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We’ve been invited to another virtual potluck! FoodNetwork.com and their blog, FN Dish, asked us to participate in a virtual cookie swap. For this sweet get-together, I’m bringing our Iced Sugar Cookies, with two fun variations—Gingerbread Cookies and Pecan Cookies. The sugar cookie recipe is a classic: buttery, short-textured cookies with icing for decorating. I am a bona fide cookie decorating junkie—I love finishing a brown-hued reindeer cutout with red “sugar pearls” or dragees to turn them into Rudolph cookies! Oh, and my kids and I get giddy over stringing sprinkles or sugar pearls along a Christmas tree cookie to look like garland. This recipe includes a great secret for icing that sets up firm: stirring in a little egg white powder, available in craft stores or on the baking aisle of larger supermarkets.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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With just a few tweaks to the basic dough, you also get fragrant Gingerbread Cookies (think beyond the classic gingerbread people and do gingerbread pets, trees, and stars) and Pecan Cookies, which are something like nut-flecked shortbread. Those are my favorite to eat—crisp, not too sweet, and perfect with a cup of coffee… or that glass of milk left out on Christmas Eve.
Check out what some of your favorite food sites are bringing to the virtual cookie swap:
Host a Virtual Cooking or Baking Party with Friends
Let's face it, the days can be long and a lot of miss seeing our friends. Thankfully, last weekend, a friend of mine came up with a fantastic idea - a Virtual Cookie Swap on Facebook! She created the event and invited everyone a week ahead of time so we could figure out our recipes and ingredients - or even showcase our favorite brand from the store in our pantry if we weren't up for baking.
On the day of the swap, everyone posted photos of themselves and their kids baking, shared recipes, and just enjoyed a day of something light-hearted and fun.
This weekend, she's shifting to Cupcake Wars! But, the ideas are endless. homemade pizzas, main courses, Italian night.
So, let's spread some food fun and connect with our own families and friends with a virtual cooking/baking event!
Pick your favorite or most meaningful holiday dessert recipe. Not just cookies! We want to share cookies, brownies, blondies, cakes, rolls, and all holiday dessert traditions.
1. Upload your best photo of your cookie or dessert.
2. In the "Comment" field, enter the name of the recipe, and a short description of what makes it special.
3. In the "Recipe" field, copy and paste the full recipe. We need all the ingredient and instructions, plus any tips you might want to share.
4. Click "Next" and provide your name and email. (We just need to know how to reach you with questions. No marketing emails!)
Once you submit, we will review your recipe and description for formatting and then add it to the collection below.
What Can You Do Instead?
So you can still have an exchange, you&aposll just have to get creative about how you swap cookies. Here are a few safe ideas to consider. Just keep in mind that you should always wear a face mask when interacting with anyone who doesn&apost live in your household, even if you plan to be six feet apart.
Make No-Contact Deliveries
The safest way to personally distribute your cookies is to make no-contact deliveries. Make and prepare your cookies at home, then leave tins filled with your treats on your friend&aposs and family members&apos front porches. Just be sure to get everyone&aposs addresses when you coordinate the exchange so everyone knows where to drop off their cookies.
Have a Drive-By Exchange
Consider having a 𠇍rive-by” cookie exchange of sorts, where everyone bakes and pre-packages their cookies at home, then drives by the other houses to pick up their treats. Assign each household a different weekend day in the month before Christmas to make things easy. When it&aposs your day, make sure your cookies are cooled, packaged, and ready to go, then hand them through the car window to each person as they drive by.
Have a Virtual Baking Day
If you&aposre not comfortable with having a drive-by exchange or dropping off cookies (or if you’re unsure of how cautious the other participants have been), consider hosting a virtual cookie baking day. Invite all bakers to sign onto a predetermined video chat location to bake and decorate in their respective kitchens, then share photos and recipes of the finished cookies when the event is over. This is also an easy way to include friends and family who aren&apost local.
Have an Outdoor Exchange
“If you live in a milder climate, try hosting the exchange outside,” Seymour recommends since the virus seems to spread more easily indoors. “How fun would it be to have an outdoor cookie exchange with hot chocolate around a firepit?” Even if you&aposll be outside, it&aposs always a good idea to stay distanced and wear a mask.
