Christmas is a natural time to show people love, appreciation or affection through thoughtful gifts. Shopping for close family and friends is standard, but how do you share the Christmas spirit with teachers, coworkers, friends at church and so many others without spending a fortune?

The answer for Dale County’s Vicki Morrison is in the kitchen.

“Every year, pretty much all the ladies in our family — my mom, grandmother, aunts and some friends — get together and cook sweet treats for just about everyone,” Morrison said. “We call them ‘Christmas goodies.’ We’ve done it for so many years that it’s expected now. People are disappointed if they don’t get them.”

Morrison and her husband Paul, who won Alabama’s  2014 Outstanding Young Farm Family contest, stay busy growing row crops, raising beef cattle and enjoying their one-year-old son, Cooper. In addition to being a farmer and mother, Vicki also teaches high school math. Her students have come to expect her goodies, too.

“I’m kind of known for it with the kids,” she said. “When they get their schedule at the beginning of the year and see they have me as a teacher, they comment about how they are excited to see what I will cook for them. It’s usually something as simple as Rice Krispies Treats, but they look forward to that so much.”

Despite her busy schedule, Vicki always sets aside a Saturday in December to make Christmas goodies because of the time it gives her to spend with her extended family.

“We don’t see each other often, so it’s wonderful to get together and talk and catch up,” she said. “Honestly, only a couple of us do the cooking — it’s mostly just a bunch of women of all different generations sitting around a table chit-chatting.”