cookies and cocoa

the best gifts are experiences. the ones you can't wrap up or put a price tag on. well, maybe you can, but the value far outweighs the expense. 

years ago we crafted cookies and cocoa as a way for our family to give something tangible, yet profoundly intangible to our neighbors. literally the one on our right and the one on our left. i'm not a baker or a chef, but can stir a sweet cup of swiss miss and follow directions on any recipe. 

when the kids were in those snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug pajamas and when thomas the train was far superior to screen time, cookies and cocoa was born. and it's still our family gift that keeps on giving.

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i wrote the little poem of an invitation.  the kids colored and decorated with stickers. together we handed them out to our immediate neighbors. each of us determined the cookie of choice we would bake together. 

and our neighbors showed up. some years, it's a dozen. some years it's a handful. but the longer we call this place home, the more of a tradition it's becoming for us as a family and for our neighborhood. 

now it's the kids who do the baking, serving, and entertaining of the neighbor kids who are in those snug pajamas. we email some invites and go door to door for others. it's still very much a family thing. 

december has just begun. this ties in everything lovely: an evening at home, baking as a family, an advent activity, opening up your home, giving love and kindness as a gift to those who live close by.

and what's great...no matter how many show up, every cookie is a gift. we box up any excess and gift them to our postal delivery person and our trash collector. and they love it! 

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here's our menu this year:

ben: rolo wonders 

elijah: cheese straws

sam: pumpkin cake cookies

kavita: chocolate chip cookies

asher: snickerdoodles with thick sugar crystals on top 

me: oreo truffles, i take them for sam because he can't choose just one!

{recipes at bottom of page}

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single? have roommates? live in an apartment complex? above notion seems too much? consider having neighbors over to bake cookies together. everyone leaves with a dozen or so. make cookies and cocoa yours! 

my friend jordyn invites others over for baking at her apartment. the mccords do this on a sunday afternoon. teagan in texas is giving this a go for the first time in her new home and it's gonna be great! 

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this year, especially, our neighbors need to step into the warmth of a home that smells of peace and hope. this will speak all year long that you are the home on the street that cares. merry christmas. raising my glass of hot cocoa to you! 

cookies and cocoa invite template

cookies and cocoa recipes