Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Cookie List

Yesterday, after dropping Caleb off at work, I went to spend some time at my parents' house.  First, I stopped by Meijer to pick up some cough drops (woohoo!) and then the library to check out some Jane Austen novels.  As I was leaving the library, I heard a "Hey, you!" from behind me - and it was my mom!  She had walked down to the library for some exercise (and to get a book).  Defeating half her purpose, I gave her a ride back.

I had a few things to do while there, including 4 loads of laundry, but also glitter, paint, ribbon, and hot glue.  I'm so excited for Christmas, but I'm also excited for after Christmas, when I can talk about the fun things I got to make!  My current favorite is what I'm making for my mother-in-law.  I just finished it yesterday and let me tell you, it is so nice to be old enough to make crafts people will actually like!

I still have at least 5 presents to make, plus my "Cookie List".  Have I ever blogged about my Cookie List?  I don't think I have.  Growing up on a budget, but loving to give gifts, I developed a "Cookie List".  I start out by writing down everyone to whom I want to give something.  This list was so long, though, that I could never afford a decent gift for everyone.  Besides, some of the people were my school friends - and while a card with a candy cane was appropriate, a handmade scarf might not be.

So I split my list into the Gift List and The Cookie List. Dad, Mom, and siblings used to be the only people who make the "Gift List", but as my budget and family expanded, my "Gift List" is now Dad, Mom, siblings, Caleb's Dad, Mom, whichever siblings we draw (they do a drawing with the siblings and nieces/nephews, rather than 13 people getting the other 12 a present), my Grandma (for her birthday, which is on Christmas.  For Christmas she makes a special section of the Cookie List.), and then my parents' neighbors (Ms. Carol, Sarah, and Claire - the family for whom I nannied - they're family).

(If you're wondering why Caleb isn't on there, it's because we've decided to save the money we'd spend on gifts for each other and instead go on a date together.)

That list looks kind of long, but it's really only 13 people, and with Caleb to help with ideas, it's fun and manageable.

Now, everyone else I love (friends, church staff, camp staff, etc.) goes on the Cookie List.  While all my friends were giving cards with candy canes (not kidding, I used to receive 10 cards with candy canes*), I realized that everyone loves cookies and if wrapped up nicely (which in 8th grade meant aluminum foil and duct tape**), they make a great present!  All I had to do was bake a few batches and wrap them up.

(While living at home, I was very conscientious about these cookies being from me, so my mom actually sat down with me and helped me figure out the cost, down to the flour and baking soda - and then I'd pay her back!)

Nowadays, the cookie list doesn't always involve making cookies.  Last year, I made cake batter truffles and sweet popcorns.  This year, our cookie list has grown so much (over 30 people!) that I'm going to do a few different things.  I have a long list of ideas, including cookies, truffles, and popcorns, but also biscotti, breads, barks, homemade candles, and hand-painted mugs.  Most of the cookie list usually gets an ornament, too.

I also have a special section of my cookie list for my Aunties and Grandma.  (No, spell check, I did not mean "Aunts".)  My mom's sisters (and sister-in-law) and mother mean a lot to me and I love them so much (which is why I still call my aunts "Auntie").  So every Christmas (for about as long as I can remember), I've tried to do something special for them.  In the past, it was often the same cookies I made for my friends, and last year it was just the ornaments I made for everyone else, but I have a really fun idea for this Christmas that I can't wait to try out!

Well, my friends, I was sickish for the last several days, so my apartment is a veritable mess.  I have tons of cleaning to do and better get started right away!

I hope my Christmas ramblings didn't bore you to tears!

Love and Joy,
Leah Joy

*But that was fine, because I love candy canes.  Even those weird fruity ones.
**And nowadays means cellophane and ribbon.

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