Photo by Artgeek3K at stock.xchng.
Oh, misfits, you should’ve KNOWN I’d be a freak for Christmas. Really, now.
Have you ever noticed that you go into the holiday season with all these expectations? That you just assume you’ll be able to knit Mom a bolero with ruffled feather edges? That you’ll–CHYA! of course!–make an authentic figgy pudding? That you’ll, oh definitely, watch every movie in your 30+ Christmas movie collection. hot cocoa and a The Boy or The Girl by your side, matching Cosby-esque holiday sweaters gleaming in the light of your glowing fireplace, your Colgate-white teeth glinting ever so brightly as you toss your head back to share a hearty laugh over something that incorrigible Donald Duck has done? Oh, Donald, you and your hilarious hijinx! Whenever will you learn?
Well, that’s me, and I don’t know what I’m thinking when I wrap myself into this mental giftbox of horrors.
I don’t even have a fireplace.
Nevertheless, the BMG always heads into fall with all these expectations, a mental checklist that grows by leaps and bounds once we pass Halloween, and which has inevitably swollen to fuck-all unmanageable proportions by the time Thanksgiving hits. By Black Friday, I’m convinced that Christmas for this year is already shot and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.
Uh, dramatic much?
That’s why this year I’m taking a different approach. I’m pencilling in Christmastime on my schedule–like, for really reals.
Now those of you who know that I had a Thanksgiving clipboard may laugh and brand me a control freak (trying to suppress denial rising in my gut), but yes, YES, Bad Mama Genny IS going to make a holiday wish list. And on it, I’m putting all my essential experiences, all the things that will really, truly matter to me in making it feel like I’ve “had” Christmas.
One of those things I’ve always wanted to do and never actually made time for is the ever-elusive, all-encompassing, life-altering, MAGICALLY DELICIOUS….COOKIE EXCHANGE!
For the uninitiated, a cookie exchange basically means that you have a party where every attendee brings a designated number of cookie recipes, with a designated number of cookies of each variety (entirely dependent on how many attendees you have), along with copies of the recipes. You lay all the cookies out on a table, hand out boxes, and everyone gets to pick up the cookies and recipes that they like. So you come out of the day with a sugar rush, delicious new goodies to bring home, slammin’ recipes, and all the juicy sexual details you’re too polite to ask for when you’re not high on sugar and champagne.
And dudes, it’s also a super boss way to legitimize going overboard. (“But, The Boy, it’s the rule! If I don’t show up with 565 cookies, they’ll strip me down and pelt with gumdrops!”)
Actually, sign me up for that.
Now, I’m a newbie at the Cookie Exchange thing. I’ve never hosted one before. But the way I see it, there are a few essentials:
*Alcohol: I’m serving “Bitch.” Keepin’ it classy.
*Hot Cocoa: Yes, with marshmallows and peppermint sticks, I can’t believe you EVEN asked.
*Christmas music: Fa la la la la, la fucking la.
*OFFICIAL treat boxes: Or you could just have everyone use the tupperware they brought their treats in. But that’s just so…sensible. And, you know…not official.
*Festive decor: We’ll be exchanging confections by the light of one of my Christmas trees.
Yes, I said “one of.” Are you really surprised?
It’s the extra oomph every party needs, like that friend who drinks too much and finally agrees to dance, and then you realize why he never agrees to dance, or the loopy aunt who sells Native American-esque jewelry at the craft mall and tells everyone about her recent experiments with the occult and offers to channel dead uncles for all y’alls.
Actually, it’s not at all like that. But it is oomph, I can promise you that.
*Good People: Bottom line: you’re only going to enjoy yourself if you keep this engagement small-ish, low-key, and low-anxiety. That means no frenemies allowed.
The negative Nancy who’s always telling you that you’d be so cute if you could just clean up your language and hang out with the boys less? Not invited.
The desperate chick who hangs on every word your best misfit’s boyfriend says and thinks it’s funny to try to sit in his lap while said misfit is in the bathroom? Not invited.
The very, very sweet girl who is only very, very sweet until she starts to tell everyone they’ll be burning in hell for all eternity unless they take Jesus into their hearts? NOT INVITED.
*A loose definition of the “right way”: Don’t get on your friend for bringing vegan cookies. Don’t berate anyone for decorating storebought goodies with icing and sprinkles. And don’t ask if there’s high-fructose corn syrup in anything that’s been made.
This is about fun. It’s about the holidays. It’s also about expanding your vision of what fun and the holidays mean. Everyone’s got something to bring to the table, and your way isn’t the only right way.
That being said, my way is the only right way.
Kidding! Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “I am blessed to have such unique and creative friends. I am blessed to have such unique and creative friends…”
What are the essential components of a cookie exchange for you? What are your fun ideas? Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you in the past? What would make it your ideal cookie exchange? Let’s make this fun–there will be an awesome cookie-related giveaway for the best suggestion I receive before midnight, CST, on Sunday, December 19th!
That’s over two weeks to get your misfit juices flowing! Shortly after, I’ll post the winner, his/her suggestion, and the prize!