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December 21, 2011

Frosting and Rambling, Part 3 (With a Secret Giveaway Inside!)

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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XC RACER 12/21/11, 9:50 PM  

Oh, count me in! I love December!

Adelyn 12/21/11, 10:16 PM  

I'd love to be in this drawing, considering I recently got myself a pair of their shoes, and am still a little worried I'm not running with them exactly as I'm supposed to be :).

Cookies look delicious!

Benjammin' 12/22/11, 5:10 AM  

I'd love the book as I transition from my NB minimus to the merrell trail gloves I recently purchased after reading your review. I Hope you and your family enjoy the holidays and thank you for all the useful information and fun stories.

Eddie 12/22/11, 5:12 AM  

Put me in the drawing. I'd love this book for my running library.

MJP 12/22/11, 5:25 AM  

Looks like an interesting read, hope to get a chance at it!

Jay 12/22/11, 6:51 AM  

I would be interested in the book (and the cookies if you ever decide to give some of them away). Looks like some good family memories.

Cherylrunner 12/22/11, 8:06 AM  

Hey Donald! You have some talented cookie creators! Love Patrick the Starfish (love spongebob, where is he?) and your snowmen. Very impressive! Love a copy of the book. Enter me in and Merry, Merry Christmas to you!

njschout 12/22/11, 8:07 AM  

Include me, I would love to read this book

sramfl 12/22/11, 8:41 AM  

Wish I can make cool looking cookies like that.

JimDog 12/22/11, 8:55 AM  

Count me in! Merry X-mas!!!

Marlon Magdalena 12/22/11, 10:14 AM  

Cute Cookies! Happy Holidays!

Logan 12/22/11, 10:38 AM  

count me in! I love Christmas cookies!

Joyce 12/22/11, 10:55 AM  

Oooh, oooh, that sounds fantastic! In the meantime, I'm going to check out the ebook!

Andy 12/22/11, 10:57 AM  

Nice cookies!

I would love to receive this book!

Happy Holidays!

Peace and Love,


myotisfriend 12/22/11, 11:47 AM  

I have been waiting for barefoot shoes all my life...I just did not know what they were called, LOL. I have VIVO BAREFOOT boots for the snow, shoes for daily life, and NEOs for running and the summer. Would love the book. Have happy holidays, all.

WZ 12/22/11, 12:28 PM  

Happy holidays, y'all!
I would love to be entered into the drawing, thanks! :D

Gretchen 12/22/11, 3:22 PM  

Please tell me the headless angel-turned-bunny was your daughter's creation. The princess in the green dress was obviously yours.

I didn't realize there as a fart shoe version of the Evos. Interesting. That explains a lot.

Joe M 12/22/11, 3:34 PM  

All the cookies look great!
The book certainly seems like it would be an interesting read, especially for those I know who are a bit skeptical of whole barefoot/minimalist running.

Ziomek Family Blog 12/22/11, 7:14 PM  

Just found your blog. It's very interesting reading. Thanks for the drawing.

Aaron 12/22/11, 11:29 PM  

Put me in as well!! Awesomeness and have a great holiday

BarefootDawsy 12/23/11, 11:54 AM  

I'd love a copy of this book (and any cookes you have to spare!)

Erik J. Barzeski 12/23/11, 4:11 PM  

I'm in! Good for you on the cookies! They look delicious.

Heather 12/24/11, 5:05 AM  

I would love to be in the drawing. What a great collection of cookie art too. It's so nice you have such a fun tradition. Merry Christmas.

lostinacrowd 12/24/11, 6:05 AM  

Cookies for breakfast over here! Ginger snaps and coffee!

Juls 12/24/11, 6:41 AM  

I'm in (or would like to be).

David 12/24/11, 7:06 AM  

i'm in! those cookies look delicious as well. mmmmmmm...

Josh 12/24/11, 2:32 PM  

Put me in the drawing please.

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