Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Christmas Cookie & A Giveaway!

I recently received an e-mail offering me a review copy of this book in consideration for posting it here. The Gift of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall.

The Gift of the Christmas Cookie helps kids return to the spirit of sharing with those in need at Christmas, inspiring them to be cheerful givers. The tale follows young Jack during a Christmas season where many families are struggling to make ends meet. To his disbelief, he finds his mother baking cookies, a luxury at the time. Jack is disappointed when he learns that the cookies aren't for him, but for the needy people at their church. While he helps roll the dough, his mother recounts the story of the Christmas cookie. He learns that the real gift of the Christmas cookie is getting to share with a homeless man.

The Christmas cookie tradition originally sprung from Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland where craftsmen carved special molds into shapes symbolic of Bible stories. Today, the tradition continues in American homes, bringing families together to bake treats shared with neighbors and friends.

I was immediately intrigued by the idea because I am always looking for ways to incorporate meaningful activities into our life.

I liked the book because it encourages giving to others cheerfully regardless of how little or how much you feel like you have to offer. And it showed a young boy making a decision to give something he wanted for himself as a gift and rejoicing in being able to do it. And, I thought the illustrations were very fitting for the book ~ homey and cozy.

I was eager to pull this into some kind of tangible activity. Tuesday, we made three kinds of cookies and packaged them up in little cellophane bags. Then, yesterday morning, we read the book and talked about what we were going to do together.

I had prearranged to go to a local assisted living facility and deliver the bags of cookies. We got everybody all dressed up and headed over - handing out cookies and wishes for a Merry Christmas!

While we were there - our guide invited us back in the afternoon to make gingerbread houses with them! Something I'd considered doing with my little ladies, but hadn't done anything about yet. So, David's dad graciously came over and sat with Samuel while he was napping and all of us girls headed back over.


The smiles we received and the hugs to the girls were so sweet and it was so fun and rewarding to be able to reach out and brighten someone else's day!

Now, I get to give three copies of the book away here! I'd love to hear how you incorporate teaching your children to be cheerful givers, who you could give Christmas cookies to or how to share more of the true reason we celebrate Christmas through baking and giving Christmas cookies!

Leave a comment by midnight tonight (Eastern time) and you will be entered in the drawing. I will select winners by random number generator sometime tomorrow and announce the winners.

Please note: If I do not have a way to contact you and you win, I will have to select another winner.


Making gingerbread houses:

119 comments:

TamaraP. said...

:o)Monica, such cuties you have with the cookies to give out!! I know they had fun!!

Last year...we made up Christmas trays of cookies and treats...and gave them to quite a few of our neighbors. It was so much fun for my three year old. Planning to do it again this year!
The book looks so cute!!
tamara_parlor@hotmail.com

Sandy said...

I love the houses you made! Last year a friend of mine started us on making those and my kids loved it.
Funny you posted this. Just this year we decided to make cookies and deliver them to our neighbors that we never see. Most of them work and we know nothing about them. So we decided to make homemade cards and cookiess and deliver them. It is a good way to meet new people and it also helps the kids learn to be givers and find the true joy of this season which is giving.
sandrabartram2001@yahoo.com

annacoumos said...

Hi Monica! These ideas are so fun! I love your creative ways of giving, like when you take things to your neighbors. Here in Mozambique Christmas cookies are not something they make, but they do try to save money for a chicken to butcher for their Thanksgiving Feast, and we have a chicken dinner here for the kids. But I do make Christmas cookies with the girls once around Christmas:-)

I encourage my girls to serve others, as they seriously don't have much to give as far as material things. Today I took 2 of the girls to the house of an old man in the community, and we swept and washed the floors, and washed his mattress, and cleaned his one room block house and the little yard. He was so blessed. The girls are learning they can ALWAYS help someone by serving them, and they see that it is FUN, not just work!

Blessings,
Anna

anna banana five (at) g mail (dot) com

sweston said...

Monica,

I can't believe how big your kids are getting! They are growing so fast. Thank you for sharing this idea! I am sure you were a blessing to the folks at the assisted living and the girls looked they had a blast with the gingerbread houses:) Merry Christmas!! Summer

Angela - Life w/ Two Busy Boys said...

What a sweet idea! I always try to make goody plates w/ my son and deliver them to neighbors.

Wendi said...