20 Cookie Boxes To Send Ahead of Your Virtual Cookie Swap
Though a lot of things can be said about 2020, one of the brighter parts of this year has been just how creative people have become. From Zoom weddings and happy hours to virtual birthday parties and family game nights, there isn't much you can't do with an internet connection and a computer. That's exactly why we can't think of a better idea than moving your annual office or family cookie swap party online. Send your nearest and dearest a box full of sweet and seasonal treats this December. December 4th, so marks National Cookie Day, so now is the perfect time to place all your orders. Because honestly, after everything we've all been through this year, Santa isn't the only one who deserves a sweet treat.
Mrs. Fields Heartfelt Holiday Gram Cookie Cake
Mrs. Fields does it again with these personal-sized cookie cakes. Not only can you customize them to feature a heartfelt message in the icing colors of your choosing, if you order one between now and December 6th, you can get it for 40% off too!
Baked in Color Stocking Stuffer Cookie Tubes
If you're looking for a stocking stuffer idea that'll really make a fun and delicious impact on Christmas morning, look no further than these brightly hued chocolate chip cookies from Baked in Color. Each bite-sized morsel is made fresh and shipped the same exact day to give whoever receives them a just-got-out-of-the-oven cookie experience. The brand also offers a festive Hanukkah Cookie Tin and an incredible (and socially distant) Santa Cookie Experience , where jolly old St. Nick himself will personally deliver some holiday treats right to your door.
Cheryl's Cookies Happy Holidays Cookie Card
If you're already planning on sending all your nearest and dearest a Christmas card this holiday season, you'll want to order quite a few of these cookie cards from Cheryl's. Each one comes with an individually-wrapped buttercream-frosted cutout cookie and features a wide range of printed messages to add a merry and bright touch to even the busiest of December days.
Christie Cookie Co. Broadway Holiday Cookie Tin
This delectable tin from Christie Cookie Co. is sure to have all your loved ones envisioning dancing sugar plums. This celebratory tin comes with 18 handcrafted cookies and features the bakery's three signature flavors — chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and white chocolate macadamia nut. Friends and family can also hold on to the cute tin as a lovely keepsake even when they run out of the cookies!
Zola Bakes Christmas Rainbow Cookies
If rainbow cookies are usually a staple at your yearly cookie swap, these festive multicolored ones from Zola Bakes are a fun way to pay homage to that tradition. This whimsical container comes with 20 cookies — 10 that are filled with traditional raspberry jam, and 10 that are filled with chocolaty hazelnut spread.
Milk Jar Cookies Most Popular Assorted Box
One of the things we love most about a cookie swap is the fact that you get to leave with a variety of different sweets at the very end of it. The same can be said about this assorted cookie box from famed Los Angeles Bakery Milk Jar Cookies. Available in whole and half dozen options, the box comes stuffed with a surprise array of the bakery's best-sellers, including its signature chocolate chip. Milk Jar also offers vegan and gluten free options, so you're sure to find something for absolutely everyone on your "nice" list.
Insomnia Cookies DIY Cookie Decorating Kit
All your loved ones can have their dessert and decorate it too thanks to this ingenious DIY kit from Insomnia Cookies. Each one comes with 15 blank sugar and snickerdoodle "canvases," plus a fun collection of gel icing tubes, buttercream frosting and jimmies to give everyone a brand-new way to show off their holiday spirit. Go ahead and order an extra kit for yourself too — it'll give you the perfect excuse to hold a cookie decorating party over Zoom!
Harry & David Christmas Cookie Collection
This celebratory cookie box from Harry & David is filled with 22 dreamy shortbread and chocolate-covered sandwich cookies and features a yummy variety of seasonal flavors like fruitcake, gingerbread, coconut, cranberry-orange and peppermint.
The Cookie Joint Santa Cookie Fries Basket
We all have that one friend who always knows the best fast-food restaurants in town. Pay tribute to all their foodie knowledge with this hilarious "fry" basket from The Cookie Joint. Each "crinkle cut" is made out of buttery shortbread cookie dough and features unique flavors like mint chocolate chip, red velvet, lemon poppyseed, cinnamon sugar, and cookies n’ creme to name a few. It also comes with an irresistible array of chocolate, marshmallow, hazelnut, salted caramel and peanut butter dipping sauces. How's that for a cup (or paper carton) of cheer?
