By Emelia Attridge

When I was in middle school, my family spent every weekend at our Christmas tree farm in Maine. We would get up early and work from Black Friday to the week before Christmas. This became an Advent ritual during my preteen years. I would bounce back and forth from serving hot cocoa and cookies to guests at the tree farm to rehearsals and Nutcracker recitals. Christmas tunes and the scent of pine filled the air anywhere we went.

The season of Advent became for my family a time of activity and excitement as we prepared for Christmas. Family rituals and activities give us deep joy during the busy season of the holidays. The memories they create stir us each season years later.

How will your family participate in the season this year?

Aside from weekends at the tree farm, sharing and making cards, ornaments, and cookies were always my favorite way to spend time with family members. Try this mint chocolate chip cookie recipe in your kitchen and enjoy a cookie swap with family or neighbors!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


Your favorite sugar cookie mix (or store-bought dough)

½ cup margarine, softened

½ tsp. mint extract

7 drops of green food coloring

1 egg

1 cup crème de menthe baking chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cookie dough, margarine, mint extract, food coloring, and egg. Stir in crème de menthe and chocolate chips.

Scoop dough on to a baking sheet so that each cookie is 2-inches apart .

Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!