I love that you took the girls to an assistant living facility! I used to work for a nursing home and the residents loved it when children came.

I package homemade goodies in tins and then Megan and Daddy deliver them to the neighbors. We also give our pocket change each time we pass a Salvation Army collection bucket and talk about giving to those in need.

Jeremiah & Stephenie said...

We make plates of goodies to give to our neighbors with Christmas tracts each year. Please enter us in your drawing. I'm always looking for ways to reinforce what I'm trying to teach my children. I love your blog! Thanks so much!
Stephenie
stephjem95(at)gmail(dot)com

Anna at Joy In Every Step said...

Hi Monica!
Your children are so cute! We are relatively new to our neighborhood, so this year we decided to make up trays of cookies to give out to our neighbors. Our goal this year is to reach out to 13 of our neighbors. I am looking forward to having our girls helping with all of it.

Jenn said...

What a sweet story and delightful activity that you arranged to solidify the lesson. Love it! The girls' matching coats are so sweet!!!

Grace said...

Ok now you have given me some inspiration! I Love making cookies but sadly they tend to go to waste as I can't think of enough people to give them to. What a great idea to go to an old folks home.(do they even call them that anymore ) I think I might try this next week. I am also going to try and make up some goodies for my neighbors.

Grace said...

Oh that last comment was me :) Grace!!
billandgrace598@charter.net I tend to forget that I am not the only Grace around.

Angela said...

I would love to win, its so hard teaching your children about giving at this time of the year, I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate that! Looks like a great book!

I love your houses!

Angela

Jenn said...

silly me...not coats, dresses. LOL VERY VERY pretty!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for all the sweet ideas you share at your site!

This year, we're making packages of goodies (cookies & slices of quick breads) to deliver to the shut-ins from our church. (And probably a couple of neighbors, too.)

cheyslick (at) hotmail (dot) com

Michelle said...

I am hoping to make some cookies along with a Christmas message card to send to neighbors. The boys have enjoyed doing this in the past. One thing my oldest did a few years back was to go through his toys and pick out one small item for each child in his Sunday School class. He was able to choose and felt very happy at having something personal to give his friends. If I happen to win, you may leave a comment on my blog. Thanks so much!

mom said...

What a special day for all -- the photos are adorable! Great idea! Love you, Mom

Jenn said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! One of my fondest memories of my Grandmother is of baking cookies. That sounds like a neat book!

Danielle said...

The book looks beautiful!

We handed out cakes baked in a jar this year...I think the Senior people like the kids more than the cakes!

...they call me mommy... said...

Monica! Neat book and a wonderful idea...we like to do Operation Christmas Child every year, give tins/gift bags with treats to neighbors, and my oldest has just started with 4-H, which offers lots of opportunities to serve...ie Salvation Army, nursing homes, etc! I am excited to try those! :-)
The gingerbread houses look so cute and so do your ladies!

CKR said...

Growing up, my mom and I would always make cookie plates for the neighbors, which my dad delivered. We've tried to continue this tradition in our home after I got married. I'm looking forward to my daughter helping us, too. Although, this year it may be more "helping" than actual help since she is only 1! Darling book...I'm a children's librarian and will have to see if we own this book!

Kisha said...

Your girls are so lovely, and what a great lesson. This year we are making up Christmas cookies for the foster kids (we're training to be foster parents) that are visiting with their parents at the CPS office. We think it will be a nice way for him (our son) to learn how to be giving, and for those kids to be at ease and happy during visits. Please enter us in the drawing, the book looks beautiful. takishaknp@yahoo.com

Rhonda said...

That sounds like a great book!

Anonymous said...

Monica,

What a wonderful idea. I am sure you all were blessed as much as you were a blessing to othes!

We celebrate St Nicholas Day with our four children. We read about the real St. Nicholas and how much he loved Jesus and how he helped others in need. We have many fun parts of our St Nicholas Day celebration but one of the most meaningful is to reach out to someone else as St Nick did. This has taken different forms from Adopting a Family for Christmas, Ringing Bells for the Salvation Army, and secretly leaving groceries on a family's porch that was going through a hard time.
This is a highlight for us!

plnabsmith@juno.com

Bessers said...