Dana's Bakery Christmas Black & Whites
These red-and-green hued black and white cookies from Dana's Bakery are sure to put their recipient in a holly jolly mood. They also offer blue and white ones for Hanukkah and a delicious collection of gingerbread-, sugar cookie- and eggnog-flavored macarons perfect for spreading even more holiday cheer.
Cookie Bouquets Poinsettia Cutout Cookie Arrangement
It's sure to look a lot like Christmas when your friends and family pull this edible poinsettia bouquet out of its box. Not only is it made entirely out of buttery frosted cookies and can easily be used as a centerpiece on their kitchen table — they won't need to worry about watering it either!
Sprinkles Frost-A-Roos Santa Cookies
Chances are you've already heard of Sprinkles' amazing cupcake offerings. Now it's time to discover their line of tender and chewy cookies. Your loved ones will get three jumbo-sized ones inside this cookie kit, plus 3 cups of vanilla cream cheese, dark chocolate buttercream and salty caramel cream cheese frosting shots to decorate to their (and Santa's) heart's desire.
Milk Bar Holiday Cookie Tin
The weather outside might be fretful, but these holiday cookies from Milk Bar are oh-so-delightful. The tin comes with 6 of the brand's fan-favorite cookies including their compost and confetti rounds, plus six of their peppermint pretzel snaps which contains crunchy notes of caramel, chocolate and white chocolate bark.
Levain Bakery Signature Cookie Assortment
You just can't have a discussion about cookies without mentioning Levain Bakery. Thanks to this signature cookie assortment, your closest pals will get all four of the bakery's original cookie flavors, including Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip and Oatmeal Raisin. Now all that's left for them to do is grab the milk!
Better Than Your Mother's Chef’s Tasting Winter Edition Box
If you're looking to give your nearest and dearest a more luxurious cookie experience this holiday season, look no further than this Chef's Tasting box from Better Than Your Mother's. With flavors like Sweet Potato Casserole, Apple Tart Tartan, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Sea Salt Chocolate Chip and Speculoos, you'll never look at basic sugar cookies the same again! Did we mention they're also big enough to eat with a fork and knife!
Maman Holiday Cookie Gift Box
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, Brown Butter Cranberry Oatmeal and Caramel Chocolate Hazelnut are just some of the joyous flavors your loved ones will find inside this rustic limited-edition cookie box from Maman.
Color My Cookie Ho, Ho, Ho Set
Forget the halls, this year it's all about deck the cookie with these interactive kits from Color My Cookie! This Ho Ho Ho themed one comes with six iced shortbread reindeer-, ornament- and Santa hat-shaped cookies, plus edible watercolor food dye, edible glitter and sprinkles, so all the little elves in your life can create their very own winter wonderland.
Chip City Winter Wonderland Variety Bundle
Your loved ones don't need to be walking in a winter wonderland to enjoy these holiday-themed cookies from NYC's very own Chip City. Each bundle contains frozen cookie dough in flavors like Red Velvet Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle, Falalala Fetti, Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Cranberry Oat and Oatmeal Apple Pie to give your friends and family a sweet treat they can make whenever they find themselves in need of something to go along with their eggnog or mulled wine.
Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies
All your friend's troubles are sure to be miles away (for a little while at least) when they open up these special-edition candy cane-studded chocolate chunk cookies from beloved chocolatier Jacques Torres. They're the perfect embodiment of the phrase "merry and bright."
Sugar Plum Chocolates Signature Chocolate-Covered Sandwich Cookie Sampler
Though they aren't jingle bells per se, these delectable chocolate-covered sandwich cookies from Sugar Plum Chocolates will make spirits bright just as much. This sampler box comes with nine covered cookies in yummy flavors like white chocolate with cranberry, dark chocolate with toasted coconut and milk chocolate with toffee.
Quarantine Virtual Recipe Swap and Recipe Ideas List
Quarantine have you making the same thing over and over?!
Feel like you’ve cooked dinner about 413 times this month?!
