Posted by: Hannah | 12/21/2010


At some point this fall, I decided that it would be nice to fill baskets with baked goods for my family, rather than trying to buy them presents.

I thought this would be a) less expensive; b) more heartfelt; c) appreciated.

I had friends give me a basket full of cookies once ten years ago, and I still remember it fondly.  Homemade gifts make an impression!  YAY!

Also, I’m home all day, right?  I can totally do this.  Kids like baking cookies.  I can get the dayhome kids to help.  Projects!  Projects for all!!!!


You can see where this is going.

First, I couldn’t find baskets I liked that didn’t cost the earth.  Or Christmas-patterned tins (apparently in these recessionary times, giving baked goods is popular.  Every place I checked for tins was sold out.)  I ended up with bowls.  The bowls have snowmen on them.  This is festive.

Second, you can’t just give someone a bowl full of random cookies in Ziploc bags.  Apparently.  Brainwashed by years of Martha Stewart, The Food Network, and the stupid “25 days of Holiday Cheer!” e-newsletters I keep getting from Canadian Living because I guess I must have signed up for it back in November when Christmas seemed ages away, I am incapable of giving people a plastic bowl printed with snowmen and filled with Ziploc bags of cookies.  So I raided Michael’s craft store and came home with holiday treat bags, red cellophane, two rolls of ribbon that I now can’t find, and a bag of that crinkly papery stuff that fills out fruit bowls.  (Side note: it’s called “excelsior”, not “that crinkly paper stuff that fills out fruit bowls”.  Learned that one while asked a staff member to help me find it.  I was doing this weird sort of charade with my hands while describing it.  In my defense, why in the hell is it called “excelsior”?  Florists just trying to make their days more interesting?  *sigh*)

Third, every cookie recipe I have wildly overestimates the amount of cookies yielded.  Or maybe I like big cookies.

Fourth, you try keeping dozens of sugar cookies out of the hands of a house full of boys.

Fifth, and most important, this whole plan hinged on me staying home the last weekend before Christmas and baking.  I promptly got a raging head cold on Baking Weekend which kept me pinned to the couch with Kleenex stuffed up my nose, hepped up on Benadryl and praying for death.

So.  Now it’s December 21st.  I have a million cookies to bake and four festive bowls to put together (in addition to everything else, of course).

I’m not stressed yet.  Not too bad, anyway.  But next year, everyone is getting gift cards.



  1. This is just the wake-up call I needed this morning, as I contemplate a last-minute push to deliver on all the baking I thought I’d do!

    Cheers, and Merry Christmas!


  2. excelsior? seriously?

    hope the cookies turned out scrumptious. 🙂

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