What a great idea to take the cookies to a care home. The timing on this post is amazing as I had planned to make Christmas cookies today with my littles. It's been a bit tough to focus on advent as we just got news that my husband will be deploying just a couple days after Christmas, but just yesterday I was thinking how making Christmas cookies to give away would be a perfect way to get our eyes off of ourselves and back on sharing Jesus. Last year my mom found a set of second-hand nativity cookie cutters for us and I can't wait to try them out. I haven't been cosistently blogging lately, but maybe if these turn out, I will so you can see them. Thanks for the additional inspiration!

I don't want to post my e-mail here, but if were to win, you could leave a comment on my blog. Thanks!

Jenny said...

I have not heard of this story before. Like you I enjoy doing things with meaning with my children.

If I happen to win....Which I would love to win this book. you can e-mail me at simplyafamily@live.com

Anonymous said...

I love your post (and your blog, for that matter). I think what you and your kids did is just great.
I think teaching your kids to be "givers" is a constant process. Evertime our son gets a new gift, he goes through his toys to see what he can pass along to another child who might enjoy it. Often I'll post the item on Freecycle and like to give it to someone who might not be able to get these things for their own children. We've also set aside a separate piggy bank for donations or gifts for children in need. We just started this not long ago, so hopefully by the Spring we can make his first "donation"

Kim from Philadelphia
kimster66@yahoo.com

The Kreke's said...

I would love a book n this topic! This was our first year doing Operation Christmas Child with Isabella (2) and she still talks about it. Otherwise, we have enjoyed helping her develop a relationship with our elderly neighbors...who love her! :)
jkreke at gmail.com

Amy said...

I am always on the lookout for good Christmas books. Thanks for posting about this one! We've spent a lot of time talking this year about how Christmas is all about giving and not about receiving. Really wanting the focus to be on Christ!

We do make treats to deliver to our neighbors...but I am thinking about other ways to reach out as well.

Please enter me to win the book. I can be contacted at: amyjhaynes@gmail.com (I don't have a blog, but enjoy reading yours!).

Jess said...

What a neat story & idea! My small group thought about doing something similar to this (but hadn't thought about adding children). It's so great to get the kids involved-and they are adorable all dressed up!

angie said...

What a blessing you and your three littles must have been to the residents of the home. My grandmother lives in an assisted living home (350 miles from us). When we get a chance to visit her, we bring a puzzle to work on together and my kids play Bingo with the residents. Both parties love it.
Last year, my son and I helped a group sort donations of toys and food to be given to families in our school district. There were two storage units to sort through! It was an important lesson for him.
This year, we are trying to include one gift we have made with our hands to each person.
I will think about reaching out to my neighbors or shut-ins at church.
The book looks like one to add to our Christmas collection.
angiechadwell at yahoo dot com

Kim said...

Monica,
Thanks for sharing this book!

I think we need to do this as a family!! I don't give baked goods very much and I think it would be good for the boys.

Our family makes shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and we buy gifts for Angel Tree. We give to food pantries, too. But I think I need to get this book.

Kim

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had tons of fun by serving others! Thanks for the reminder!

Lynn

keithlynn6@msn.com

Michele@Philoxenos said...

I've been thinking about trying the houses out of graham crackers! Maybe I won't have ot buy those gingerbread house kits anymore!

michele@philoxenos.info

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

What a wonderful idea! I am hoping to make chocolate covered pretzels (simpler than cookies) with my kids and pass them out to neighbors next week.

Brittany said...

I just got married so I don't have kids yet; however, I think this would be great for my niece.

b.leitch (at) comcast (dot) net

SmrfChic said...

Your children are so adorable!

We'd love to be included in the giveaway.

Bridgett said...

Looks like the girls had fun. Every year we bake some kind of goody for our surrounding neighbors. When we lived in apartments we whould do our whole floor cuz I just couldn't choose! LoL. This year my oldest will be more involved w/it. The Christmas Cookie sounds like a very cute book. I hope I get one. :)

devildogwife said...

That sounds like a wonderful Christmas story. I love Christmas stories (as does my family).

The girls look beautiful in their dresses, and it looks like they really enjoyed both giving the cookies and decorating the gingerbread houses.

Merry Christmas!!

RT said...

I love it that you delivered cookies--and were invited back for the afternoon activity! I bet your girls were a cheery blessing to some older saints that day!

Teaching my little one to serve others is, hopefully, happening by modeling. We also try to donate clothes and stuffed animals to kids who have nothing this time of year. But really, I need to do a better job in teaching generosity.