Running out of ideas of what to cook?!
Seems like you’ve made the same meal 5 times this week already?!
Tired of all the pasta and meat sauce?!
Need a new way to jazz up rice and beans?!
Or just desperate for new ideas for fast and easy dinner.
There is a real reason for this dinner hour tension.
Quarantine Recipe Ideas
WE ARE ALL SO STRESSED AND EXHAUSTED and we default to meals that we don’t have to think about making. We don’t have much mental bandwidth to spare right now, so we fix meals that we can literally make without paying attention.
So we eat pasta and meat sauce…and just change up the pasta shell to make it feel like new. But then it’s not new and it’s just too old.
Because I feel you in this too.
And that’s why I want to help organize and coordinate a Virtual Recipe Swap that will help you discover new, simple meals to cook during this season of quarantine and eating so.many.meals.at.home.
- To inspire you with new meal ideas.
- To quickly connect you with new recipes to try.
- To re-discover the importance of having dinner together as a family. (Even in this stressful time! We have had SO MANY laughter moments together at the dinner table in the past month!)
Ok, onto the recipes…but first…
The Quarantine Virtual Recipe Swap CRITERIA
None of these recipes will call for exotic ingredients or a laundry list of ingredients. None of these recipes will require an elaborate cooking method or strategy. Here is the short list of requirements:
- Budget friendly
- Fast and easy to cook
- Pantry staple ingredients
- Freezer Friendly
I WANT TO KNOW YOUR FAVORITE QUARANTINE RECIPES AND FEATURE SOME BELOW.
Please add a link to your favorite recipe in the comments below, or email the link to support (at) 5dollardinners.com, and we will consider featuring it below.
(At this time, we can’t feature recipes that aren’t already posted on the internet in this virtual recipe swap post. You are welcome to type up/include your favorite family recipes into the comments below for others to cook.)
The goal: Leave a recipe, take a recipe.
THE QUARANTINE VIRTUAL RECIPE SWAP
And without further ado…some recipes that you could cook this next week…
Share new recipes without leaving the house
Have you ever browsed through a new cookbook and thought how nice it would be to talk to other people who had tried some of those recipes?
The Osterville Village Library hosts a monthly Virtual Cookbook Book Club. Members agree on a cookbook to explore, then each participant cooks a recipe, photographs it and talks about her experiences making the dish.
The club began in April as a shocked community found itself suddenly home all the time.
&ldquoIt was a time when people really were in quarantine. They were staying home. They were getting limited supplies in grocery stores and looking for substitutions,&rdquo says Lisa Fackler, a library cataloguer who helped set up the club that meets via Zoom teleconferencing.
&ldquoI think I cooked more than I have cooked in my entire life,&rdquo Fackler says of those early days of the pandemic. The Osterville Village Library Cookbook Book Club usually meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month.
The Eldredge Public Library in Chatham has a cookbook club, too, which started more than two years ago and meets the first Tuesday of the month. The Oak Bluffs Public Library, on Martha&rsquos Vineyard, has a cooking club for which members are invited to use an ingredient of the month. This month, it was pumpkin.
At the Oct. 7 Zoom meeting of the Osterville Village Library club, the book was &ldquoOpen Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings&rdquo by Susan Spungen, a renowned food stylist, whose work includes the movies &ldquoJulie and Julia,&rdquo &ldquoIt&rsquos Complicated&rdquo and &ldquoEat, Pray, Love.&rdquo
Club members make whatever recipe they want. This month, for the first time, two people chose the same recipe -- a dish garnished with fried sage leaves.
One cook used the garnish, the other didn&rsquot, and a discussion ensued about how to tell when the leaves are ready (take them out of the oil just after the dark spots appear) and other good uses for sage. Don't throw out the oil you use to cook sage leaverm for example, because it will keep in the fridge for a few days and will flavor rice or vegetables.
One cook tried the Myer Lemon Meringue Bars and found them way too sweet, so she planned to go back to her simpler, easier-to-make lemon bar recipe. Sweet or not, they didn&rsquot go to waste, she assured the club.
