I also heard recently from a dear college friend who has since joined the Christmas Cookie Brigade.
When Erin and her husband married and moved to a new home, they realizes that their neighborhood was their mission field. God gave Erin the heart to reach her neighbors, even if it was with a simple wave hello or welcoming the newcomers on the street.
Christmas takes friendly outreach to a whole different level. People’s hearts are open… some are sadly more aware of their hurt… and there is a general desire for “togetherness”.
Erin and her family first went to a few homes. Then, in subsequent years, she strategically and naturally increased her list as she got to know people around her. She also tries to take a gift to at least a couple neighbors at Christmas whom they have never officially met before.
Most importantly, Erin did not allow her natural introversion impede her obedience to the Second Commandment.
“My husband and I consider ourselves to be introverts. So this doesn’t come all that naturally to us, especially going to someone’s house that we have never met before. But we believe that this is the mission field God has given us, so our motivation is pretty high. And we’ve discovered that people are happy to receive a gift and are thankful we are reaching out to them. And I think it is so neat that my boys know our neighbors by name and are able to be involved in the process with us.”
What an encouragement to the rest of us!
So, who is with Erin? Who wants to join the Christmas Cookie Brigade this year?
Here are some simple ideas…
1. Make mini bread loaves instead of cookies for less hassle
2. Choose recipes that make 4 dozen or more at a time. Try Sara’s Chocolate Peanut Clusters (see below)!
3. For less effort, but maximum effect, make only one type of cookie and fill decorative Chinese food containers (available at craft stores). It’s pleasing to look at and not as much work for you!
4. No one has ever turned away my cookies because they were on a styrofoam plate wrapped in cellophane. Don’t break your bank or your back for the Cookie Brigade.
5. Try as best you can to personalize it. Erin coupled her cookies with gospel tracts and invites to her church. I simply put a Christmas “To: From:” label on each one and write “To: The Smiths From: The Edwards”. This year, I will write “To: Our Neighbor” since I am new to the hood.
Are you joining the Cookie Brigade? Leave a comment and be sure to post a pic of your cookies or delivery!
Sara’s Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Put 1 bar (48 oz.) of German Chocolate cooking chocolate, 48 oz. Almond Bark, and 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips in a crock pot.
Add 16 oz. dry-roasted, un-salted peanuts and 16 oz. dry-roasted salted peanuts on top of the chocolate.
Set the crock pot on warm for 3 hours and do not touch it or stir it!
After 3 hours, stir until mixed well and completely melted. Turn off the crock pot and spoon onto waxed paper. Serve when cooled.