Kelly McD. said...

Hi, Monica:
We try to encourage our kids to give a gift of service to our loved ones for Christmas (instead of purchased gifts). My 5 year old decided to paint a picture of "The Stabl" as she labeled it. It's basically a nativity scene, but painted in watercolors. She is planning to give it to her brother she said, "so he'll know what Christmas is really about." This is one example of encouraging our children to give something of themselves rather than a purchased gift.

VickiBrown said...

Growing up I have such precious memories of baking with my mom and grandmothers. So I try to bake often with my boys (Nick 13 & Matthew 6). This year we are baking Christmas cookies for a local home for boys. You are creating such great memories and values with your children.
vickibrown@charter.net

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Christmas cookies are a big part of our Christmas traditions.

I'd love to be a winner.

Amy said...

You are such a sweetheart and I know that must have really made their day! What a fun activity to do with the kids. I am thinking about picking up a gingerbread house and doing this with my little ones too next week!

silly lilly's said...

Thanks Monica! You're blog is always such an encouragement to me. Keep it up!!!

H.Fields. said...

I think a great thing to do is make cookies for the neighbors or others in the community who you know are alone.

What a great idea! :)

mhfields04@gmail.com

Katy said...

That is absolutely fantastic!! I love all the pics and love what you guys did! I would love the chance to win the book to do something similar with my kiddos!!! Thank you for the chance! :)

Michelle said...

Your cookies and your little ones are beautiful! :)

We plan to make Christmas cookies next week... we will give some to our elderly neighbor, and I'll have to think about who else we could bless with cookies and homemade Christmas cards. :)

Home School Dawn said...

Monica, I love how you use good literature to guide your precious little girls. What a wonderful way to teach them.
I would love to do this my boys. I would probably arrange to take the cookies to an assisted living facility in my hometown. My pastor preaches there on Mondays. We could give them out after their service.
Keep up your wonderful teaching of your children. You will find no greater blessing.

Davonne said...

I want to win!

DavonneMarie @ HighPCS . com

We love to bake cookies and pass them out :-)

Paula said...

Oh I would love to win! Also, I emailed you about your dad. My dad (FIL) went through a very strong f,orm of cancer and was given little hope of surviving (from my understanding). 10 years later and he is cancer free. Let me know if you got the email (with their contact info). Love , hugs and prayers, Paula

Michele said...

What a fun and giving way to spend the day!!!
We have focused on giving quite a bit this year. We will be making cookies and chocolates to hand out to our neighbors. It is important to me to teach the boys that we don't just recieve gifts, but we give them as well. They are very excited!

Rachel @ Surviving The Stores said...

I would love to win!

survivinthestores AT gmail DOT com

Thanks!

shiloh said...

This sounds like such a neat book!
I think we are going to try to take cookies to friends and to a nursing home!

Jill Foley said...

Oh we tried this year....I play violin and my girls pretend to play! So I scheduled a Christmas carol concert at our local nursing home. I got the girls dressed up, invited some other friends and headed over. I had brought along Christmas cards and stickers for the kids to decorate while I played. The idea was for them to then hand out the cards to the residents. And I brought along bells so they could ring along on Jingle Bells.

But when we got there we found out our concert had been cancelled due to too many residents being sick! There is still time to reschedule so we'll try again!

We try to do this sort of thing several times a year. We always do this for my Grandma who is 93 and in a home in Illinois...whenever we are home visiting. It's so good for the children to learn to interact with different generations. And nothing brings a smile to an elderly persons face like the sight of a child!

christy said...

Hi Monica. My girls and I are getting into the giving spirit by baking lots and lots of cookies for our local nursing home.

The girls have so much fun doing it. Last year we did it with our local girl scout group and sang christmas carols to them and handed out christmas cards.

Have a great Thursday.

christy
christy.uptmor@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Monica, thank you so much for continually pointing back to the reason for the season. Our extended family has been blessed to adopt a family for Christmas this year. In addition to the gifts, I'll be adding a tin of cookies. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

thessa516@gmail.com

Angel said...

Your cookies turned out gorgeous!

Amy said...

What a great idea - one your girls will certainly remember. There is nothing like bringing cheer to the face of a lonely person!

fixedonHim said...

Wow...that is so wonderful! The girls must have brought so much Joy into that home with so many precious people!

