Our Family Cookie Exchange

Let’s be honest, our family cookie exchange is the one event I look forward to the most! There’s really not a Christmas cookie that I’ve met and haven’t liked.  I consider myself a pretty good cook but when it comes to baking I just don’t fit the bill. I’ve always associated being an artist with being a cook and being a baker with a seamstress. A little extra red, a little bit of blue, and a little bit of black and the painting still looks good. The same with cooking; a little bit of pepper, a little more salt, a little bit more oregano and it all works out. But when it comes to baking it’s all exact just like sewing. Trust me I’ve tried substituting baking powder for baking soda.

New Traditions

So when my mom suggested having a family cookie exchange a few years ago I was so excited to rake in all the delicious cookies that I didn’t have to make. Two weeks before Christmas each of us promises to bring 4 dozen cookies but each year the cookies get more abundant and better tasting! Here’s a peek into my Italian families cookie exchange and a short tour of my parents beautiful home.
4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

My mom Rita always hangs a seasonal wreath on her front door. With the dark door stain the wreaths always stand out. Come on in!

4th Annual Family Christmas Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Traditional Christmas

My mom always does a great job with her traditional themed decorations. Here she’s dressed up the mantel with swagging boughs of greens intertwined with red velvet ribbon and fresh pine cones. Glass tree toppers fill the pewter candlesticks and out comes the Santa oil painting.  The sofa table gets an arrangement of massive pine cones, giant jingle bells and flickering candles. All decor from Wisteria Flowers and Gifts.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Mad For Plaid

Since my mom is always entertains for the holiday I gave her a few Christmas presents early. I found the perfect seasonal lamp at HomeGoods, a gold pine tree with a classic Christmas red plaid shade. It adds just the right amount of color and light to the corner. I also found her a basket for next to the fireplace. This soft canvas basket with the words The Most Wonderful time of the Year now holds extra blankets, accent pillows or firewood.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio
4th Annual Family Christmas Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

The flocked tree in the living room is a decorated with white glass, teardrop and finial ornaments, large white and clear bulbs, red berries and feathered birds.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Multiple Trees

The tree in the master bedroom is one of my favorites.  Turquoise, dusty mauves, coppers and chartreuse ornaments and thick metallic green ribbon immediately draw you into the room. This unconventional color scheme adds warmth and compliments the room’s light blue decor.  Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this beauty in the morning?

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Keepsake Collectible Ornaments

The family room tree is loaded with keepsake ornaments. In my previous Christmas Home Tour post I mentioned that my mom has been gifting my sister and I glass ornaments for years. Hers is loaded with all shapes, sizes, and themes. Each year my mom hides the smallest ornament somewhere on the tree and has a contest for the kids to see who can find it first. I’m thinking that she may need another tree in the the familyroom next year!

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Sweet Treats

So here’s the money shot. Hundreds of cookies for our Christmas Cookie Exchange. Trader Joe’s peppermint jo-jo’s dipped in white chocolate and crushed peppermint, pizzelles, red velvet mini cupcakes with santa hats, cranberry and orange biscotti, traditional frosted cut outs, blondies, Christmas holly, peanut butter drops and chocolate meatball cookies just to name a few.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

I love my mom’s collection of delft blue ginger jars. Simple greens, pine cones and berries are all that this sideboard needs.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

My mom sets up a coffee and drink bar in the kitchen and we all have lunch and talk about our annual Christmas Eve gathering at my house. Sit down dinner for 45!

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio4th Annual Family Christmas Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Family Ties

Here we are all smiling and waiting to dig in and divvy up all those homemade sweets. Gathering with these great women is one of the highlights of my year. I may not bring the most creative cookies to exchange but the laughs and the memories of this family tradition is priceless. Thanks Mom for opening up your home and sweetening the deal.

xoxo Amie

Cousin Val’s Chocolate Meatball Cookies

Mix-

3 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 T cocoa

1/2 t cloves
one half  teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t salt
1 t soda
3/4 cup sugar
Cream 1 cup milk, and 1 stick of butter.
Add to dry ingredients
Then add 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Baker at 375 for 8-10 min.
To frost, mix confectionery sugar with milk until thicker consistency and dip cookies into mixture
Enjoy!
 

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

Yes my stepfather Rich gets a Rocking Santa in his Music Room.

4th Annual Family Cookie Exchange with Meme Hill Studio

12 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rhonda

    August 21, 2016

    simply stunning !! can you let me know where i may also purchase the Christmas tree lamp.. just love it .. thanks !

    • Reply

      memehillstudio

      August 22, 2016

      Good Morning Rhonda- That sweet tree was bought at HomeGoods let Christmastime. They might have more coming soon!

      • Reply

        Marsha

        December 5, 2016

        Bought one today at Home Goods here in Columbia SC they just got them in and they had 4 of them. I love this lamp! Been waiting on it! Hope you find one!

        • Reply

          memehillstudio

          December 5, 2016

          Awesome catch!

  2. Reply

    Lynn

    September 22, 2016

    Did the canvas basket also come from HomeGoods?

    • Reply

      memehillstudio

      September 23, 2016

      Hi Lynn- Yes it did. I loved it so much! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Reply

    Haley

    October 17, 2016

    Where did you purchase the framed Santa Clause picture?

    • Reply

      memehillstudio

      October 17, 2016

      Hi Haley- The picture was purchased a few years ago at a local store called Wisteria Flowers and Gifts.They no longer carry the painting. Im so sorry! Everyone loves it!

  4. Reply

    Nancy

    December 18, 2018

    Love all of it. I WILL be getting the lamp with the plaid shade…… as always, looks beautiful!

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Amie Freling

"Life's too short for white walls .." Amie Freling-Brown, a Rochester, NY-based designer and artist who transforms ho-hum spaces into works of art. Her creative designs can be found in many fine homes, restaurants and businesses. Her work has been featured in national magazines, on HGTV and has been sold through retailers nationwide from True Value Hardware to Nordstroms. She proudly offers such professional services as design, staging, color consultations and fine art.

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