The cookbook club has about a half-dozen members (all women but men are more than welcome. The club is open to anyone who wants to sign up by emailing [email protected] to reserve a copy of the cookbook of the month, get more information, and get a Zoom link and password for the meeting. This month&rsquos book, to be discussed at the November meeting, is Dorie Greenspan&rsquos &ldquoAround My French Table.&rdquo
Fackler reassures would-be club members that they don&rsquot need to be tech-savvy and only need an iPad or computer to sign up. Library staffers will help get you started with using Zoom. You also don't have to be a gourmet cook.
&ldquoLife is unpredictable right now,&rdquo the club invitation reads. &ldquoIf you aren&rsquot able to prepare one of the recipes and just want to attend the Zoom gathering &mldr be our guest!&rdquo
Whether as a member or a guest, a virtual cookbook club is a great place to talk with other cooks, especially since many people are avoiding big Thanksgiving gatherings to control the spread of COVID-19. If you want Aunt Sally&rsquos green bean salad, you may have to call her to get the recipe.
&ldquoI can&rsquot think of any better way,&rdquo Fackler says, &ldquoto connect with people than over food and books.&rdquo
Osterville Village Library&rsquos Virtual Cookie and Recipe Swap
What: Bake your favorite holiday cookies at home and share the recipe
When: Nov. 27-Dec. 9, culminating with a 5 p.m. Zoom gathering that day. All cookie makers invited.
Prize: At the end of the Zoom gathering, one lucky participant will win a $50 gift certificate that supports one of Osterville's local merchants.
To join in the fun:
1. Bake any one of your amazing favorite cookie recipes (yes, bar-like cookies are great too!)
2. Email to [email protected] a photo, recipe and any stories related to your cookie. Photos and information will be posted on the library website.
3. Get social! Follow Osterville Village Library on Facebook and Instagram, post a photo of your cookie tagged #ovlcookies.
4. Open to all ages. Books and STEM activities related to cooking available at Osterville Village Library's Children's Library.
Virtual Cookie Swap: 23 Cookie Recipes from Our Friends Around the Web
Are you cookie crazy right now? I will admit to not having caught the holiday baking bug until last night. Suddenly, nothing seemed more appealing that hauling out the mixing bowl, adding fresh ginger , molasses, and eggs, and making a thick pan of spicy, warm gingerbread. I imagined wrapping up squares in brown paper, tying it up with red yarn, and handing them out as gifts. Easy peasy, and pretty sweet.
So now it's on, and I can't think of a better way to kick off the baking season (or keep it going strong) than being inspired by nearly two dozen irresistible recipes from all our cookie-loving friends across the web.
I attended my first cookie swap when I was as tall as my mother's hip, and it still ranks as my favorite holiday party ever. Our dining room table was covered with a dizzying array of sweet treats (heaven for a six-year-old--or really any age, right?). I swooned particularly hard at the taste of my first rosette, covered in a thick blanket of powdered sugar.
Rosettes require a special rosette iron, which you may not have unless your Swedish or Norwegian grandmother gave you hers (I'm always on the lookout for one at flea markets and junk stores). But no matter If you're not into the specialty equipment: twenty-two other recipes on the table to tantalize you:
Thanks to everyone for participating, and special thanks to FN Dish for organizing!
Virtual Cookie Swap and a Giveaway
Welcome to our Virtual Cookie Swap! Tiffany from Eat at Home, Melissa from Stockpiling Moms and I have teamed up to share cookies with you! At the bottom of the post, you will find a linky so you can share your cookie recipe with us, just enter it once and it will show up on all three blogs…pretty cool!
We also have a pretty fun giveaway for you, Taste of Home Cookies and More! This fun cookbook is filled with 257 recipes and tips! But first…cookies!
Looks like I was craving chocolate when I chose these to share with you.
One lucky Hoosier Homemade winner will receive a Taste of Home Cookies and More Book
Entries only accepted on this page. Facebook and Twitter entries do not count.
Giveaway will remain open until Friday, December 16th. 2011 at 10:00 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen at random, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.
