The Great Cookie Caper

  

  
I have been been absent from blogging for awhile. My move to Wuxi wasn’t as I expected and I have become derailed.  The one great thing are my students, so I decided to write a blog about them. 

I have always given my students Christmas gifts every year since I started teaching in 2001. I have been a classroom teacher so the max gifts that I bought is 25. This year I teach the third grade and there are two classes per grade. So I have 54 students. I also learned later that I was the first teacher actually buy them presents. The other foreign teachers didn’t bother and just gave them cards. BORING!! 

I just feel buying presents are are thoughtful, also it makes me feel the Christmas spirit. I haven’t had a real Christmas since my mom died so and no one gives me gifts anymore. So choosing gifts for my students hold a special meaning.

  
Taobao (the Chinese Amazon but even better) provided me all of their Christmas gifts and I put them all in stockings. The stockings were very large. I decided that I wanted to bake them Christmas cookies. Most of my students never had Christmas cookies before. I was excited to share this Western tradition with them.

Thus begun The Great Cookie Caper. I recently acquired a used toaster oven. One thing about China is  there aren’t ovens here. Well there are but they aren’t commonplace. This is the source of all my cooking and baking needs. I never baked cookies using a toaster oven, so I had no idea how long it would take to bake cookies for 54 students. I decided to make  4 different types of cookies Snowballs, Sugar Cookies, Cranberry Cookies and Gingerbread cookies. I alternated between Taobao and Western supermarkets to get the ingredients. 

   
 I ended up not making the cranberry cookies because it took me 6 bloody hours to make cookies. I was a cookie baking machine. In the end I made 156 cookies.  I could only bake one tray at a time. I didn’t even think about this. I was all night baking and packaging cookies. I only got two hours of sleep. Then I had to take the cookies to school and add them to the stockings.

  
While the kids were practicing for the Christmas concert, Santa Amber struck! I put the stockings under the tree. It was so fun and really put me in the Christmas spirit. Then I returned to help with the rehearsal. 

When they returned to the classroom, I heard their excitement from my office. So I went in they were so excited. Their home room teacher knew in advance that I was going to do this. The kids were playing with their toys and eating their cookies. One girl came up to me with tears in her eyes and said a heartfelt thank you. 

  
I think my biggest and best Christmas present was the happiness of  the kids. They even shared it the cookies with their parents who asked me for the recipe!!!