The Christmas Cookie Ladies

By Matthew McCully

At this time of year most people are in a mad dash to get the Christmas baking done, but not this bunch. For the last 36 years, the Christmas Cookie Ladies, based in Ayer’s Cliff, have been tackling their holiday treats as a team. Each member bakes one type of cookie or square, and then they have a holiday party and exchange, leaving with nine different types of treats to share with friends and family. Over time though, the exchange ended up becoming less about cookies and more about developing the perfect recipe for lifelong friendships. “It’s the chocolate chip in the cookie that binds us. We’re all friends,” explained Marcella Vickers-Brown, a founding member of the cookie club. It all started when Brenda McHarg moved to the area from Edmonton in 1982. She shared the idea of a baking trade that she learned out west. The following year, the group held their first cookie exchange. Now the group meets around four times a year. Once for Christmas, and then in spring, summer and fall for combined birthday parties. “If it’s a milestone you get a gift,” they explained. The history of the Cookie Ladies is documented in full thanks to retired teacher Bev Dyer. See full story in the Tuesday, Dec. 10 edition of The Record.

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