December is a special time of the year for many of us. Whether you’re celebrating the religious or secular aspects of the season, there’s a bit of magic in the air. It’s a time to enjoy family and friends, to reflect on the year, to simply remember what’s important in life.
Part of that for me is making sure the important parts aren’t drowned out by the unimportant. I talk specifically about the rampant commercialism that seems to go hand in hand with the holidays. I’m sure this is nothing you haven’t heard before. We all want to express our love and appreciation for those special people in our lives and somehow this has evolved into purchasing gifts for them. This isn’t to say a symbol in material form is inherently bad, but it’s easy to get caught up in a belief that love must be expressed in through a price tag.
I have many people in my life that I am truly grateful for; people that are hard to imagine without. And I want to tell them this. I want them to know what they mean to me and that I am thinking of them; whether they be someone from my past who I’ve fallen out of touch with or someone new and still getting to know. And I want to do this without attaching a receipt to the act or making them feel obligated to do the same. (How many times have you received a gift from someone only to feel a twinge of regret for having not bought them one as well?)
I started a tradition last year with some friends that I call Bake-A-Thon. Bake-A-Thon is a day in December where a bunch of my fellow baking enthusiasts (Heather included) and I get together to bake cookies for the entire day. After all the baking is done and the cookies have been cooled, we divvy them up and send them to out respective loved ones. This is our way of taking our passion and using it to show our love and appreciation for those special people in our lives.
Bake-A-Thon 2008 took place this past weekend and went even better than last year’s. Each baker selected one cookie recipe and together baked several batches from each. This year’s line up was Lebkuchen, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Rugelach Pinwheels and White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies. We all had fun and the cookie turnout was immense. Bake-A-Thon will be a tradition for years to come.