The girls & I are making & baking our gifts this year. We will be giving cookies to our neighbors and are considering getting a group together to go caroling in the neighborhood. We also saw the movie The Christmas Card and plan to send some cards overseas to our service men & women.

We try to teach the girls that it is better to give than to receive. Anytime we bake my oldest is always giving me a list of who we should share the goodies with.

The book you are giving away looks like a treasure for little ones.

Blessings,
Denise

Brandy said...

That books sounds awesome!

We're always teaching our oldest (our youngest is only 2 months) to have a giving heart. She LOVES to give things to others during their birthdays, Christmas, or just because. I think we just did this by setting an example ourselves. If someone needs something and there's anything we can do to help them, we do it. And we share that with our daughter. Also, every now and again, we go through everything we own and find things we can give away because we don't need them any longer. If we had more neighbors, we'd probably be baking for them ... but where we're at right now, there's only the landlord who lives behind us and they're not usually home. We are about to go make everyone in the house (there's 8 of us all together -- we live with husband's family) some sugar cookies though :-D

Anonymous said...

Monica,

Your kids are so sweet. I love that they wrote your name on their board at the assisted living home, it is humbling to think that something so easy for us means so much to others.
The way we try to help our girls serve others at Christmas is by baking cookies for all the widows (and widower) in our church. The week before we take a day and go to their houses to deliver the cookies and visit them. We also did this on Valentine's Day.
Thank you for your post to remind me of the importance of serving others this wonderful season.

Thank You,
Wendy

richshelpmate @ yahoo . com

Cindy said...

This is one of our favorite Christmas books. We would love to own it, as we've always borrowed it from the library.

How do I help my children learn to serve and give cheerfully? By giving them lots of opportunities to serve and give right along side of me. They are part of just about everything from card writing to cookie baking and delivering to working funeral dinners at our church.

:o) Merry Christmas!

Becky Smith said...

That's so sweet you took the cookies to a nursing home. My mom used to work at one, doing activities with the residents and there very favorite thing was always when little kids would come in. How nice of you to take time to do that. That's one of the best gifts you could give!

rebeccalynnsmith @ gmail . com

(no spaces of course!)

Marla said...

This would be a lovely addition to the Christmas book collection I'm starting. Thank you for the entry.

koinonia572001@yahoo.com

Sharon D. said...

Monica,

What a great thing for the kids to get involved with. I love the activities that you do with your children. Please enter me in your giveaway :) Sharon
zokiemichael(at)sisna(dot)com

tenthingsfarm said...

This book looks wonderful! I just posted about our own giving activity - we adopted a senior citizen...plus we are taking a lot of stuff to the food pantry today! Check it out at http://tenthingsfarm.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-did-it-get-to-be-wednesday-so-fast.html

We'll be baking for our neighbors as well, and making them homemade ornaments!

Anonymous said...

Monica, you are an amazing young woman with a precious family. Your blog is the first I read each day and just love it! We are headed back to Kentucky to have Christmas with our three grandchildren there and we for sure will be making lots of cookies to eat and to share.
Blessings to you
Dorothy in Maricopa, Arizona

angela said...

In the past we have focused most of our Christmas giving on missions and needs overseas. This year has been tough due to the death of my father. In the midst of our heartache I have been acutely aware of how many people around us are suffering or having challenges too. We don't have to look far to see that some are sick, lonely, new to the neighborhood or just needing some love and encouragement. So, this year we will be focusing on blessing our neighbors. My children love to cook and bake so we will be delivering handmade cards and baked goods to the neighbors. Innovative? No, but a blessing none the less. I want my children to understand how simple blessing and loving people really is. Merry Christmas!

Kathryn said...

We've been so blessed with helpful people in our own life. It feels good to give back and help others.

It's not hard to look around and find ways to help. Whether it is helping an older customer at a grocery store put her groceries in the car and returning the cart or picking up trash from a neighbor's yard after a stray dog got into it, opportunities abound.

bodifjh@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Monica~
There is a girl here in Fort Worth that makes 700 bags for the homeless community. We are in charge of doing the bible verses. We stamp a bible verse on pretty cardstock, cut them out with "fancy scissors" and put a shiny cross sticker on them. I think adding homemade cookies to the mix would be a wonderful new tradition!
Blessings
Tara Martin
taramartin940@sbcglobal.net

Pati said...

