I grew up making Christmas cookies with my mom. We always had a variety of them, and they were usually the same from year to year. I can't really remember what we did with them; I don't think we gave them away. I'll have to ask her! Maybe we just ate them all ourselves. I know we did take a big lot of them down to my aunt's where where we always spent Christmas day.
We put them in a big box, like a gift box you'd receive a shirt in. They were in paper cupcake holders, three or four cookies in each one, and there were maybe five or six varieties. It's very hard to find the right kind of boxes anymore. They aren't tall enough. But I still like the box with cupcake papers best for Christmas cookie presentation.
After I 'grew up' (actually, I'm still waiting to do that) and moved out, I continued to make Christmas cookies to give away as gifts to family, friends, and co-workers. Every now and then I get too busy and Christmas goes by without me doing the cookies. I always feel let down when that happens. Often I do them the week between Christmas and New Years when things have calmed down a little, and that is probably what's going to happen this year.
Our biggest problem has always been keeping the many different cookies fresh until they were all baked and packed and ready to deliver. I've never been one for freezing baked cookies and at this advanced age, I don't think that's going to change. What we did when I was growing up was use empty coffee cans. We would fill them with cookies (sometimes you need to use wax paper in between layers), and the snug plastic lids do a great job of keeping the cookies fresh for quite a few days.
So I am a great hoarder of coffee cans. Especially since we don't buy our coffee in cans and haven't for ages, so they can be hard to come by. I still have a box or two in the garage full of coffee cans to use for Christmas cookies. I just wish I knew where they were! Without the cans, I'm reduced to making the cookies all at once so they can be delivered fresh. My goal for 2010 is to find the coffee cans for next Christmas!
This year I plan to make seven different cookies -- the five aforementioned, along with brownies and blondies. I've already got the Ginger cookie dough in the freezer and maybe I can get the Toll House dough made up today. Of course, we'll have to bake a tray to eat right away, but I'm confident we can save enough dough for the freezer.