Baked Goods Over Material Goods


Maggie Reinert

The average American spends roughly one thousand dollars on Christmas gifts every year. Many purchased gifts are basic kits such as fuzzy socks or a box of chocolate assortments from Target or TJMaxx. Material goods may seem like a thoughtful gift to a buyer but in reality small items that often get “re-gifted” at the next White Elephant party are not thoughtfully received. 16-year-old, Amanda Glowacki, and her family take a cheaper and more heartfelt approach to the holiday season.

Instead of miscellaneous and simply forgotten gifts, Glowacki makes easily over one thousand cookies each holiday season to give to family and friends as gifts. The baked goods show a different level of appreciation for each person and are personalized to all their friends tastebuds. Not only has it been a tradition in their family for three generations, but the idea behind homemade cookies as a gift has grown deeper with every generation. Material goods are often glamourized in today’s society but many people would rather receive a bag of warm, festive cookies than a fresh pine scented candle from “Bath & Body Works”.

Glowacki’s family makes all of their baked goods from scratch. They have over thirty different recipes, all unique and have been in the family for generations. The most popular desserts include “Peanut butter balls, santa thumbprints, espresso cookies, peppermint bark” and “ribbon cookies – which are gross and bland but old people love them”, described by Glowacki. The wide range of options creates a tremendous fanbase. Her family takes three to five trips to the grocery store per week for ingredients during the baking season. She described the statistics of the process as, “We just go wild with ingredients, one year we bought a 13-pound-bag of flour from Costco”. The time and effort put into each holiday baking and delivering season is intense needless to say. 

When asked why her family gives out baked goods instead of material goods Glowacki responded with, “Well first of all, fresh baked goods will always trump store bought food.” Their recipients strongly agree with this statement. The family gets asked through the entire holiday pre-season when they will start baking and delivering. 

Glowacki also stated, “They aren’t unique or like they don’t have that extra touch”. No matter what type of cookie, homemade cookies are elite over store-bought ones. She has been helping her family bake their holiday cookie recipes since she was three or four years old. She started with small tasks such as rolling dough until she was old enough to create batches by herself around the age of 10. 

The holiday gifts have left some powerful impacts on Glowacki. One of her favorites was giving a family friend, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, a huge delivery of baked goods. She had “never seen her so happy since before being diagnosed”. 

The memories and emotion that come with each baking season are what pushes the family to continue the tradition, especially during a year like 2020. Glowacki states, “That’s why it’s worth doing every year. Just seeing the reactions show that we impact their lives”. Watching people’s responses is a whole different level of appreciation and what her family does is worth the effort instead of buying small, basic material goods.