The Cookie Exchange/ThursdayDoors

Aunt Maybelle's pics are scattered in this post here and there including this t-shirt pic. Now we all want one! The only door you'll find this post.
Aunt Maybelle’s pics are scattered in this post here and there including this t-shirt pic. Now we all want one! The only door you’ll find this post.

I’ve blogged about our family’s annual White Elephant party before here and here. And yes, we’ve just had another one last weekend. Guaranteed to be a fun get-together. We have a pot luck dinner, gag gift exchange and then our notorious cookie exchange. We had two 6 foot tables of cookies for our cookie exchange. Let me tell ya, we have oodles of cookies for gifting (and eating if your waistline can handle it) once we’re done. The tradition is great as we get opportunities to taste different recipes. And our family has to be the kindest by letting allergy sensitive relatives go through the line first to prevent cross contamination. We don’t want our fam to be miserable. It’s a party for cryin out loud.

I decided to try out a new recipe this year for the cookie exchange. I chose the following book the hubster and i found at the VA hospital military canteen (a mini shop for veterans). I mean how can you go wrong with Amish cookies?

My Book of Choice
My Book of Choice

After cooking gluten free foods the past 9 years, I have been delighted with the new 1 to 1 flours available. I find they convert regular recipes into very near likenesses for my husband and daughter. And yes, they have been diagnosed. They don’t choose to exclude wheat from their diet. The hubster had a biopsy and daughter saw digestive specialists for a good year. They are legit. So save your G-free jokes for someone else. Not funny to those of us watching our loved ones suffer. ** Soap Box Finished**

Leftovers - Wiped out - Must've been good.
Leftovers – Wiped out – Must’ve been good.

I made mine mini-sized to allow plenty to share. No I’m not chintzy. What if the recipe wasn’t very good?! Luckily these were perfectly fine. Real orange rind in the recipe along with orange juice had just the right hint of flavor to set these apart from your regular sugar cookies. And they just seemed festive enough for a Christmas party. Does anyone remember getting oranges in their Christmas stocking on Christmas morning? ….the recipe’s next.

A few pics of the family follow. And I’d like to say thanks to everyone for lending my mother a hand in the planning, set up and clean up of the event. Especially after the year she’s had with her leg pain. Thanks to all for walking through the ‘doors’. Thank you to Norm 2.0 for tolerating this ‘different’ version of Thursday Doors. Please visit him and all the wonderful door participants from around the world by clicking here.

Snapchat, Polaroids of the Millinials.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I’m Elvis/ Letter I

One of my favorite White Elephant gift projects of all time was an apron.

Not just any apron, but an Elvis apron.

Whadaya mean Elvis?

Well here, I’ll show you.


This item was created with my embroidery machine, AKA Brother Esante’ that is¬†20+ years old now. Still going however not always in a strong way. Since moving it to my basement sewing room, I have yet to put it to use. I hang my head when I tell you this.

Back to the gift. The recipient was pretty dang pleased and so was his wife. Maybe she saw the potential of having hubby do more dinners after work? I wouldn’t¬†blame her.¬†(FACT:My husband is a terrific cook.)

The gift was repeated as an item on Etsy and I’m told it was a surprise gift from daughter to her father. They lived states apart and it was heartwarming¬† me¬†to do the shipping¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‘to Dad’.

“You only pass through this life once; you don’t come back for an encore” Elvis Presley

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An Elephant Emphasis

For “E” you get¬†a tutorial in pictures. An Elephant Neck Rest Pillow¬†is the final product.

Elephant Neck Rest/Pillow

Elephant Neck Rest/Pillow

Elephant tutorial 1

  The piece on the right is the ear. You can use same or complimentary fabrics for the front and back.

Elephant Tuturial 2

Be sure to clip curves for a neater finish.

Elephant 3

Leave an opening when sewing right sides together for filling your elephant with stuffing. Hand sew opening closed when satisfied with the loftiness of your neckrest. (Hint: you may want to use the eraser end of a pencil to poke stuffing into the trunk or legs.)

Can you imagine another animal as a neckrest? I chose elephant because our family is notorious in these parts for our “White Elephant Party” each Christmas.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie of one of our gatherings.¬† Enjoy


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Eye Spy WPC

Eye Spy


A yearly tradition of my family is the White Elephant Party. We have a pot luck dinner, gift exchange, card exchange, cookie exchange, and Tons of fun. But one picture just can’t convey our fun, laughter and good times. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the slideshow I put together and meet the ‘eyes’ of my family. Love em!

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A Hunter Family Kind of Christmas

¬†Wikipedia has a definition for “what we do” each year for our family Christmas party:
A white elephant gift exchange is a holiday party game found primarily in North America. Generally, white elephant parties need a minimum of six participants. With a larger group, game play may be more protracted. White elephant parties have been known to result in playful rivalries between players trying to get sought after gifts. The goal of a white elephant party is usually to entertain rather than to gain.
While the term “white elephant” originally referred to a less-than-serious gift, its association with this particular game has become synonymous in some circles, such that the game itself is commonly called a White Elephant Gift Exchange.

I have a definition with a Smilebox Slideshow. Take a look and enjoy!

And I hope everyone else is making wonderful memories with their loved ones!!

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