Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



December 2011



The Christmas Cod

Written by , Posted in humor, life

TOL’s 12 Gifts of Christmas!

Gifts 3 and 4 are up for grabs today! To throw your name in the hat, leave a comment on this post. (To leave a comment without playing, just add, “No gifts, please!”) I’ll announce the recipients tomorrow evening.

Regular Gift: I guest post for you.

White Elephant Gift: I send you a homemade Christmas card. (Note: I am artistically disinclined.)

(What’s this all about?)


Shenanigans. Hijinks. Practical jokes. You expect them on April Fool’s Day. Maybe even on Halloween. But Christmas pranks? I wouldn’t have believed it except that I’ve seen it at my own front door.

We came home mid-December last year from a weekend away and found a plate of Christmas cookies on our front porch. But this was not the thoughtful confectionery parcel you might imagine. No. This was a small pile of upside-down, cockeyed cookies, slathered and spackled together with multi-colored frosting, doused with sprinkles and adorned with not only a bow, but the thin rectangular slip of paper that once covered the bow’s adhesive sticker. And a note, scrawled on ripped printer paper, read:

Merry Christmas

–C. O. D.

Amused and puzzled, we began combing our minds for friends with children whose initials matched the note. Because that was what it looked like– a plate of cookies put together by a toddler. But we could think of none, and so, suspect-less, I turned to Facebook to see if my friends there might offer a clue. Virtual silence. So we smiled and shook our heads and went on with the holiday season and the ensuing year.

And then yesterday the cookies reappeared.

But this time it was clearly not the work of an innocent child. This time it was a masterpiece of super-prankster proportion:

This year’s note, inked in red marker on a paper towel with a frenzy of scribbled lines above the message, said simply:


Our family gathered on the front porch to make cursory inspections, and then we brought the plate in to the dining room table, where Bryan began leading the children in a Sherlock Holmes-eque inquiry.

“Okay, what do we know about this?” he began, and they launched into thoughtful discussion of paper towel quality, penmanship, and character assessment of friends and neighbors. I disappeared to conduct a Google search.

I found nothing prank-related for “Christmas COD” or any of the similar terms I tried. I did find that certain Croatians enjoy salted cod at Christmas time and that the people of Cape Cod enjoy plays-on-words provided by their own accents. (You send Christmas cards; they send Christmas cods. Ha. Ha. Ha.) But I did not find any of this particularly helpful.

So we didn’t know who had pulled this prank, and we didn’t know why. But what really got to us was the what. Last year “C.O.D.” was signed as a name; this year it indicated an event. And so we began to speculate on the meaning of COD.

Our guesses began to favor fleshed-out acronyms, which, led by our 7- and 9-year-old girls, began logically, went a little off-kilter, and then became downright macabre:

Cookies of December

Cookies on Delivery

Children of Dolores

Christmas of Deception

Church of Destruction

Christians of Death

And we still don’t know who or why or what, but every time I walk by that ridiculous pile of cookies on my counter, I laugh a little and think to myself that someone out there has a great sense of humor and way too much candy at their disposal.

A real Comedian of Dessert.

Have you ever pulled a Christmas prank or had one pulled on you? What do you think “COD” means?

  • http://scream911.wordpress.com scream911

    Crunchy Old Delicacies? Gross! Although, I’d much rather have a pile of terribly arranged/decorated/dumped cookies than an egged house 😛 Leave them out for Santa when he comes… see what happens 😀
    (YAY for gifts and elephants)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Me too– as far as pranks go, this one is very tame!

  • http://lifebeforethebucket.blogspot.com Adrian W.

    Cookies of death? Gotta be it, for sure.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I hope not! Just in case, we won’t be eating them. 🙂

  • http://aweirdthing.wordpress.com Neil Chappell

    How bout eat these cookies and you’ll be 278 Calories Over Diet – not that I’m assuming anyone in the Tamara household in on a diet.
    So how bout Craggy Old Dog – that rings any bells for an acquaintance? Yep, thought not!
    P.S. We’re pretty prankless at anytime of the year over here in England!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Aw, you Brits might not have pranks, but you have delicious words. “Craggy” makes me smile.

  • http://www.gracecentres.org DeeAtGrace


    tha’s all I could come up with! LOL

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      My friends know I’d punch ’em if they called me old!

