As guests walk through the doors of Lynn Parkinson’s old home in Sand Canyon with cookies in their hand, there is a sense of nostalgia.
“I hope it’s a tradition that will be in the hearts of our friends and our family,” says Parkinson. “There are so many memories here.”
The hostess’ friends and family came together for possibly the last holiday gathering of Parkinson’s 50th Annual Cookie Exchange.
What started out as a mother trying to hold a Christmas party for her children and a few neighbors grew to be a tradition where over 40 women came together, exchanged cookies, ate lunch and watched the generations grow.
“This is a special day for me,” says Parkinson. “When you think about it, all the people that you’ve known throughout my life are here today.”
Over three generations gathered in Parkinson’s old home, bought by her son in the past year. Each person was expected to bring four-dozen homemade cookies for everyone to exchange.
Leslie Stevenson brought in a few dozen English toffees, her mother’s recipe.
“My mom passed several years ago,” said Stevenson. “This (exchange) was one of the things we always did.”
Stevenson came to the exchange as an infant with her mother and this year she came with her two daughters.
“People change, things change, times change,” says Stevenson. “It will be the three generations that have come through this party.”
Due to Parkinson’s age, she felt that after 50 years of hosting a beloved tradition that this was going to be the last cookie exchange and luncheon.
“She’s got her chin up and she’s brave today but I know inside, it’s nostalgic for her as well,” says Leslie Christensen, a long time friend of Parkinson.
“She’s the best entertainer you could ever ask for.”
While this may be Parkinson’s last year hosting the tradition, she hopes that the memories will live on forever.
“When I look around the room, it’s full of people that have made my life rich and meaningful,” says Parkinson.
“I have taken the memories in my heart and no one can take that away from me.”