Cookie Project counters anti-Christmas spirit

The Cookie Project, Sacramento’s home-grown counterattack to anti-Christmas spirit, needs — you guessed it — cookies.

Sunday is the deadline for contributions for Wednesday’s big cookie distribution to a forgotten minority: People who have to work on Christmas Day.

John Marcotte started the Cookie Project with his wife, Patti, and daughters Anya and Stella in 2012 after they noticed so many fast-food restaurants and other non-essential businesses open on Christmas Day. With the help of a dozen friends and relatives, the Sacramento family baked cookies and distributed them to workers at local franchises of El Pollo Loco, Starbucks and Sizzler as well as movie theaters and other places open on the holiday.

“Nobody should be forced to work on Christmas,” John Marcotte said. “We realize there are exceptions: Police, firefighters, drugstores in case you have a sick child. But do we need Church’s Fried Chicken and Sizzler open, too? We put our idea out on Facebook and it spread virally. This Christmas, we’ll have volunteers distributing cookies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and St. Louis, too. People are joining at such a rapid clip, the project has gone nationwide.”

Marcotte noted daughters Anya, age 9, and Stella, 6, really bought into the idea. They helped bake as well as hand out cookies.

“For them, Christmas has become about giving to others,” he said.

For this year’s Cookie Project, packets of treats will be assembled Sunday. People who would like to donate cookies should contact Marcotte by e-mail at Volunteers are still needed for Wednesday’s distribution, too. For more details, click on


• Deadline for cookie contributions is Sunday. The cookies, which may be home made or purchased, will be distributed on Christmas Day.

• To contribute cookies or volunteer for distribution, e-mail

• Find out more (including how to add a business to the “naughty list”) at