Baking for the Office Birthday Hater: These Cookies Are Not for You

How do you celebrate an important birthday when the birthday girl doesn’t want to celebrate? You disguise it as something else. Stealth-like. *wink wink*

Our Sr. Director Vanessa’s birthday is tomorrow, and although I said I was only doing monthly birthday celebrations from now on, this had to be an exception because she’s leaving us next week. After nine years. And she’s breaking all our hearts.

That's Vanessa in the pink scarf, hard at work during a team bbq.

That’s Vanessa in the pink scarf, hard at work during a team bbq.

I’m just going to cry quietly while I write the rest of this. Pay no attention to any choked-back sobs that may be coming out of your screen.

My old Time Life cookbooks never disappoint.

My old Time Life cookbooks never disappoint.

A couple of years ago I made a selection of Viennese desserts in honor of Vanessa’s birthplace. They went over really well so I figured now would be a good time to bring them back as a farewell treat. Also, I’m going to Vienna in May (woo hoo!) and I want to start getting my palate ready for the local sweets.

But since Vanessa really doesn’t like attention, I had to make it look like this party wasn’t for her. Luckily, today also happens to be Jon Baron Appreciation Day.

That’s on your calendar, right?

This annual celebration started three years ago when I had a bizarre dream about throwing a Jon Baron Appreciation Day party in the office. Since Jon seemed like he could use some appreciating (who doesn’t?), I went ahead and made it happen.

There were donuts and decorations and I had people make out certificates for Jon that said what they like most about him. It was nice. And now it’s on the calendar for every March 21st.

They may look bland, but the Vanilla Crescents are as yummy as they are pretty.

They may look bland, but the Vanilla Crescents are as yummy as they are pretty.

To tie it all together, I sent out this email:

Subject: Treats for someone special

Not everyone likes to be celebrated, but today is an important day for someone we all care about. Today is… Jon Baron Appreciation Day. Yes, that’s what it is, and nothing else.

To honor Jon’s, um, heritage, we have some traditional Viennese desserts:

  • Apfel Strudelfulle
  • Vanillekipfel
  • Vienna Fingers (I don’t care that they’re in a yellow cellophane package, the Elves say they’re authentic, and Keebler elves don’t lie.)

The treats are out by Jon’s desk, although it might look like they’re next to Vanessa’s desk. This is just a trick of the light. Nothing I can do about it.

Tschüss,
Lisa

P.S. – These treats have nothing to do with the fact that Vanessa’s birthday is tomorrow. You do not need to go by her desk and wish her a happy birthday.

You can get the recipes for these Viennese treats on my post Viennese Desserts.

The Vienna Fingers are super authentic. And the donuts are what Jon likes most, so he did get something just for him today.

The Vienna Fingers are super authentic. And the donuts are what Jon likes most, so he did get something just for him today.

And then the hugs and greetings started pouring in. But not for Vanessa’s birthday. Because that’s not allowed.

Sachertorte,
Lisa

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Categories: Office Birthdays | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Baking for the Office Birthday Hater: These Cookies Are Not for You

  1. suke cho

    I’m vanessa’s mom. vanessa was in agony how to break the news. watching those beautiful special cookies, now i know exactly what she meant. she had special teammates around her the past 9 years. it’s just heartwarming. i just hope somehow this beautiful relationship continues even if vanessa moves to a new company. danke.

    • Thanks, Vanessa’s mom. This is going to be a really rough week as we all have to say goodbye to her, but we’ve had a lot of fun over the years and made some great memories.

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