‘Twas three days after Christmas

Do you wonder if you

Caught the vision this year?


Sometimes we don’t,

And sometimes we do,

And it’s not rocket science

To distinguish the two.


It’s shown in the way

We see one another:

A shopping opponent,

Or friend, or a brother.

Did we push to be first?

Or agree to be last?

Did we offer a smile

To those rushing past?


Did we find many ways

To share Christmas cheer?

Did we give away much,

And keep little this year?


In all of the rush,

Did we pause to remember

The reason we do all of this

Each December?


That story of promise,

A stable and star,

A child and shepherds,

And kings from afar?


The gifts come and go,

As does the whole season,

But centuries later

What stays is the reason.


It shows that we know

The true Christmas essence,

That notable difference of

Presents and presence,

When we can exclaim

With a genuine cheer,

“Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good year!”

Christmas is such a beautiful and highly-anticipated holiday, that sometimes the days after can be kind of difficult for many. This year our family decided to host a Coed Cookie Exchange AFTER Christmas — in between Christmas and New Years actually. It was so much fun!

I honestly enjoy preparing for company just as much as I enjoy the party itself. Our evening began by enjoying a bright green Christmas punch, a mulled drunken apple cider (the rum made this extra special), goat cheese fondue with roasted baby herb potatoes, slow-cooked cranberry meatballs, spicy garlic and herb cashews, a yummy cheddar cheese log adorned with BACON! served with crackers…


and pretty red velvet cupcakes with my special whipped frosting!

Everyone arrived with two dozen of their favorite cookies. Who wants to go to a cookie swap when they have to bring a zillion cookies? Where’s the fun in that? Two dozen is the perfect amount. Everyone gets a taste and then returns home with a bunch of cookies to enjoy. There was not a bad cookie in the house! Everyone’s cookie contributions were placed on a table with number cards, pencils, red voting ballots and of course prizes.

There were five categories: best dressed cookie, best color combination, most festive, most ethnic recipe and of course the tastiest cookie.

Everyone brought copies of their cookie recipes to share. Before we began tasting and voting everyone said a little something about their recipe. Many of the recipes were made together with their families and some had been in their families for generations.

In between stuffing our faces with hor doerves and tasting everyone’s cookies, we took a break and played a Christmas trivia game.

Everyone gathered in our great room. A card table was set up with two sets of bells. (You know the kind that hang on your door). We divided everyone into two groups — Group Santa and Group Claus. I read the questions out loud and whoever grabbed the bells first got to answer. My hubby kept score. In the end Group Claus prevailed! Bells were flying – LITERALLY– when one set of bells fell apart and flew across the room almost hitting our friend Kevin in the eye. It was like A Christmas Story — but instead of yelling, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” we yelled “Watch the bells!”

Click Here for Christmas Trivia PDF

Voting was REALLY challenging. Everyone really stepped up their A game.

Sarah, Donna and Mary Jane and their families each took home a prize…

In the end, the tastiest cookie went to the Wynns family for their buckeye cookies – a family recipe they were happy to share!

Everyone insisted we do this again next year so I look forward to planning our 2nd annual coed Cookie Swap! There’s still time for you to organize a simple cookie swap, too!

Happy New Year!

xo Elise