A construction crane lifting a giant gingerbread cookie in a winter wonderland.

Constructing Holiday Cheer


Welcome to the holiday edition of The Manhood Minute! This month, we’re rolling out some festive cheer with a heartwarming activity and some thoughtful reflection, perfect for this season of giving. So, get your cookie cutters ready and let’s embark on a delightful December adventure together!

The Cool Idea

A Compassionate Cookie Construction Crew
We’re rolling up our sleeves and preheating our ovens for a holiday activity that’s sure to spread cheer far and wide. This season, let’s guide our young boys in mixing up a batch of kindness, one cookie at a time, to teach them the warmth of generosity during the holidays.
Plate of Christmas cookies.Pull out your favorite holiday cookie recipes and carve out some time for this great project.  As we help our men-in-the-making roll out their cookie dough and press out shapes that sing of the season, let’s encourage them to think about who’ll be on the receiving end of their creations.  Because this year, we’re making batches of cookies to give away. Between the flour and sugar, let’s stir in conversations about the joy of giving, highlighting how something as simple as a homemade cookie can brighten someone’s day. 

Once the cookies have cooled, it’s time for the decorations. Each sprinkle, each dollop of icing—it’s all a sprinkle of joy.  And as you decorate, help your child ponder the happiness he’ll be icing onto someone else’s day. After all, he’s not just making cookies; he is crafting little circles of delight, tailored with care for friends, family, or maybe even someone he’s never met who could use a smile.  When the cookies are ready to be shared, package them with care. Show him the power of a personal message tied with a ribbon of love.

And here comes the heartwarming part—giving  the cookies away. Whether it’s to family, neighbors or community helpers, make sure to take in all the smiles, and later, reflect together on the beautiful act of giving. Let’s make this holiday one of giving and learning, baking lessons of kindness along with delicious cookies. Get ready to spread some homemade happiness and create lasting memories!

The Big Problem

Holiday Hustle: It’s Not Just About the Gifts!

As the holiday season twinkles with with the latest toy ads, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the commercial frenzy that often overshadows the true values of the season. It’s a sparkly spectacle of buying and receiving that can dim the simple joys of heartfelt giving. This glittering commercialism, while dazzling, sometimes pulls us away from the authentic connections and the spirit of generosity that lie at the heart of the holiday cheer.
The holiday rush nudges us toward packed malls and online shopping carts.  And let’s face it, in the whirl of wish lists, the act of giving can become more about the price tag than the sentiment. The magic of the season isn’t found in long lines or lightning deals; it’s woven through the quiet moments of connection and the acts of kindness that don’t require batteries. In the contrast between the commercial and the compassionate, we find the true warmth of the holiday season—a warmth we baked into our cookies to share.
To bring back the enchanting narratives of giving, sharing, and cherishing the simple things, let’s turn the pages of a few classic holiday stories that echo this sentiment. These books can become a cozy backdrop to a new holiday tradition for your family, offering rich tales that remind us of the real treasures of the season.  Here are just a few to consider:
These stories are lanterns that light the way to what the holidays are about. Let’s share these tales with our children, reinforcing the Cool Idea and reminding us all to celebrate the holiday not for what we can get, but for what we can give.

The Lesson Learned

In crafting our Cool Idea project of baking and gifting cookies, alongside reflecting on the true meaning of the holidays in our Big Problem discussion, we’ve truly stirred up a heartfelt Lesson Learned. The richest moments of the holiday season come from simple, genuine acts of kindness.
Our experience has shown us the deep satisfaction that comes from giving. Observing the spark of excitement in our young men as they prepare and share their baked treats has been a reminder of what the holidays are truly about. It’s not just the grand gestures, but the small ones—like a hand-decorated cookie—that warm the heart.
This holiday, we’ve learned the value of hands-on giving. We’ve seen that a gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. And as we teach our boys the importance of generosity, we’re planting the seeds for a future where kindness is celebrated and cherished.  Let this lesson in generosity be one we savor all year round, fostering a spirit of warmth and sharing that goes beyond the holiday season.
Invest a minute and inspire a lifetime . . .

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