Aaron Shepard retells this legend from Dutch colonial New York about an honest baker that learns what true generosity really is and begins the tradition of giving thirteen cookies as a dozen - a "baker's dozen." Unfortunately the book is out of print but you can read the whole story online here or check to see if they have it at your library.
For today's activity you'll be spending some time in the kitchen with your favorite recipes or try some new ones. I think Amber's Aebleskiver's sound wonderful! And I'm definitely going to try Meg's Molasses Cookies because they're my favorite. Vicki's Harvest Moon Cookies look like perfect gifts for the neighbors but be sure to save some for yourself - I love the idea of cornmeal giving the cookie a slight crunch. My sister and I love this spice tea that's super easy to make and is also a great gift bottled in a pretty jar with a ribbon. I usually make mini loaves of my banana bread and wrap them in parchment with baker's twine.
While you are getting things prepped, the kids can watch Aaron Shepard read another of his books, King o' the Cats. Need more time? Watch and listen to Lou Diamond Phillips read The Polar Express or go here and listen to Dylan Thomas read his book, A Child's Christmas in Wales - a real treat!
I'd love to know your family's favorite thing to bake for the holidays and if you have a link to the recipe put that in your comment too!