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With the holiday season shortly upon us... I like to plan ahead so I don't stress as much.  One of the big challenges is giving small thoughtful gifts without spending a fortune.  I like to give cookies to people that ordinarily I might not buy a gift for but want to give something that lets them know I'm thinking of them.... homemade cookies are always welcome.

One of the things I do is start making my cookie doughs in early November.  I roll spoonfuls of dough into small balls and place each on a cookie sheet covered in waxed paper.  I like to roll my cookies into small balls instead of using dropfuls so they are more even in size and shape.  If you find that your dough rounds are sticking to the waxed paper, I haven't had a problem with mine but in case you do, spray the waxed paper lightly with cooking oil.  I place them in the freezer for about an hour or so until firm, then I put them in an airtight container, each row separated by a piece of waxed paper.  I make a copy of the directions and tape it to the lid.


Since a lot of cookies are baked at the same temperature, it's easy to take a few of each kind out and bake them at once to make an assortment of freshly baked cookies for a great quick gift or for unexpected company.  

I also buy pretty holiday paper plates when I see them on sale and have them in a small plastic tub in the closet.  I also have scoured sales for holiday china plates.... I have found them on sale for a few dollars.  I try to catch the end of the season sales and keep them on a gift shelf that I have.  They not only make a nice gift, the recipient also has a pretty plate to use again.  

I also always have cellophane and an assortment of curly ribbon on hand so it makes last minute gifts easy all year long.

Another thing I like to do is buy those boxes of very small wooden ornaments.  You can find them fairly cheap.... they usually work out to about 75 cents a piece.  I tie them on the ribbon that's on the cellophane for an extra decoration.  I also tie them on the ribbon on the fudge boxes I give as gifts.   It's an inexpensive way to dress up a gift.


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