I just love your post today! I am organizing a group of 12 Girls Scouts on Monday who will be meeting and baking cookies and homemade goodies for our local food pantry. It's a follow-up to our Bronze award project which was cooking and serving 200 meals at our local Faith Kitchen over the summer. I'm going to stop by the library to see if they have the book to read to the girls at the start of our meeting. We'll also be bringing a plate to our local recruiting office to say thanks.

kristin said...

That sounds like a neat book! We have begun our Christmas baking here too. We did the cut out portion of sugar cookies and have them frozen to decorate when my brother comes this weekend! It will be nice to have extra hands to help with that mess. But I was encouraged when doing the cut outs as Brianna and I were able to talk about the significance of the shapes (star, angel, bell, etc.) as they relate the the nativity scene. And when Brianna opened up the candy cane cutter, she claimed it was a J for Jesus birthday...I loved that that was what she thought of first! It was a fun time for us!

Once I'm done baking, we traditionally make up plates of cookies and deliver them to our neighbors. The girls are both very excited for that day to arrive!

Merry Christmas!!

dougzwife said...

I love your blog.
And your girls look so cute!

I will be so excited to be able to do things like that when my little girl is a little older. (she is due in March)

My little boy loves to read, thanks for giving us a chance to win a book!

jen said...

What a beautiful post! We have been making cookies around here,too! PS I love the girls dresses!

artandjen(at)juno(dot)com

jen said...

I should have mentioned that we just made gingerbread cookies to take caroling at our local Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility. Also, we have been planning to take cookies to our neighbors as well! Forgot to mention that in my last post!
Jen artandjen(at)juno(dot)com

Elizabeth Sue said...

Your girls are beautiful. I am so encouraged by your sweet spirit to help and uplift others in Jesus' name. Thank for entering me!

Jill said...

I have been wanting to go to an assited living home with my kiddos. This has given me the extra push to do it. I think that kids would benefit greatly from it. we love making cookies together and have frequently brought them to our neighbors, but I think that I might just copy your idea and hand some out at an assited living home.

jillkbishop@yahoo.com

Elizabeth said...

We don't have any children yet but Lord willing one day we will... anyway... I always remember baking with my Mom and walking to all the neighbors and giving them plates full of goodies. I would also love to do that at nursing homes... those older people love it when children come around... it just brightens their day so much.
Thanks for the giveaway
Elizabeth
zizziecards@gmail.com

mrsuribe said...

My husband goes out on Tuesdays and takes sack lunches to the homeless as part of his outreach. He has built a relationship with some of them. I baked cookies and breads with our two boys and we will be joining Daddy next Tuesday to hand out the goodies that we made along with homemade cards. Our boys get to see Daddy's ministry in action and be a part of it.
Jenny
mrsuribe@yahoo.com

Mrs. Pear said...

Oh, I would love this! I am looking for special things to do with our 3 year old. She has been such a trooper with all the stuff her little sister is going through and loves to bake with me and read.

Anonymous said...

As part of our curriculum this year it is suggested that we make cookies for a neighbor. So, we will probably be doing that tomorrow.Also, I am thinking of having us make some goodies for our local rescue mission,too.

~Tina
http://cozymittenscottage.blogspot.com

angelhomemaker@yahoo dot com

The Whites said...

Hi there!

I ran across your blog through another blog and wanted to say hello to a fellow homeschooler! We have many of the same interests. I love your cookies and that you chose to give them away in such a caring manner. What a great lesson for your children! I've enjoyed browsing through your blog.

Blessings,
Mandy

Amy said...

This is precious, Monica!

I always bake for my friends at Christmas. We do things as a family at Christmas like participate in the shoebox thingie for Samaritan's Purse, etc. I love that you took the girls to an assisted living place, though. I'll bet the residents loved it!

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration you and your children are! I never did the cookie baking tradition with my mother but have been hoping to do this with my girls once they are old enough. This book just might be the thing to encourage me to do so!

Melissa

missalewis@comcast.net

The Chambers Family said...

Those gingerbread houses are adorable! We need to do this!

Sarah said...

I was just thinking of giving some cookies to our neighbors! We live in an apartment building, so we have several people to give to. My 2 year old enjoys saying hello to these people.

Heather said...

