Today I was lucky enough to join a few other local bloggers and enjoy a lovely brunch while we wrote our letters to Santa to deliver to Santa’s mailbox at one of our local Macy’s locations. Incidentally, if you want to see the world’s most famous Santa here in Salt Lake (or one of the other locations on their tour across the country) the day is TOMORROW, December 9th at Valley Fair Mall.
We had such a fun time making and decorating our letters to Santa and dropping them off at Macy’s in Santa’s mailbox. Even Kayla got in on writing to Santa this year (ok, coloring, but seriously, Santa knows what she wants anyway, right!?).
Why drop our letters off at Macy’s you may ask? Simple. We may deal with a lot of crazy health problems and scares, and other issues in our little family, but believe me, we know how lucky we are.
We also know that not everyone is as blessed as us. We are happy to help any way we can.
Once again this year as a part of their Believe campaign, Macy’s is collecting letters and will donate $1 per letter to the Make A Wish Foundation UP TO $1 MILLION to help kids who really need it have their wish come true.
Personally I think this is one of the most amazing, charitable, easy fundraising campaigns anyone does throughout the entire year. It couldn’t be easier and they’ve provided so many fun tools to help things along. There are letter templates, stationaries, you can create the letter online and there is even information for classrooms to work on this in schools to help out.
In fact, I had mentioned to Aidan that we would be doing this activity this morning and he’s been looking forward to it all week. Then on Thursday he came home and starting telling me all about how the 6th graders at his school came in to the classrooms to teach the other kids about the Make A Wish Foundation and this campaign. I love that his charter school is service learning oriented and that he came home even more excited to go write our letters this morning. In case you want to know how the letter writing is going, they keep a running total on the website that you can see too. So far they are only about just halfway over the goal so help is still definitely needed!
So, please get your letter writing skills on and check out that Santa tour list to see when you can see Santa at Macy’s, or just make sure you get your letters delivered to the mailbox at Macy’s. It’s such an easy way to help a wonderful cause! Find all the details HERE.
Next Friday, December 14th is also Macy’s National Believe Day. It’s going to be fun! You can check back in to find out what wishes are being granted and even watch Macy’s special, Yes, Virginia. I know what holiday show the kids and I will be enjoying for next week’s movie night!
As for these cookies, they are just lightly spiced with ginger, cinnamon and allspice and are a bit on the soft and chewy side, just like we like them. They aren’t too spicy for the kids and I absolutely adore the texture from combining brown sugar and molasses in the dough. These are Aidan’s favorite cookie, and a personal favorite of mine as well. For this recipe I decided to try out a recipe from the new Dahlia Bakery Cookbook (which is absolutely fabulous and would make a great gift for any bakers in your life). My changes were mainly in the sugar and spice department. The original cookie uses fresh ginger and no allspice, brown sugar or vanilla – all things I just can’t resist adding. I’m sure the original is wonderful as is, but I know my kids don’t always love the kick of fresh ginger. These spice cookies just sing of the holidays for me. Enjoy!
We’ve been having a wonderful time keeping our holiday season service oriented too. In fact, these cookies were my contribution to a little cookie exchange I attended last weekend with the kids. You can find out more about that cookie exchange, hosted by Carrian, and get some more tips and ideas from Krista too.
I’ll bet Santa would appreciate a plate of these cookies on Christmas Eve. Just sayin’.
Old-Fashioned Molasses Spice Cookies
Adapted from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar, plus more to roll the dough in before baking
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugars until light and creamy, about 4 minutes to really incorporate the brown sugar. If you are using a hand mixer, just beat the mixture 1 minute longer. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and beat well to combine. The mixture should be smooth, light and fluffy with a color and texture that almost looks like frosting.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and spices. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat well to combine, but don’t over mix – all the ingredients just need to be incorporated. Cover the dough and chill it for at least 1 hour before baking.
Sprinkle some sugar in a shallow bowl and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment. Use a small scoop to make heaping tablespoon sized balls and roll them around in the sugar. Place on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart (this dough will spread!). Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes or until they are cracked and mostly set. Let the baked cookies cool on the baking sheet before moving to a rack to cool.
Makes about 2 dozen 4-inch cookies. Store in an airtight container.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Holiday Campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.