Tricia's Top-Notch Presents

Tricia thought that December was the best month of the year. She loved snow and icicles. She loved decorating for the holidays. But most of all, Tricia loved baking holiday cookies. Each year, her family invited their friends over for an annual holiday cookie party.

Tricia loved to bake all types of cookies for the party. Each year, she was able to do more of the preparations on her own because her mother let her take more responsibility for the cookies as she got older. Her mother said it was a great exercise in organization to make cookies. Tricia called herself the CEO - the cookie executive organizer!

This year, Tricia put on a big apron with a picture of a happy chef on it, got out her recipes, and preheated the oven. She got out their amazing collection of cookie cutters. She brought out the mixing bowls and measuring spoons. She then assembled the cookie ingredients on the counter so everything was ready to go. Her mother was proud of her! Together, they mixed and rolled and cut out cookies. Soon the house was full of warm, delicious smells from the oven.

They made snickerdoodles and lemon drop cookies. They made gingerbread people with smiling icing mouths and raisin eyes. They even made special seven-layer cookies from Grandma's old family recipe. Baking cookies was a sweet part of the holidays, and each year, Tricia thought their cookies got prettier.

When Tricia finished baking, she looked at the piles of warm cookies, and it gave her an idea. She bit into a warm gingerbread man and enjoyed the spicy sweetness as the cookie melted in her mouth. She was glad that their gingerbread men could not run away. She told her mother of her brilliant plan for gift-giving at the cookie party.

"Mom, I know what I want to give my friends for Christmas at the cookie party," said Tricia.

Mom knew that each year Tricia faced a big question about what to give her friends for Christmas. Tricia loved giving gifts, but she had a small budget. Mom was curious about Tricia's plan for this year.

"What do you want to give them?" she asked.

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