  • http://ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman(The Barba)

    Cookies of DOOM. or Cookies of the DEMENTED. You know I like the darker side. haha I love a good prank. For me any day is as good as the other. At Christmas time I like a good old-fashioned misdirection. I like to wrap my gifts in a way thank clearly points to one gift until you open it. I have pack under clothes for my wife in a DVD case. I have made my own box to, when wrapped, look like a tea-kettle for my mom. However the best is when you pack the gift elaborately, in multiple layers of paper. When the receiver reaches the end there is no gift, you simply hand them their gift while they sit in a giant pile of discarded wrapping.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That last idea is brilliant. I’m stealing.

      • http://ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman(The Barba)

        That is my favorite. After all the work you just give it to them.

  • Christian Smith

    Confectionaries. Once. Dropped.
    Problem solved, thank you very much… And watch out for dog hair.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      You know, we had our suspicions…

  • http://thediaryofsugarandspice.wordpress.com thediaryofsugarandspice

    lol!!! Christmas Pranks….now there’s something I could sink my teeth into!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      It’s so delightfully unexpected! (Well, it was. Now I’m going to anxiously await my COD cookies every year.)

  • http://leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    Haha! I love the progression of acronyms. Sounds like your girls keep people on their toes.

    Christmas of Dreams, because everyone dreams about a sugary confection left on their porch
    Cookies or Debt, a play on what COD generally stands for as well as a mild threat
    Challenge of December, figuring out the actual pranker’s identity

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yes, especially the 7-year-old (of anti-vegetarian-note-to-dad fame). Some day some young man is going to have his hands full. 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/AliasTheVault AliasTheVault (@AliasTheVault)

    I’ve never been a part of …or the recipient of… any Christmas hijinks. However, my husband’s family used to have a gag gift that got passed around among the guys during the Christmas exchange among the extended family: a really ugly, salmon colored necktie. The guys would even go to great lengths to trade names so they could keep giving the tie back to the same person. Unfortunately, the tradition ended when his uncles house burned down, tie and all. (Don’t worry, everyone was fine).

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh my! What a dramatic end to a hilarious tradition.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBzvGUulUFY ANdy

    Hmmm, Cadence of Death? Collusion of Deceit? Christmas of Desire? Care of Detail

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Ooh, I like Collusion of Deceit!

  • http://aletalane.wordpress.com aletalane

    I really hate unsolvable things like that. It would be driving me crazy! I’m not a fan of pranks in general- I pulled an April Fool’s Day prank on my boyfriend last April, and I STILL feel bad about it, 8 months later!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That is equal parts sweet and hilarious!

  • http://rasjacobson.com Renee Schuls-Jacobson

    Are they poison? Cookies of Doom? I want a plate of Doom, please! Nom mom mom.

    I’ll bet someone loves you very much.

    But just in case, maybe don’t let the kids eat the cookies.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      A love that wastes that much confection is a crazy-mad love. It’s fantastic.

  • http://twitter.com/reneeronika Renee Ronika Klug (@reneeronika)

    I love that you’re doing this 12 Days giveaway, Santa Tamara.

    Perhaps it’s “Consume Or Dump”–you know, like a challenge to your palate? (You *did* go vegetarian for 30 days.)

    I put my (virtual) money on Cupid or Dancer. You know how those reindeer like to mess with their mistress.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That’s a great one!

  • http://davwalk.wordpress.com David N. Walker

    Considering the season, how about Christ over devil? Christmas ordeal of deception?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I like “Christ over Devil.” The mountain of mess is certainly triumphant. 🙂

  • http://randomlychad.com The RandomlyChad

    I hear that Stephen King winters in Florida, and if those cookies are anything like the gypsy pie in his novel, Thinner, they aren’t to be trusted. 😉 On the other hand, perhaps in small amounts, they’ll be safe. Bevause if they’re anything like King’s pie, you won’t have to worry about any holiday weight gain–you’ll eat what you want, and won’t gain a thing. 😉

    PS For very good reasons, I’ve been on a blogging break. That said, a TOL guest post might be just the thing to bring my blog back from the hinterlands. Hope I win. If not, thst’s life. Merry Christmas!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Good luck to you! And I hope Steven King is nowhere near me. Dude creeps me out.

  • http://modernmrsdarcy.com Anonymous

    That is hysterical. I hope your Christmas cod is reading this post!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I have a feeling… 🙂

  • http://windowsandpaperwalls.wordpress.com/ Cathy

    Capers On Demand?

