Ho Ho Yum: Firewood’s Second Annual Holiday Cookie Decorating Challenge

Ho Ho Yum: Firewood’s Second Annual Holiday Cookie Decorating Challenge

With visions of sugar plum icing spread across conference room chairs, Firewoodians across the globe entered our second annual cookie decorating contest earlier this month. Yes, there was name calling, sprinkle dust, and failed designs. There was also art. And a war for bragging rights.

With close to 50 cookies decorated, we took to the polls. Behold, the top vote-getting cookies of 2018 in descending order.


“Cookie Bacon Cheeseburger” by John LaCroix, group creative director

Earning close to one-third of the total votes, this multi-dimensional (and surprisingly mouthwatering) “burger” is this year’s king cookie. Congrats, John!


  • Most Votes of 2018
  • Most Out-of-the-Box Yet Still Fits In A Take-Out Box Award

“This execution really shows the shape-shifting verasility of the traditional sheet pan cookie. The trompe l’oeil effect is remarkable.”  — Tom Parrette, group creative director

“Rachel, no, you weren’t supposed to put beef in the trifle.” —DJ Carey, chief creative officer


“Midnight Snack” by Dustin McDavid, art director


  • People’s Choice Silver Medal
  • So Beautiful (And Large) That No Gif Could Do It Justice Award

“This would taste great with a glass of water, under a sunlamp…after midnight. — DJ

“I suppose gremlins, like the 80s, are retro cool these days. Being on-trend, while giving a knowing wink at the trend itself, is not something every baker can accomplish. Playful and inviting.” — Tom

“Does anyone remember the story line in Gremlins about a dad who gets stuck in a chimney pretending to be Santa, and he dies? It’s really not funny.” — Firewood team


“Runny Eggs and Bacon” by Gerard Talampas, associate creative director


  • People’s Choice Bronze Medal
  • Art Good Enough to Eat Award

“Combine with ‘Cookie Bacon Cheeseburger’ to create the ULTIMATE cookie bacon cheeseburger sandwich, with egg…cookie…sandwich” — DJ

“Deconstruction can be overdone, but these breakfast staples manage to be both abstracted yet attached, a reference to the baking process.” — Tom

“Merry Fishmas”
by Brittany Calvo, creative operations coordinator


  • Life’s A Beach Award
  • Merry Fishmuskkah Award

“Visually arresting and exuberant, this cookie form draws the viewer in with its seascape collage. We’re left to wonder: who is looking at whom?” — Tom

“For me, it was like returning to the womb. I was absorbed by mother ocean in all her wondrous glory. The sea is a symphony of color. And yet, there is danger at every turn. She is a fierce, fickle, and delicious mistress.” — DJ

“Is that a crow or a fish? Either way, it’s amazing.” — Firewood team


“Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow” by Kayla Gravel, HR associate


  • Thumpty Thump Thump (Look at Frosty Go) Award
  • Most Classic Theme Award

“That snow looks as smooth, glittery, and shiny as ice.” — DJ

“Bring on the mustached snowmen!” — Firewood team


“Broken Frida” by Jessica Tanus, senior art director


  • Unibrow Proud Award

“Whimsy, thy name is a partially eaten cookie that bats its eyelashes at us. Very rough hewn and decorative at the same time.” — Tom

“Am I Frida eat the rest of this cookie now???  — DJ

“Sooooooo pretty, but, um, what happened to the rest of it?” — Firewood team


“Who Ate Santa’s Cookies?” by Paulina Schipke, senior art director


  • Flirtatious The Red-Nosed Reindeer Award
  • I’m Hungry And I’m Proud Award

“A reindeer by any other name is a cookie. This simple yet effective portrait shows a clever use of materials in their unaltered state. Note the antler pretzels left intact.” — Tom

“Later that night, Rudolph tossed Santa’s cookies.” — DJ

Those seven cookies split the majority of the Firewood vote. The next seven cookies scored fewer points, but still scored top spots in our hearts.


“Feliz Navidad!” by Jeffery Deamer, senior art director


  • Baby Blue Eyes Award

“Why does it taste like Sharpie?” — DJ

“Prospero año y felicidad!” — Firewood team (singing)


“Cookie got back!” by Stephanie Arata, senior project manager


  • Thong All Night Long Award

“Where’s the tramp stamp?”  — Tom

“Wish my cookies looked this good.” — DJ

“Thotties.” — Firewood team


“The Vibrant Golden Gate” by Sindhuja Ambadasugari, digital marketing manager


  • Bridge Over Non-Troubled Waters Award

“The Bay Area’s most iconic landmark is inspiration enough for this simple vignette. The gestural suggestion of water shows a master’s restraint.” — Tom

“Open your golden gate, San Francisco. We’re coming home.” — Firewood team


“Farm” by Suchi Mehta, digital marketing manager


  • There’s Even a Tractor Award

“We could discuss Della Robbia ceramics or Victorian majolica, both antecedents to this composition. But piped icing clearly sets its own visual standard.”  — Tom

“What Tom said.” —DJ


“Eat My Shorts!” By Sheba Tamakloe, production designer


  • Why Is He Staring At Me Award

“Matt Groening presents ‘Bart Simpson’ as Hypnotoad’ as ‘cookie’.” —DJ

“How much is cookie and how much is context? And does that even matter?”  — Firewood team


“Feel the Wreath” by Adam King, associate creative director


  • Light Up the Holidays Award

“I suppose this had to be done. But when less is more, go with the most straightforward expression of the theme.” — Tom

“Pitch-perfect interpretation of a classic theme.” — Firewood team


“& the Holidays” by Joyce Wagner, senior account director


  • Best New Brand Exercise Award

“Joyce won this challenge last year, and it’s nice to see her return (even though she’s a total teacher’s pet).” — Firewood team


Whew. We’ve come to the end. Bravo, to everyone who participated.

If your cookie didn’t make the cut this year, do not fear — you are not alone. Firewoodians put their finest Oreo cookie crumbles into depictions of the sun, the moon, the stars, gum balls, Pac-Man, and President Donald Trump, among others. You are ALL winners.

Please join us in December 2019 for this very serious (and seriously fun) challenge. Until then, we wish everyone a joyously jolly holiday and riotously rad new year.


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