36 Cookies


It’s one of the most distinct things I remember from childhood. Although I wish it wasn’t. It started with the satchel, a leather sidebag that was donated to orphans in Mexico. I happened to be at the orphanage that weekend, playing with kids my age while my father worked on building a new septic tank, and a new group of Americans visited the orphanage with bags of clothes and items. A kind lady spoke to the kids in broken Spanish and then handed out donated items, and I received the satchel. Probably because I looked like lived at the orphanage.

I took the bag home and it became my most coveted item. One Christmas–as my family prepared to visit a popular neighborhood filled with Christmas decorations and lights–I made batches of cookies. They’re for the family, I told myself. As my father called everyone to the car, I dumped three dozen cookies in my satchel and sat in the back seat of our minivan. A few hours–and 36 cookies–later, I peeled myself from the backseat and went to bed, worrying I ate more cookies than Santa does during his gift-dropping expeditions.

Every Christmas when I make cookies, I can’t help but think of that moment. The moment I reached into the bottom of that leather satchel and realized it was empty. The moment I realized THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Here’s a photo of a gingerbread man I made last night…I accidentally broke his leg before the picture, but–ehhh–you can’t win them all.

**Don’t forget tonight’s SmugMug’s Christmas Party and to bring a canned food item!**

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  1. angie

    December 8th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I believe that not only has it been in the incredible talent behind that lens that has gotten you to "stardom" but that in your beautiful personality. I come here time to time to first drool over your pictures and secondly to enjoy your sweet spirit.
    You are truly blessed and we are blessed to be able to learn so much from you.

    SWEEEET, I am the first to comment? Now that is a first!

  2. Deyla Huss Photography

    December 8th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh hes so cute!!! even with a broken leg Jas! Love it!!

  3. B

    December 8th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Love it! Make some for us, sissy wissy 🙂

  4. Curtis Moore

    December 8th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Great story Jasmine! I’m off to the kitchen for some baking now… yum!

  5. Melissa Papaj

    December 8th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Such a fun Christmas memory. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Stephanie Stewart

    December 8th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Love the story! No worries about the broken leg…cookies are made to be eaten quickly anyway!!!

  7. andie

    December 8th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    what a sweet story and a great memory. I have similar types of memories that I still hang on to.
    thanks for sharing!

  8. Emily Abril

    December 8th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Love, love this swet story… pun totally intended!

  9. Leyla

    December 8th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I love X-mas memories! Thank you for sharing yours… Now I have to bake some cookies =)

  10. ohana photographers

    December 8th, 2009 at 5:49 pm


  11. Lauren Bauer

    December 8th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Love it! SO excited for the party tonight =D

  12. Pol

    December 8th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Really looking forward to this Christmas. Next week we move to our new home. (Still a rental, but that’s ok) Having father in law over for Christmas and some good friends who are also new immigrants. Hoping to have a full house full of joy.

  13. Lydia

    December 8th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Yay for Christmas cookies! Can’t wait to see pictures from tonight’s party!

  14. Gina Meola

    December 8th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Hahaha. Awesome cookie story.

  15. Narrelle

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    LOL. That sounds sooooo much like something I would have done, and I probably did actually, only I’ve blocked it from my memory. 😉 Love the gingerbread man. And don’t worry, it’s best you broke his leg – those things have a habit of escaping, and we can’t have you missing your smugmug meeting because you were busy chasing your gingerbread across the country, with him taunting…"run, run as fast as you can….:

  16. Jennifer O.

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Omg, I thought I ate alot of cookies…never come close to that many though! Mmmm, they sound so good now, better go make some! LOL!

  17. Diandra

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    That is a great story!

    Now I want gingerbread men…

  18. Erin Elizabeth

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    LOL! I can totally picture myself eating all those cookies… I’m glad I’m not the only one… I would have done the exact same thing… I’m still laughing! 🙂

  19. Clayton Austin

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I thought there was a hint of pain and agony on his face…

  20. jenny

    December 8th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    On my way to the kitchen to break out the gingerbread recipe I’ve been saving !!!

  21. Rachel

    December 9th, 2009 at 1:39 am

    So Cute! Beautiful Story…thanks for sharing!

  22. s h e r r y

    December 9th, 2009 at 1:41 am

    That’s a cute gingerbread man! I remember I once finished half a box of Oreos because I kept telling myself that the next one would be the "last one."

  23. Angel Canary

    December 9th, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Jasmine, you are so adorable. Every Christmas Eve we make cookies, and my youngest is almost 16. Good times…

  24. Ginger Murray

    December 9th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Funny timing on this. I literally told my husband earlier tonight that I kind of have a cookie addiction.
    "Oh really!?" he says. "I should have realized that last Christmastime when you ate that entire plate of cookies and didn’t share one morsel with me!"
    (Oopsies… )

  25. Jessica C

    December 9th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Reminds me of the time my mom took me to a bakery and I told her I wanted four doughnuts. She was never one to give me exactly what I wanted but I think she felt the need to teach me a lesson about junk food. She bought me four. I ate two and said I was full. She made me eat the remainders. Twenty-nine years later, I loathe doughnuts. Cute story, I love your blog!

  26. Manuella Pararas-Hulbert

    December 9th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Everytime I come back here, you always convince me to try something new. Wether its off camera flash or making gingerbread cookies,lol. Thanks for always inspiring us in everything you do. I think I’m gonna go try and make gingerbread cookies with my sons and I may even be brave enough to blog about it, maybe!!lol.

  27. Jackie Armstrong

    December 9th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    he needs icing stitches like the gingerbread man in Shrek! lol 🙂

  28. cassandra m

    December 9th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    You bake cookies too? I wouldn’t believe you were real if I didn’t meet and hugg you already. Multi-talented. :))))))

  29. carlie.renee.

    December 10th, 2009 at 12:16 am

    lincoln LOVED jd, can’t you tell??

  30. carlie

    December 10th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    oops.. i commented on the wrong post… i need sleep.

  31. Life with Kaishon

    December 10th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    What a special story. : ) I am so glad that lady did something kind for those children. I just hate to think of children that don’t get presents at Christmas. It breaks my heart!

  32. Dillon Driscoll

    July 10th, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Cutest story ever. I am leaving your blog right now because I have just spent 3 HOURS going through and I can’t help but feel re-fueled and inspired. Thank you so much, and please let me know when you speak, do a workshop or anything photographer related in Arizona. I am dying to meet you.