Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies for Everyone!

I keep thinking I'll take it easy during the Christmas holidays and not push myself to do too much. Every year I blow it. Really, honestly, truly I had such great intentions, but with my darling hubby as a bishop in his first year I began to worry about inadvertently offending ward members.

Does it seem like a silly thing? Let me invite you to visit the inner workings of my brain for a few minutes.

Say we decide to take a few cookies to Brother and Sister Allan (no such members in our ward, this is all for illustration purposes), because he works as the financial clerk and she works as a counselor with the Young Women. Right across the street we have Brother Watkins (again, fictitional member only) who is a teacher in the Elder's Quorum. Might he feel a little put out if the bishop and his wife didn't make him a little plate of something to show appreciation for his hard work?

Not good enough? Let me try again.

Sister Michaels lives amid a group of active members. Her neighbors to the right and left both hold positions in the ward who work closely with my husband. Hence, they all get cookies. Her neighbor across the street is an old and dear friend of ours - she gets a special plate of cookies. The homes to the right and left of the woman across the street get cookies for really good reasons you'll have to think up all on your own (it's almost ten at night and my thought processes shut down a while ago). How does Sister Michaels feel, being the only one who doesn't get a little plate of cookies from the bishop?

Of course I realize there are those who simply don't care. Maybe they don't like cookies, are diabetic, or don't pay attention to who gets what. I also realize for every person like this there are others who constantly have their eyes glued to the front window to see who's going where and doing what (I know this because, um, I'm one of them). A large part of their identity within the ward hangs on a very precarious ledge of who shows them the appreciation they undoubtedly deserve. To be the only person overlooked in their circle of friends/neighbors would either feel like a deliberate snub, or (perhaps even worse) that they've simply been forgotten and don't really matter.

Can you imagine the depths of chaos that reign in my mind? It's exhausting living in this head of mine.

In order to assuage any possible means of inadvertant guilt I came up with a plan - I made cookies for everyone! Not just cookies, I melted and molded chocolate. I put together chocolate covered caramels and my absolute favorite fudge. I found cute little bags to put it all in and even began plotting the most strategic routes in the neighborhoods in which to deliver my little gifts of love. Then I frantically came back home to figure out how I could possibly have forgotten so many people!

I'm exhausted! I still need to make one more pan of fudge to help restock my dwindling supply. We've run out of the cute baggies and I'm forced to use plates. Why forced? I hate using plastic wrap. It never sticks to paper plates. But beyond that I'm done. No more cookies. No more baking. I can hardly stand to look at the goodies others have brought to us. Tonight I was so tired of it all I almost cried when my darling hubby took over dinner preparations and washed the dishes. He's totally my hero.

Next year? Next year I pile hubby's office high with Hershey Kisses and tell the ward members to have at it.


Mel said...

Your guilt complex is worse than mine! One of the side effects of having a big heart though.

Errin Courtney said...

STOP!!! Don't do anymore. These are the orders from your crazy wacky doctor that just says stop. I gave up on Christmas when I did work gifts and then realized I forgot a ton of people and I'm broke. I will accept the piece of fudge you gave me last time I was at your house as my gift. It was really good BTW.

Emily said...

This is a sad part of being a woman! I would feel the exact same way and feel so guilty about not making everyone something. Don't put too much stress on yourself! I don't expect cookies or a treat from my Bishop's wife. :) Have a very Merry Christmas!

Brent said...

Laurie, you are such an amazing woman. I'm sure you'll find many blessings from the Lord for all you do for everyone else. Merry Christmas!!!

Burwell's Bits said...

Laurie, Laurie, Laurie.... life is too short and unless you love baking you are abolutely nuts and way too considerate. The Kiss idea is wonderful.

Or you can do what I did. I bought the premade dough because I had coupons galore. Then when it came time to make our tasty treats I let my kids eat the dough instead. They loved it and had no desire to bake the cookies. Even the baby was mooching. More so then his sister. So needless to say, we had a wonderful sugar filled FHE last night. Off to see the temple lights tonight!!!

Merry Christmas and don't worry about thanking the entire ward. They are laying up their treasures in heaven.

Josie and Wayne said...

I guess it's probably good that you worry about offending people. I like to think I don't get offended to easily, so I'm not very thoughtful and I'm always surprised to hear that something I did offended someone. You're probably right though about people getting offended because the bishop did or didn't do something. I heard that if the bishop doesn't offend at least a couple of people while in office, he probably didn't do his job right. Have a happy new year and I'm glad this is all over for you.

Cynthia said...

Wow! Your ward should take up what we do, no neighbor gifts, instead donations are taken and a few women in the ward organize a sub for santa or help out ward members. This only leaves me taking a small something to my visiting teachers. Oh, the best plastic wrap is from Walmart, "Sam's choice" brand.
I hope you have recovered from all the fudge making!
FYI: No one expects the bishop's wife to give everyone a treat instead, treat YOURSELF by not making treats.