As I mentioned previously, the primary theme of this post is Christmas-related. In particular, it has something to do with these:
|(Click to enlarge any of these photos)|
Christmas cookies that my wife makes and the entire family decorates as one of our Advent traditions. It’s a subject I’ve described here a couple of times before, and one that’s typically reliable for some fun responses.
However, the topic of Christmas cookies doesn’t really have anything to do with running – at least, so I thought until earlier this week. That’s because it wasn’t more than a day after putting the finishing touches on our family’s batch of goodies that I received a package in the mail from VIVOBAREFOOT. Here’s what I found inside:
A thin book, a small goodie-shaped box, and a note of some kind either wishing me a Merry Christmas or thanking me for my support this year or something along those lines … honestly, I was a little distracted by wondering what the heck was inside the box.
I’ll get to that in a second, but first, about the book: it’s a glossy version of VIVOBAREFOOT’s very informative eBook about minimalist running. I downloaded and printed this when it was first released online this summer, and found it to be a nice overview of the benefits of barefoot running and the philosophy of minimalist footwear. It also has some drills and stretches that I found quite helpful and that I continue to practice today.
However, since I already have a copy of this book, and since we’re ostensibly talking about holiday cheer, I’ve decided to conduct my own little flash giveaway right now. If you’d like my copy of the book for yourself, leave a comment below this post and I’ll pick a winner on Saturday night. I figure I may as well pay this one forward.
On the other hand, I’m not offering the contents of the box, because, well … they’ve already been taken care of, so to speak. Imagine my delight when I found these cool little VIVOBAREFOOT cookies waiting for me. They lasted just long enough for this photo session to wrap up before getting consumed by my “product testing crew”; when the subject is cookies, it’s amazing how quickly my family steps up to offer assistance.
In their defense, my family could have very well been experiencing cookie-separation anxiety at the time, because of all those cookies in the top photo, only a small portion ever make it into our own bellies. Most of them are given away to friends and neighbors, which is the Christmas-y thing to do and all that, but it does require a little more restraint than most of us (well, OK … mostly me) are comfortable with.
Instead, the joy in our cookie tradition is in the decorating, which different members of our family approach in different ways. For example, my wife excels at classic beauty – I dare say it comes naturally for her – although she’s experimenting with swirls and twirls and expanding her skilled repertoire with each passing year.
My 8-year-old daughter is still growing into her own artistic identity; a couple of years ago her works had a prominent Jackson Pollack feel to them, but I’d now say she has more of a cubism-era Picasso vibe going on.
My son follows in his mother’s cookie-styling footsteps quite closely, which fits his own personality as well; he’s a straightforward, no-nonsense kid who does things pretty much by the book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that … and I suppose if he had to pick one parent to emulate, he certainly made the responsible choice.
His 10-year-old sister apparently would make the opposite decision, in that when it comes to cookie designs, she and I are kindred spirits – so much, in fact, that it’s become hard to distinguish her own works from mine.
For example, here’s a small sampling of our creations. Some of them are hers, others are mine – and it’s honestly hard for me to tell which ones are which. They’re all kind of fun, however …
… such as this pair: Elwood Blues on the left, and Fozzie Bear on the right. One's on a mission from God, and the other's wearing fart shoes. (Yes, we saw The Muppets this year; and no, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.)
Here we have SpongeBob’s friend Patrick on the left, and a tie-dye hippie angel on the right. This is Northern California, after all.
This pair needs some explanation. On the right is my attempt at Perry the Platypus. On the left is a Christmas tree with an identity crisis. If anyone ever claims that a Christmas cookie can’t be introspective, send them my way.
And with that, we’ll call it a wrap on the 2011 cookie report, but not on the holiday cheer. If you want in on the VIVOBAREFOOT book giveaway, drop a comment in the box below, and I’ll announce the winner on Saturday night. Happy Holidays and good luck to everybody!
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