For life in general--but maybe particularly for the holidays--I've recently been trying to make a point to "lean in" to following through with my better impulses. I so often think, "It'd be so nice to take a meal to Nice Neighbor," or "Darn it, Nice Friend is having such a crappy week, I should really go grab her yummy smelling candle."
But that--the thinking about it--that's where the idea usually dies.
Not because I'm busy, but because I talk myself out of it.
What if they don't like my meal choice? What if she just wants to be left alone and I'm intruding? Or--pertinent to the topic I'm very, very slowly getting to today--it won't be good enough if I can't spend hours making it from scratch and I just don't have time for that very often.
So really, when I say "lean in" what I mean is that I'm trying to tell those negative-Nancy voices in my head to shut the heck up so that I can go forth and do some good. Even if it's the imperfect kind.
And last week, I got a little nudge in that direction from none other than the queen of quick-cookies herself, Ms. Betty Crocker.
Special for the holidays, Betty Crocker is doing a "Spread Cheer" campaign. They've stocked their website with recipes and printables that make putting together a basket of cookies easy-peasy, and they're encouraging people to use those resources to treat their friends and neighbors to surprise cookies.
To further assist with the fun, the Betty Crocker crew is also offering a cookie mix coupon for everyone to use, AND a $20 Paypal gift card for one MBE reader. (To help make your baskets extra-nice!)
To win the Paypal gift card, make up a basket of cookies, take a photo (either of the cookies or of you and yours delivering the cookies to an unsuspecting kind soul), and upload it to your social media of choice with the hashtag #SpreadCheer. Then, come back here and leave a link to your photo in the comments. I won't choose a winner until December 20th, so you've got plenty of time, friends. Go forth and some spread cheer!
But how did we spread cheer, you ask? Well, the Kid and I bought two bags of Betty's peanut butter cookie mix. And then I asked him, "Who do you want to make some cookies for?"
Unsurprisingly, the first people that popped into his head were his best buddies at our regular coffee shop. So, we made up a batch of peanut butter cookie truffles.
The Kid and I both loved how low-stress it was to whip up the cookies from a mix, and he also had fun coloring in the printed-out tags from the Betty Crocker website. (Yup, that's why he has marker on his face in these photos.)
I didn't get a very good shot of him carrying them in--something about keeping him from dumping the whole bucket on the sidewalk required both of my hands--but he was pretty proud of himself. It was cute.
As to the second bag of cookie mix? I'm saving it for the first snow day. Because it only needs a few other basic ingredients, it'll be perfect for making a batch of hot cookies (without having to dig out to go to the store), loading the kids up on our sleds, and making door-to-door neighborhood deliveries!
Alright, for reals, go spread some cheer. Come back and tell me about. I can't wait to see!