Don’t Be a Grinch, Show People Your Gratitude – Peppermint Bark Cookies
Just a couple of days until Christmas, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays are in full force. My husband and I don’t frequent the mall, but we had to visit with Santa yesterday with our little girl and the lack of Christmas cheer in the air was disheartening. Fortunately, my daughter is too young to truly decipher the Scrooges from the folks filled with holiday cheer. We have also been doing everything we can to show her the meaning and excitement of the season, even though the different levels of rude and ignorance was rampant around these parts. People everywhere were in such a rush, fighting over parking spots, shoving past each other, and completely forgetting the simple phrases that keep the assault rate down, such as please, thank you, and excuse me.
Santa’s helpers at the mall were also in rare form and it made me feel sad for the families with older children. They had so much excitement and wonder in their eyes waiting in line to see the big man, and the elves (photographer and crew) were just a bunch of Grinches; not smiling, not full of cheer, not being helpful, and their body language and negative energy was overwhelming. The only person who smiled and waved at our baby girl and showed her kindness and shared some Christmas love was the big man in red, Santa Claus himself. However, Mrs. Claus must’ve put him on a diet after last years cookies, because he was rather slim, a healthy slim, but his beard was perfect! Our little angel isn’t talking yet, but he knew exactly what she wanted this year and he whispered it to us before we walked away. He was so sweet. Unfortunately, our family photo with Santa was just as disappointing as the overwhelming amount of grumpy individuals in the mall, but we smiled and laughed with our baby girl and took her out to eat to celebrate her first meeting with Santa. It was a sweet evening together, and its a memory we’ll have together forever. She’ll also get a kick out of the story when she’s older.
Its so sad that there is so much doom and gloom in the world right now, but that just gives us greater reason to show the people we care about how much we love and appreciate them. We should all hold our loved ones a little closer, tell them how much we care for them, and hold on to this happiness and “Christmas Spirit” year round. The holidays definitely give us a good reason to share our love but we should try to show our gratitude for one another more than just once a year. Showing people kindness, acceptance, practicing your manners, and respecting one another should not be out of the norm. Besides family, and your closest friends, you should also remind the folks that are innocent bystanders in your life that you value them. Your childcare provider, school teachers, administrative assistants, technicians, etc. The people who make your life and job easier and work so hard are typically the ones who are forgotten first. Every year I try my best to make sure that these people in my life know how special they are and know they are appreciated for all their help and hard work. Since I love to bake and put little gift baskets together, it just gives me another excuse to try out a new recipe or whip up an old favorite. Whether its baked goods, a lunch or gift cards it can definitely go a long way in making someones day better and lifting peoples spirits.
This year I baked some cookies for the women at our daughters daycare, and they were a hit! I’ve done gift baskets, breads, and cupcakes before, but after the cookie exchange last week I thought that I would take a crack at a different cookie recipe. They turned out so well that we will be baking the same recipe as a family on Christmas Day! So, try them out and whip up a batch for the folks at your job or kids school. Most importantly, remember, that your children are always watching you. Don’t be the butthole getting bent out of shape about a parking spot or shoving past people because you weren’t better at managing your time. Be kind, be patient, be respectful. Hope you enjoy this recipe and have a wonderful Christmas!
The adorable cartons I found at Target, in the dollar section. Perfect for gifting treats.