One year, I covered our entire tree with heart-shaped pepperkaker. We left for a week between Christmas and New Year, our tree still trimmed. When we returned home, the tree was cookie-less! Lonely ribbon strands hung on the fir boughs. “What in the world,” I thought, “did someone come in and eat our cookies?” Apparently so. That someone was a mouse! Oh country living! Despite our thief (or thieves), we still bake these cookies annually, perfuming our house with pepperkaker' sweet scent—we just don’t leave the house now!