Christmas in the Country Gift Reveal

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is excited for the new year ahead! It always brings a sense of renewal and possibilities. A new blog series Jessie introduced Wednesday is a Year’s Worth of Beef, which we’re excited to start sharing with you. We hope you keep checking back each week to read as she’s cooking her way through a freezer of beef.

Before we get too far into the year, I wanted to recap a fun gift exchange I participated in with citc15fellow bloggers and ag enthusiasts called Christmas in the Country. I was invited to join by a new friend I made when I attended a conference last spring, Laurie Link. She and her family raise crops and cattle in Missouri, and she blogs at CountryLinked. (I love her blog name!) #CITC is set up like a Secret Santa where the hosts (who did a ton of behind-the-scenes work to get this going) match people up, participants get to know their matches “secretly,” then send them a gift. This week we’re all “linking up” to share more about our gifts and the new friends we’ve made through the secret exchange.

We were gone during the holidays, so I was excited when we returned to find the cutest red and white package waiting for me! So excited, in fact, I totally forgot to take a photo! Anyway, Heather Maude of South Dakota had my name.

She is a fellow cattle rancher, freelance writer and photographer like me, so I love that we also share that connection. She also happens to be a relative of another ag communicator I’ve known since my college days. Such a small world! Heather blogs her photography and agriculture stories at Double H Photography.

I loved the thoughtful gifts she put together for me.

Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange

As we both share a love of livestock photography, I really appreciated the notecards and calendar with her photographs. I also needed a 2016 calendar so this is my favorite treat she included.

She learned I was a coffee drinker and the travel mug is great for taking a hot cup with me on-the-go!

Heather also included an angel cookie cutter because she thought it was cute, and I couldn’t agree more. My kids love baking and decorating sugar cookies, so this was a fun treat we can all enjoy.

The lip balm and ear warmer are much appreciated to combat the cold, dry air we experience during our Idaho winters.

Another gift was a Jesus Calling devotional. Great minds think alike as a dear friend of mine gave one to me for my birthday a few months ago. It really is a wonderful devotional and I’m going to be able to bless someone else by passing it on to them!

The last treat at the bottom of the box was a bag of Christmas M&M’s. One of my favorite IMG_1853__WEBcookie recipes are these M&M Cookies, so the chocolate candies were put to good use in a sweet treat we also shared with friends. You can find the recipe below.

Thank you Heather for these thoughtful gifts!

I had a lot of fun participating this year, as I put together a gift box for Jamie Rhoades at This Uncharted Rhoade. You can learn more about those on her blog. I’ll also have an upcoming post with more details about the projects I made for her!

I’m so glad I participated this year! It is a fun way to bring some Christmas cheer to someone, as well as learn more about others in our industry. You may want to think about joining in the fun next year! You can check out all the other participants at this LinkUp!

M&M Cookies
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 package M&Ms (I use colors available for each of the holidays)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon flour into measuring cup then level off. Sift together with  other dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add peanut butter, eggs one at a time, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients until combined. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. (I like to use parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.) Bake for 8-10 minutes.


Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle


  1. Hi Maggie! Thanks for much for joining up with us this year, it was great to have you! Once again you did amazing with your package to me – and it looks like you got a really nice package from Heather in return! She’s so talented, much like yourself! We appreciate the kind words about the swap and hope you’ll be joining again next year. Have a great new year!

    1. Thanks Jamie, so glad you liked your gifts! And yes, Heather sent some great items to me as well. Happy New Year! ~MM

  2. Thank you for joining us this year Maggie! I am so glad that you and Heather were paired up because of all of your connections and I am sure that you will find even more.
    Laurie – Country Link

  3. What wonderful gifts! And I can’t wait to try the M & M cookie recipe – I love to bake. 🙂 Thank you for participating in the gift exchange this year – it’s been fun to get to know you through the blog! Lara – My Other More Exciting Self

  4. I suddenly want those cookies and a huge glass of milk. 🙂 Thanks so much for participating this year in the exchange. Hope you and your family have a happy and healthy 2016.

  5. I’m so glad you like everything! It was fun shopping for you. I was first introduced to the devotional through one of my best friends, and she included a note that said if I already had a copy, to pass the one she sent on 🙂 How cool that you had the same thought. If I can slow my straight m&m consumption down, I’ll have to try your cookie recipe, too!

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