The holiday season — and all the traditions that accompany it — has finally arrived.

Children are shipping letters to the North Pole, making ornaments for the family Christmas tree and finding the nearest Santa with whom to take a picture.

We are inviting kids in the area to start a new tradition in 2021.

The Daily Independent, along with our weekly food columnist — the author of 26 “Appetizing Ashland Area” columns so far — will host a chocolate chip cookie contest. Depending on how it goes, it could be the first of many.

The rules are simple and easy to follow.

The contest is limited to chocolate chip cookies and must be made from scratch.

A child or children must be involved in the baking process along with his or her parent or guardian.

The three divisions are as follows: Ages 5 and under, 6-9 and 10-13.

Each contestant must turn in three separate cookies in three Ziploc bags for judging by noon on Monday, Dec. 27. Place the bags in a box with the child’s name, age, phone number and address. Email pictures from the making/baking process for possible publication in The Daily Independent to

You can start bringing cookies in on Dec. 20. The Daily Independent office — at 224 17th Street — will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Dec. 20-23. The office is closed on Christmas Eve (Friday, Dec. 24).

Each child can enter only once. If multiple children from the same family want to participate, they must enter separately in respective age divisions. They can still make the cookies together.

Publisher Lisa Callihan, Appetizing Ashland Area’s G.G. and I will be the judges. We are ready to satisfy our sweet teeth this holiday season.

Cookies will be removed from their boxes and given a blind number. All results are final.

As our food columnist says, we think this could be a wonderful way to have fun during the Christmas season and reinforce math and reading skills with your child on holiday break.

Prizes will be awarded in each category!

Reach AARON SNYDER at or (606) 326-2664.

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