I've swapped cookies with this group for years – in the past the cookies have tended toward a high degree of technical and artistic difficulty, which I appreciate. So I figured a strong showing – good-sized fancy cookies with royal icing and sprinkles – was merited. DH lent a hand with the decorating (also with the taste-testing of less choice specimens), and in short order there was more than a sufficient number for the swap. I always make extra in case of breakage (and for judicious sampling), and was pleased this time there was only one casualty, a sweater with a broken arm, which was decorated with a purple heart and retired from the fray.
It seems to me that a successful swap of any kind requires a certain level of equity. In the case of a cookie swap, that means all participants bring the number of cookies requested by the hostess and all participants put a reasonable amount of effort into their offerings. Alas, this year some participants brought only half the requested number, some brought bar cookies divided into the requisite number of pieces, albeit smaller than micro SD cards, but all participants brought their usual unyielding warrior princess spirit. And then there were my sweater cookies.
Civilization began crumbling pretty much immediately. For one thing, I was out of the room when the swap started. I'm told there was an initial dismayed exclamation, "They're all different!" A certain amount of bad behavior followed. At this swap each participant's cookies are placed on a big table around which the
Swooper: "Oh, sorry, did you want that one?"Christmas cookie swapping, it's serious business roundabout Exit 151. The competition was mildly entertaining and gratifying to me, a bit aggravating for the other swappers. I was surprised the most popular sweater cookie colors were pinky-red (the red food coloring would not tint the icing a true red) and green; the least popular were black (the black food coloring was highly effective) and yellow. Then it was my turn to become annoyed when it was suggested that it would be OK if I went home with fewer cookies than I brought, and none of my own, so there would be more sweaters for the other swappers and especially for the person who made the suggestion. Um, nope. Nope, nope, nope.
Swooped-upon: "Well, yeah."
Swooper: "But I touched it already. There, now I've touched it twice."
Swooped-upon: "I still want it."
It was almost enough to make me pack up the remainder of my cookies and head home to watch Yule log cam. But the group got that flash of overt greed tamped down and I persevered, only to have the concept of Ugly Christmas Sweaters and how ironic it was I made Ugly Christmas Sweater cookies painstakingly explained to me. Which was kind, or ironic, or remarkably stupid, because I was wearing a vintage Ugly Christmas Sweater. Yule log cam, take me away!
ETA: While sitting by the fire I started a new project, a cozy for my new non-Thermos brand insulated beverage container. What does one call such things?
It's – ::gasp:: – a crochet-knit hybrid.