Monica, thank you for going to an assisted living facility to deliver cookies! My grandfather moved to a nursing home last year (1.5 hrs away from where we live) and I always hope he will get visitors to cheer him up. (We visit whenever we can, too.)

This year I'd really like to send Christmas gifts to the missionary families we support. Especially since they have children. This would be a great way not only to give our moral support, but to get the kids involved in giving to someone else.

Love the book--I'll definitely request it from the library! That author has written numerous Christian books our family enjoys.

Thanks, Monica!

blessyourfamily@gmail.com

Elise said...

What a neat idea!! We will going caroling next week with our homeschool group and I am so excited!!
Elise

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

How neat is that book. This year my girls helped me make pretzel hugs for their Sunday School and Awana teachers at church. They had so much fun delivering their goodies last night!

Christianfrog said...

In years past I have always made cookies and given them out to the neighbors. This year we adopted a girl through our church and are giving to her instead.

Melissa said...

my son is still a baby, and we are not currently in our home during the holidays, but in the future, I would like to incorporate cheerful giving by baking cookies and bread loaves to give to our neighbors and those who help in our community.

Christy said...

Hi Monica! Your little ones look so clean when they bake with you. My boys get covered head to toe with the ingredients! How do you manage that??

This year we brought cookies and milk to our local homeless shelter. I love your idea with the assisted living.

Merry Christmas
Christy

Tim, Allyson, Emahry, and Jonathan said...

We normally make cookies for friends, family, & neighbors. We'd love to read through this book.
a_heart4home(at)yahoo(dot)com

basketlover93 said...

Monica, I have to say again, how much I love your blog! I have taken the Grandson with me to volunteer at the local thrift shop, where I volunteer. He is 11. I let him wait on some of the people, and I tell him what to charge them. I let him ring it up, on the register, and make change, while I stood close by to make sure he did it correctly. I think it would be great if we baked cookies to take to one of the nursing homes here locally. I would soooo love one of the books you are giving away!

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

That is such a beautiful way to serve others during the holidays. The book looks so pretty. I just love the serene illustration on the front cover!

The girls look so sweet in their Christmas dresses. I'm sure this was an experience that will remain with them.

Christmas blessings,
Lea

Ginger said...

The ladies did a great job; the houses look really tasty. The picutres are darling. I love their matching dresses.

Anonymous said...

Monica, As a Registered Nurse in a Nursing facility, I can only say that I know your lovely family brought JOY to everyone who came in contact with them at the Assisted Living Facility. What a Wonderful treat for the residents to be able to spend time with your adorable children. If I win a copy of the book, I will carry it to work and we will read it, and make cookies to share. Thank you for spending some time with the elderly!
Martha mep@esva.net

Trish said...

This sounds like a great book.
Trish

Catherine said...

How special! It is so great for children to see the joy that others receive when they give! I have been encouraging my son this year to write letters to his friends - that is a very simple way to give friendship. We are also trying to train them to ask "Is there anything I can do for you?" so that they learn to serve.
Monica, if you don't ship internationally, I have a friend in the states, who, in the unlikely event that I win), I would love to give the book to - would that be OK?
Also, thanks for dropping by my blog recently and sharing your ideas for those orange slices -- believe me, they really don't look so good in real life - rather burnt around the edges!! :o)

Michelle said...

This book looks so great!! What a great idea!! We love making, eating, and giving cookies at our house as well. Thanks for the great giveaway!
Michelle
MrsPhelps726@aol.com

Peter & Jessica said...

Thanks for the inspiration! If I don't win the book, I'll look for it at our library.

WY Gramma said...

Hand milled soaps and bath salts are given as well as cookies and quick breads. The community favorite seems to be cranberry cheese bread (made with fresh cranberries and grated cheddar cheese). My children are grown, but am starting to do some of these activities with grandchildren.
Joyce

A Frugal Friend said...

My little one is still so small, but she is such a sharer already. I love gathering ideas from other moms that I can use to teach her in the years that come! Next Christmas, I imagine how fun it will be to make cookies together and deliver them to others.

Judy said...

We are planning on making Christmas cookies this year for 5 of our neighbors. We don't know someone them very well, or right, not at all. I do know that one is a single guy and another is an older couple. Another family doesn't seem to have too much. I figured it was a way to show them the Love of God. To show them that someone is thinking about them this time of year.

Garden Girl said...

I recently found your blog and I am enjoying it.