    Imma be honest. You being you, I thought you were going somewhere else with the whole cod business.


    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara


  • http://www.laurenjeanstm.blogspot.com Lauren Jean

    I love it! We used to have neighbors that would leave us ice blocks to use as candle holders, which is nice, but completely useless when you’re in Minnesota and the whole world is a block of ice. I’d have preferred COD cookies. Perhaps they’re a families initials? Chris, Otis and Denise? And also Cookies On Demand?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Ha- an ice block candle holder would actually be a pretty good prank here in Florida!

  • http://shawnsmucker.com Shawn Smucker

    Crusty Old Denture-Breakers?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Ewww! These cookies actually look nice and soft. But I’m still not eating ’em. 🙂

    • http://amuseorbemused.com JTAdamson

      As per Tamara’s instructions on the 12 days, I would like to give you my detailed, reasoned plea for the honor of you re-gifting her guest post to me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a reasoned, detailed plea, and I’m certainly not cute or otherwise pitiful enough to engender feelings of sympathy.

      So, I’ll just give you my straightforward pitch: Your blog is so established and awesome, and mine is so young and in need of attention from the readers of TamaraOutLoud! Please Please re-gift!!!!!

      OK, now I feel a little cheap, but at least I got it out of my system.

      • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

        Hey, JT! Just wanted to let you know I copied this onto the post where I announced Shawn’s name so that he might see it more easily.

  • http://www.gatebeautiful.ca Bekka

    I was just waiting to read that someone had laced the cookies with a laxative or something… but laxative starts with “L”… is there a brand of laxative that starts with “D”??

    We’ve never played any Christmas pranks… Although, I remember once our real estate agent’s husband was turning 40, so my aunt and I, led by my mother the ring-leader, went over to their house and toilet-papered his car, the tree and the railing leading up to their house. That was in December, but was definitely a Birthday Prank, not a Christmas prank. (Also, it kind of backfired – he made his wife clean it up the next morning).

    (Side note: Yes, my mother is very crafty when it comes to pranks. You should hear what she did at a weekend away with the grade seven classes from my school…)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      So I think what you’re suggesting is “Cookies of Diarrhea.” GROSS.

      Your mom sounds like fun!

  • http://janheath1234.wordpress.com Off the Wall

    Maybe a Secret Santa kind of thing?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Except we didn’t draw anyone’s name! But we may just be inspired to pass along this Christmas prank. 😀

  • http://www.lookthrough.net Sonny Lemmons

    Unless we’re talking about white elephant exchanges, then I’ve yet to be a part of a Christmas gag-a-thon. …well, there was the year we decided instead of rolling someone’s house to spread tinsel all over his yard & trees, but that’s another story…

    As far as your cookie problem…
    Calorie Overload Don’t’chaknow?
    Casualty of Dolphins?
    Consume or Dispose?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Tinsel all over the yard and trees?! I bow to your prankster supremacy.

  • http://happyhippierose.wordpress.com happyhippierose

    Have you tried them? I think I’d be hesitant to eat them, given their mysterious and suspect origin. But then I see all that frosting and coconut flakes… ahhh, so tempting =)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      It was very tempting. The cookies smelled really good and they were covered with candy! But, no. I’m not that brave.

  • http://aewl.wordpress.com Aewl

    Oh wow, a Christmas Prank! Never heard of one of those. This one looks to be one of those epic pranks that takes a few years to develop. On second thought, it could be someone who just likes to do random stuff to people with absolutely no point.

    By the way, have you dug into the pile of cookies yet? Maybe there is something hidden inside like:

    Cache of Diamonds?
    Cache of Dogpoop?
    Cache of Dummies?

    Good luck!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That’s a great idea– I may excavate it later today!

  • http:/sarahaskins.com sarahaskins

    Coolness Outparcel Delivery?
    Cookies: Odd Death?
    Crunchy Old Desserts?
    Christmas Outsourced Deal?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      “Christmas Outsourced Deal” is hilarious!

  • http://www.badlydrawnbible.com Jared Hollier

    Love that, and I hope you never find out.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Me too. Me too.

  • http://www.thethoughtpalette.co.uk Alyson

    Call of Duty?
    in Police terms it can mean ‘Cause of Death’ – eeek! should you be eating them?!!!! LOL

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yeah, Google kept suggesting “Call of Duty!”

