The First Delivery
I think some of the best traditions are ones you unintentionally create on your own.
Near Christmas of 2013, my husband and I wanted to do an act of service. But I was limited in what I could do, as I was 8 months pregnant and suffering from constant nausea. In the end, we decided to choose a few families to take Christmas cookies to. On the determined day, I spent many hours making cookies and assembling them in little packages to deliver.
I’m not sure if it was my roller coaster hormones or what, but by the time my husband arrived home from work, I didn’t feel like going out to be social. I was too emotionally tired to hold a decent conversation.
But what about bringing cheer to others? What about all those cookies I had made?
We decided to still deliver them, but in a way that I didn’t have to worry about putting on a face while I wasn’t feeling my best: Ding-Dong Ditch fashion.
We donned our favorite footie pajamas and ventured out into the freezing night.
I will never forget dashing away (er, waddling quickly) after ringing the doorbells and my husband and I collapsing into silent fits of giggles. It was fun to feel like a 9 year-old again! I was too slow to make it back to the car for our getaway without being seen, so we hurried to the safety of the shadows on the side of the homes until the coast was clear. Somehow, we made it through the night without discovery, and without my water breaking.
We had so much fun that first year, that we decided to make it an annual family tradition.
Because we were in pajamas the first time we ditched cookies, we now open and wear our new Christmas pajamas the night we go Cookie Ditch.
We’ve been fast at completing our deliveries in the past, so now we make enough cookies for 10 families! My three year-old loves to help me make the cookies, and it makes all that time in the kitchen even sweeter.
We leave a note in the cookie packages letting the families know the cookies came from a friend, but we continue to remain anonymous. It’s more fun to be like a Secret Santa!
We’ve had to adjust our ditching method since having children. It takes a little while to safely buckle two kids in car seats, increasing the likelihood to have our cover blown. My husband and I decided it would be best to take turns being the runner and waiting in the car with our daughters/being the lead foot for the escape, at least for most of the deliveries.
Our 3 year-old does get to choose two houses to do with Daddy now that she is a little older. (We let her do this last year and we were almost caught because she couldn’t stop laughing!) On those stops, I try to park the car far away or try to blend in with other cars on the road so we have some cover while we re-buckle our little girl.
Some of the families post pictures on social media of them enjoying the cookies, and it feels so good to bring a little joy in a simple way. One family thanks “us” every year on Facebook and has dubbed us “The Phantom”. You bet they’ll be getting cookies as long as we live in the area.
If you decide to adopt this super fun Christmas tradition, here’s some tips:
- If you want to decrease time in the kitchen, buy pre-made cookie dough and two cookie sheets, or several packages of store-bought cookies!
- Map out your route before you go.
- Stack cookie packages/plates in a laundry basket while driving to avoid a big mess.
- Listen to Christmas music while you drive! It makes things even more happy.
- Don’t leave your children unattended in the car to ditch cookies, even for just a minute.
- Don’t wear masks. It’ll scare people and you could get shot or Kung Fu’d.
- Wear appropriate shoe wear for running. Don’t give in to the call of the convenient Flip Flop.
- Don’t do this activity on an icy evening.
- Run. Run fast.
We are 4 years deep in our tradition, and I can’t wait to do it again this month to complete the 5th year!
Anti-social service is fun 😉
-One of the Sisters that still wishes to remain somewhat anonymous