How an unexpected delivery brought two friends closer.
Some of Wendy T.’s favorite memories are of baking with her mother as a child. Before the holidays, they would make a few dozen cookies for a Christmas cookie exchange party that her mother attended every year. Wendy would marvel at the tins full of toffee, gingerbread men, sugar cookies, buckeyes, and other sweets her mom brought back from the party. “I still think of my mom when I’m baking,” Wendy says.
Today, Wendy, who lives in Falmouth, Maine, hosts her own Christmas cookie swap every year—and she bakes dozens of cookies with her two daughters, continuing her own childhood tradition. “At the party, people share the story behind why they made that particular cookie,” she says. “Someone might say, ‘These were my grandma’s cookies,’ or ‘I’m Swedish, and these are traditional sweets.’ When we open up the tins later, there are lovely stories to be shared.”
Last year, Wendy’s friend Dawn anticipated that the party would be bittersweet, knowing it was a tradition linked to Wendy’s mom, who had just passed away. Dawn sent Wendy an unexpected gift: a cupcake carrier and two books on making Christmas cookies. “I loved that these gifts were so meaningful and thoughtful,” Wendy says. “And they came out of the blue, too!”
When Wendy unexpectedly received the package at her house and opened the box, she was struck with emotion. “Dawn had never met my mom,” she says. “But she made that connection with the party, knowing that the gift would be meaningful.”
“I started crying when I opened it,” Wendy says. She uses the cupcake carrier often, and bakes treats using the recipes in the cookie books to share with family and friends. “It’s one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received,” she says. “It made me feel closer to my friend.”
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