  • http://theacuffamily.wordpress.com The Acuff Family

    Maybe they have it backwards? D.O.C. Dish o’ Crap? If your friends are anything like me, they have good intentions with their Christmas cookies, but they should stick to cakes and pies. Love the mystery!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      It’s so much fun! And honestly, it looks pretty delicious to a junk food junkie like me. 🙂

  • http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

    i have no idea what your COD means, but we have christmas prankers, too. every year, our neighbors purchase some sort of elaborate christmas monstrosity, sneak into our yard, and light it up in all its terrible glory. we are now the proud owners of a light up santa, candy canes and deer, and one of those house projectors. it’s all kind of perfect for the ugly sweater party we host, but after that i think the irony is lost to everyone but us:)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That is *awesome.*

  • http://asoulswalk.wordpress.com asoulwalker

    Kudos for the Cape Cod joke. You might make me homesick… but I doubt it.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh no, I don’t want credit for the corny joke! I found a card with a picture of a fish bedecked in Christmas garb for sale in a Cape Cod shop online– *they* called it the Christmas Cod!

  • http://SoHeresUs.com Christie

    Sheesh, there goes my day. I’m going to spend the rest of it coming up with COD possibilities. Cookies of December. Crap Outside Door…

    Once upon a time my MIL bought us a large crystal Jesus head (she knows we’re religious and figured people like us would like that sort of thing). It was alarmingly creepy, but brought us hours of fun. Jesus head could show up at anytime – in bed beside you, holding your toothbrush, on your desk at work… And yes, also in an elaborate package under the tree. I miss that weird glass guy.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      “Crap Outside Door” is really good!

      Oh, how I want a crystal Jesus head now.

  • http://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com reconciling viewpoints

    Where’d you say you found them? Cookies on Doorstep? or given the condition, maybe it was Crap on Doorstep? Sort of like the dog-doo in the bag set on fire….. Maybe next year they’ll set it on fire?

    The only pranks I can think of had to do with deceptive wrapping — one box inside another, another inside of that, another inside of that…. then a note that says “go look in the hall closet”. My mother-in-law likes to make the kids work for the presents, almost like a scavenger hunt list of to-do’s. Or put a fake present that’s a piece of junk in the box, then tell the disappointed receiver where the real present is.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yeah, “Cookies on Doorstep” is quite accurate. 🙂

  • http://www.jamiesrabbits.com Jamie

    I went out of town and received a call from a student in my youth ministry Him: “When are you getting back in town?”
    Me: “Tonight about midnight.”
    Him: “Okay, bye.”
    I wasn’t the least bit suspicious until I arrived home and all my Xmas gifts were gone. The tree they sat under was also missing. Looked around and they had been moved under 5 NEW aluminum trees decorated only with blue balls.

    Stupid housesitter.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That is a killer prank. 😀

  • http://amuseorbemused.com JTAdamson

    The truth could be discovered more easily if only we know what genre of intent was in the prankster’s mind. So…I offer some possibilities…..

    The Suspicious: Can’t Offer Details

    The Pet Oriented: Cats or Dogs

    The Apocalyptic: Curses or Damnations

    The Non-sequiter: Cubic Ostrich Detonator

    The Cautionary: Cookies Offer Destruction

    The Potter-esque: Curtains On Deatheaters

    Th Tolkien-esque: Certain Orcs Dillydally

    The Dawn Treader-ish: Caspian Overrides Drinian

    The Yuletide: Carols of Delight

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh man, these are so good!

  • http://brucesbrews.com Bruce

    Am I the only one who is freaked out by this? Anonymous dodgy cookies on the doorstep… 2 years in a row. I hope you didn’t eat them. If you did, you might not be alive to give me my gift. 😛

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Haha! No worries– not eating them. I have every intention of giving out my gifts!

  • http://baristabruce.wordpress.com brooskolin

    I’m sure it’s some Crazy Old Delinquent.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Definitely a delinquent of some sort. 🙂

  • http://mattshedd.blogspot.com Matthew Shedd

    Crap On Display?

    I don’t know, but this entire discussion has me itching to read Harry Potter and rediscover the secret of R.A.B. Yes, this does show how much of a dork I am.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Haha– that’s good!

  • http://www.transformingwords.org/wordpress Don Sartain

    Christians of Death? lol!!! And total props to Matthew with “R.A.B.”

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yeah, my girls are… imaginative. 🙂

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