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the cookie conspiracy

Snow Men
It feels to me like the cookie currency in my town is getting out of hand.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love cookies as much as the next girl.  I like to bake, and I like to eat, and I’m happy to do my fair share.  I believe cookie making is festive and heartwarming for those who bake and those who partake.  But is there a point when too much is. . . too much?

When I moved to the midwest years ago, I quickly realized the Christmas cookie culture was big.  It feels like every woman worth her salt (except me) gives up a full weekend to make a zillion dozen of a zillion different kinds of cookies for the world.  Where I grew up, some people –those who thrived on baking as their love language– did this, but not everyone.  I do make batches to give as teacher or hostess gifts.  I enjoy baking a few dozen for our church’s cookie walk fundraiser.   I’ve learned to make extra for my family to enjoy at home, or I buy more at the cookie walk for a hefty sum.   It’s for a good cause. 

But that’s not enough.

There’s the cookie parties.   Everyone brings at least two, three or four dozen cookies to trade and share with everyone else.  When it’s all done, you get to bring home a small plate of assorted cookies.  But where, pray tell, do all the other cookies go?  Does every person at the party eat three dozen cookies?  It’s a mystery to me.

And that’s not all.

We have the church, school, and extracurricular cookie-driven events.  Typically, the night before every event, someone sends an email requesting “just a couple dozen homemade cookies” as your admission ticket.  Plus a small, insignificant but witty, beautifully wrapped gift.  No big deal.  Just whip up a couple dozen from your perfectly stocked pantry or pull it out of the massive stash you prepared the day after Thanksgiving.  Oh, you didn’t?  Oh dear.  Might want to think about that next year.

Then there’s the family.

When your children find you whipping up that last minute batch, they’re crushed if there aren’t “just a couple dozen” to eat at home.  So you make more. . . more. . . more to dial down the whining.  Then your husband, who is trying to lose weight, doesn’t want a cookie in sight in fear that he’ll gobble them up in one sitting.  So you conceal. . . stash. . . scarf the evidence to support his efforts.  Even though you’re jealous of his willpower.  Because you’re nibbling “just one” of every tray coming out of the oven. 

I think I’d have to make at least 20 dozen cookies to meet everyone’s demands requests, and it’s enough to put me over the edge.  Please tell me, invisible internet people:  who created this madness?   Who eats all of these cookies, and what do we do without them the rest of the year?  I love cookies, I do, but I’d like to make them on my own terms.  In the age of increasing obesity, over-the-top stress levels, and my own slloooowinng metabolism, is this the way it should be?   Could I be overreacting, becoming a scrooge-ess over  just a couple dozen cookies? 

Never mind, don’t answer that.  If I have to ask, I already know the answer. 

Step away from the oven, sister.  Just say no to the cookie conspiracy

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