For the last two years, we have purchased brand new blankets and taken them to the local homeless shelter.

Margy said...

What a cute book:) My little guy is almost two so this is the first year I have been able to do much but I am anxious to start. We are also planning on making cookies and taking them to some of our neighbors and Carl is really enjoying helping me bake so I'm really excited to do this!
Please enter me:)
Thanks
Margy
margyrichardson@rocketmail.com

robin said...

Sounds like a great book! I'd love to win! I enjoy reading your blog.

Kimberly said...

If I have time, I would love to make some cookies/treats for all our neighbors It sounds like a great book!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds great! We have an adopted daughter who still struggles greatly with "it is better to give than receive". After 4 years in an orphanage now she wants to hold on to everything!
We have several elderly people we visit regularly and we will be making small gift baskets for them .
Thanks for all the great ideas!

Mrs. Jo said...

I'd love to win a copy!

We have a jar for donations for those in need on our table where we can deposit coins and special monetary gifts as a birthday gift to Jesus. This year the money will go to help the famine in Ethiopia. We do many different service projects around Christmas-time but when it comes to giving out cookies, I guess we try to bless those who are dear friends and also those who could really use some encouragement due to hard times or being lonely, etc. It's especially fun to give cookies to someone who didn't expect them at all! I loved when you made pies for the Walgreens cashiers! I may have to do something special for my grocery cashiers too!

Tammy said...

How fun! I love doing things with my children that keeps the true meaning of Christmas alive. Each year, we make up lots of goodie bags/baskets/containers and distribute to neighbors as well as to the widows group at church - it makes a hard time a little easier for them. As a homeschooler, we have also chosen to deliver meals on wheels each week in our community and at Christmas we deliver extra goodies and sing Christmas songs to them. We also love to go to hospitals and nursing homes where people are often feeling lonely, sad and hopeless and spread a little love. Those are some of the things we love to do here!

Tammy said...

Just left a comment but forgot to leave my info - jrquizcoach@hotmail.com - sorry! Thanks! Tammy

Wife of Rob said...

Well, I could write a book on this subject, but for space's sake...I will try and keep it brief. My husband was reunited with his father 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. My hubby is 41 and had not seen his father since he was 5 years old. Long story short, when we found him on the internet and decided to make contact, MOUNTAINS of prayers (from us, our family and our church family) were lifted up before hand. The whole situation had been carefully bathed in prayer. He made contact to his dad on his dad's 61st (10/19)birthday.....and to our GREAT surprise, not only was his dad thrilled and overwhelmed to know we found him, but he became a BELIEVER over the years that he was out of Rob's life!! He also made immediate arrangements to get on a plane shortly thereafter to come and visit us. Needless to say, Rob offered him total and complete love and forgiveness. Now we have been blessed to both arrange time off and will be spending Christmas week with him....14 hours away in NC!! The reason I write all of this is because I have been planning to do a lot of baking before hand...and Christmas cookies were a part of that plan. So my answer would be that I would take Christmas cookies to my newly found father in law and his wife (whom we also adore--she's GREAT!). There are not enough presents on the earth or words in the dictionary for Rob and I to express to his dad how much we love him...but Christmas cookies will be a great start!

MariaK said...

Monica,
Thank you for sharing!
As a mom of 2 kids under 2 I find that right now we give back by sharing some of our tradional cookies that my son makes...I mean eats with our friends, family, and neighbors. There really isn't anything greater than putting a smile on someone's face.
mariakalina@ymail.com

Ashley said...

I'm not sure if I am too late or not... if I'm not please enter me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You always have practical ideas that you learn and put into practice. Thank you for sharing them and for the inspiration that you give us. thomasinbulgaria@hotmail.co.uk

Zebu said...

Oh Monica, your children are absolutely beautiful! Oh, and the the girls' dresses...how sweet. It makes me miss my little people. We also had two girls and then a boy. I just can't believe that they are now grown. I fell inside pretty much the same as I did then; I just look different on the outside.

I know that most of you bloggers are younger and can't relate to what I am saying. But, some day you will. Love your children and cherish them now because before you know it, they'll be gone. (I know you cherish yours, Monica) :)

Zebu said...

You've been Tagged!

If you want to play, go you my blog at www.yearningforpurity.blogspot.com

*carrie* said...

What a great idea, Monica! The kids look darling, and that was such a neat activity for you all to do together.