OPTIONAL ENTRIES: Please leave a separate comment for each entry
- Follow Taste of Home on Facebook and/or Twitter
- Subscribe to Cupcake Chronicles Newsletterand/or Hoosier Homemade
- Follow Hoosier Homemade on Facebookand/or Twitter
- Subscribe to Pocket Change Gourmet
- Follow PCG on Facebook and/or Twitter
- Subscribe to It’s A Blog Party
- Follow It’s A Blog Party on Facebook and/or Twitter
Welcome to Simple Easy Creative
Simple Easy Creative is a new kind of online lifestyle magazine, one that takes it’s inspiration from the best of Midwestern traditions, and makes them new, modern and inspiring. Decorating, DIY projects, parties, gardening, good food, family and fun–we cover it all! We’ll help you make your house a welcoming home every day, all year long.
How to Organize a Long-Distance Cookie Swap
OK, we know you’re going to call us a Grinch, but some holiday cookie tins are terrible. You know the ones we mean. The tin comes all a-jumble, with busted cookies here and there, and a crusty dusting of sparkling sugar coating everything.
Don’t send a 2020 metaphor in baked good form to the people you love. Send the very best cookies you can. Here’s how we’d do it:
1. Organize Your Swap
Just our hottest cookies of 2020 is all!
OK, so you’re a Polish cookie obsessive, and your buddy Sheila is really good at Slavic baking. That’s whose cookies you want. You happen to be really good at classics, like linzers and sugar cookies, and your friend Bob goes crazy for those, but is renowned for his rugelach. You see where we’re going here. If your crew is going to fight over Bob’s rugelach, pull straws. But each friend should pick only one other for whom to make a tin of cookies. And if those boxes are just two or three cookies this year, that’s fine. Focus on our hottest cookie recipes of 2020 and build your own network of cookie fans. And, if you want to be surprised and organize your swap Secret Santa style, websites such as elfster and Secret Santa Organizer will help you get the job done.
2. The Packaging
Chocolate Florentines taste way better when not in one million pieces.
OK, yes, you can get away with three or four or five cookies this year, no problem. But remember that in addition to balancing flavors, colors, and textures, you need to pack them just so. If your tin is too big or deep for the number of cookies you want to place it in, we suggest lining the bottom with crinkled sheets of tissue paper or filler. No one wants to receive busted cookies or crushed dreams in the mail. Consider festive flourishes like red and white twine and holiday-themed cupcake liners, but err on the side of organized packaging. If you’re looking for the perfect receptacle in which to send your treats, you have the perfect excuse for a few pre-Christmas purchases because, as luck would have it, the tins for our Peppermint Bark and Hot Chocolate Mix are just the right size for cookie packaging.
2. Consider Texture
Ooey gooey pumpkin bars: SO GOOD, but not in a tin.
No, no, no. Don’t jam these beauties into an unforgiving tin. Nor anything too melty, too sticky. You know what holds up? Butter cookies. Sugar cookies. Twice-baked biscotti and meringues. Now we’re talkin’.
3. Jam Out
Whether you’re a linzer person or a windowpane person, you should have one jammy cookie in the mix. Someone out there really wants one. They add color and they’re awesome. It lends a pop of color and a chewy fruitiness to a tin that otherwise focuses on sugar, chocolate and spice.
4. Let There Be Chocolate
Heck, yes! Chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies.
There must be chocolate. Most people go bananas for it, so think: brownies, mocha sandwich cookies, crinkle cookies and the like. But let there be chocolate.
5. Gingerbread, Please
Christmas Gingerbread Cookies. Classic for a reason.
Does your house smell like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves yet? Well, what on earth? Get rocking on some gingerbread, if you’re a fan, and save money on scented candles.
6. The Prettiest Iced Sugar Cookies
Yes, you can.
OK, so you can’t live without including eight different cookies in your tin. You are a glutton for punishment, or variety, or buttery iced sugar cookies. This is the primer you want. With crack tips like getting gel food coloring from the craft supply store, food stylist Cathie Lopez walked us through how to make incredible, so-good-looking-you-want-to-hand-out-cash when they arrive in the mail cookies. It’s the fastest way to use one dough to make bears and stars, mittens and kittens, boots and drums this holiday season.
OK, now set the time and date, send out the Zoom invites, and get your cocoa ready. You and your buddies can unwrap beautifully packaged little tins, exclaim and compare notes, and be oh-so-jolly this holiday season.