressed with the creativity of the cookies exchanged.

Now, I knew this probably meant more work for the moms, and maybe some baker dads, too; so we just asked that each cookie exchanger bring two dozen cookies. Each had plenty to take home.

I am looking forward to this year’s event – not to mention having a variety of cookies to try. It is a treat to observe kids’ excitement and listen to their stories of how their cookies came to be.

A couple of kids shared their grandma’s recipes. Another’s dad baked the cookies. Many just brought their true favorites – peanut butter blossoms, cut-out sugar cookies, peanut butter Ritz dipped in chocolate, and melting moments were among the favorites.

Tried and true are a must, but it is always fun to have those creative bakers with their very festive cookies. I am sure we will have some of those this year, and I can’t wait.

The hot cocoa bar was a hit and will be part of the cookie festivities this year. Hot water, hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, caramel sauce, cinnamon, and whipped cream are the goodies to make this a favorite treat among all of the kids. It almost becomes an edible art project.

Game action is also on the agenda again, to help give at least some organized chaos to the event. Apples to Apples is a favorite. Headbands, Pictionary (Christmas this year), and Catch Phrase are other favorites. Maybe they will give Twister a try this year.

My house is decorated; the tree is up and adorned, and lights are electrifying our porch and trees, – trees that are almost too tall to be decorated. We will have to move over to some bushes next year. We planted each of our trees when we built our house. My how time is flying. The trees are growing up, along with our children.

The stockings are hung. Our elf on the shelf, Ashton, has begun his spying, and each morning finds a new spot to observe our naughty or nice behavior for the day. (My daughter now thinks that he needs a friend female elf and has put a girl elf on the shelf on her Christmas list).

Our middle daughter’s church Christmas program ushered in the Christmas season. She diligently recited her Christmas lines. School Christmas programs will begin this week. There is never a shortage for Christmas happenings.

With the old-fashioned winter storm draping our outdoors in white, my kids and I took the opportunity to bake our favorite Christmas recipes, including Grandma’s molasses cookies, melting moments, pistachio bread, turtles, and peanut butter blossoms, of course.

We are set for the cookie exchange, and for more holiday memories and more stories shared. This is why I love the holidays.

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