Once a year, usually, we pause and reflect on what we've been blessed with. Health, family, love, a job, a house, food, warmth... you know... the usuals. It's around this time of year that we not only count our own blessings, but we try to share those blessings with those less fortunate. I have my specific charities that I must give to every year, but it's fun to add a new one!
The Cookies Across America movement was started by Allrecipes.com last year, and this year Taste of Home and Nestle have gotten in on the fun! The idea behind Cookies Across America is to share your love of baking with anyone less fortunate. A county children's home, a women's shelter, local Ronald McDonald House, people at church who need a hug, etc. Think big, or think small. There are so many ways you can participate in this, and all it takes is You, a batch of cookies, and a desire to warm someone's heart :)
On December 10, my teenage daughter, Louisa and I are planning a cookie baking party with several of her friends. Luckily for my husband, he'll be off on a hunting trip that weekend ;) Each of the boys get to invite a friend over as well, to help keep them occupied in case they get bored of 6 hours worth of baking and girl-talk!
We sent out invitations that look like chocolate chip cookies, and we asked each person to bring one baking supply. I realize some people might not show up, so I have back-up supplies just in case.
Because we're a military family, and we almost always have friends deployed overseas, Louisa and I chose to mail our cookies to a few of our friends who are spending the holidays far away from home. Having gone through a handful of Christmases without our daddy (husband), we know that those deployed soldiers absolutely LOVE getting packages of homemade goodies (and sharing them with everyone else!)
We narrowed our large, overambitious list of cookies down to 4 must-have Christmas cookies:
- Gingerbread Cut-Outs (Louisa didn't want to limit it to "boys", she wants to use all of our Christmas cookie cutters)
- Peppermint Bark
The last cookie is a new recipe that we recently discovered on tasteofhome.com, and I'm about to bake some up today for Husband to take to work tomorrow. I made some the other day and the soldiers keep asking for more!
If you need any more ideas or information on how to get started with your own Cookies Across America day, you can check out Taste Of Home's page HERE for recipes, and HERE for ideas on where/how to donate. If you are doing the Facebook thing, then you must go LIKE the Cookies Across America page :)
I'd love to hear about your project! Be sure to come back and tell me :)
**~Have a scrumptious time baking, and give with open hearts~**