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Mom's Christmas cookies solidify team memebership

Dan Conradt finally admits his mother made his contribution to workplace snacks.

Dan Conradt column sig

The statute of limitations has expired, so I can finally admit it publicly: my mom made the cookies.

Wow, it feels great to get THAT off my chest!

Someone had taped the sign to the front of the pop machine:

Snacks in the break room this Friday!

Bring your favorite Christmas cookies to share!

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Coffee and apple cider provided!

“You don’t have to bring cookies,” my coworker said, reading over my shoulder. “There will be plenty!”

I knew she was giving me an “out,” and I appreciated it. I was a 20-year-old bachelor, and anything more complicated than Ramen noodles was beyond my expertise.

Christmas cookies? Forget it.

But I was also “the new guy” and wanted to prove that I was part of the team.

I wondered if I could sneak in a plate full of Chips Ahoy! if I put them on a holiday plate and wrapped it in green Saran Wrap. Probably not.

“No, I’ll bring some cookies.”

“OK …” she said with a skeptical smile.

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I hit the speed-dial button on my phone as soon as I got home from work that day.

“Hello?”

“Hey, mom. It’s Dan. I’ve got a favor to ask …

Mom was in the middle of her holiday baking and had already filled half a dozen Tupperware containers with the same Christmas cookies she’d been baking for as long as I could remember. She pulled the containers out of the cupboard and arranged them on the kitchen table.

“Why don’t you take a couple of each?” she said.

“Maybe just the sugar cookies,” I said. They were shaped like snowmen and covered with white frosting.

“Oh, take some of each,” mom said. “We’ve got more than enough.”

“I’m supposed to make them myself,” I admitted. “I don’t want to look too competent.”

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Mom smiled: “You won’t.”

Hmmm.

I left with a plate of two dozen snowman cookies wearing green Saran Wrap.

That Friday I was standing in a corner of the break room, watching surreptitiously as one of my co-workers took a snowman off the plate I’d brought. He indelicately bit off the snowman’s head.

“Who brought these?” he mumbled loudly, waving the remaining cookie and showering the floor with crumbs.

If he said anything nasty about my mom’s cookies …

“I did,” I said.

“No kidding? They taste just like the cookies my mom used to make!”

He grabbed a second snowman and left the room.

I stopped at the store after work and bought mom’s Christmas present -- a bottle of her favorite perfume. The big bottle. It was more expensive, but it was the least I could do.

Thanks to her, I was part of the team.

And I’m not afraid to admit it.

Dan Conradt, a lifelong Mower County resident, lives in Austin with his wife, Carla Johnson.

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Related Topics: PEOPLEDAN CONRADT
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