It all starts when someone in the office brings in some leftover rugelach from their Hanukkah celebration. Days later, a co-worker brings in a home-baked Bundt cake filled with pumpkin spice or gingerbread. Yet another brings in apple cider doughnuts, or Santa-shaped sugar cookies, or a babka they picked up because they passed by a bakery and “couldn’t resist.”
So the cycle continues until everyone has brought in at least one festive dessert before the new year. Each time, the pressure mounts to make sure you’re not the last person to bring in a sweet treat for the holidays, and to outdo your co-workers either in baking or holiday spirit.
Welcome to the cookie wars. With only a few days before Christmas and New Year’s, here’s how to navigate this part of holiday office politics.
1) If you genuinely love your co-workers
Whatever you bring — even those slice-and-bakes with the lopsided reindeer face — will be appreciated. Just don’t force-feed anyone.
2) If you like your co-workers but don’t know how to cook
You can’t go wrong with something from your favorite neighborhood bakery. You would be doing your part in the holiday snack-sharing, and you would be helping a local business.
3) If you want to win the annual office-baking contest
Go all-out with a five-story gingerbread house that rivals the HGTV Dream Home.
4) If you’re on a tight budget and want to do the bare minimum
Stay simple. You’ll likely already have the ingredients in your pantry for sugar cookies or brownies.
5) If you don’t particularly like your co-workers, but need to one-up Kathy in accounting . . .
Buy a pack of Yankee Doodles, a can of frosting, and some red and green sprinkles. Laugh as your co-workers marvel at how you got the cream inside of your “homemade cupcakes.”
6) If your Grinchy co-workers are all on an anti-sugar crusade
Bring in a fruit platter and spruce up your LinkedIn profile to find a new gig.
7) If you hate your job
Throw some Entenmann’s on a plate and call it a day.
8) If you’re about to give notice
A chocolate chip cookie emoji attached to your resignation letter will do just fine.
Janine Perri is a marketing professional and freelance writer.
This will be the last edition of AMExpress for the year. It will return the first week of January.