Every December I spend hours making tons of different kinds of holiday sweets, doubling batches, and packing up tins to share with friends and neighbors. Sometimes, even after all of the gifting, we are left with piles of extra cookies

It's way too hard to see the painstaking work frosting gingerbread men, and all the chocolate-dipped goodness go to waste, but your New Year's Diet doesn't really have room for these bad boys either.  Here are 5 ways to get rid of your extra cookies, that won't pile on the pounds come January:

1. Donate to a Local Soup Kitchen or Food Pantry 

26588 Soup Kitchen First Presbyterian Church July 20, 2011

bsabarnowl on Flickr

You and your extra cookies had a lovely holiday with family and friends, but that's not the case for everyone. Brighten someone's day by donating your sweets to a local soup kitchen, church, or food pantry that serves hot meals or bagged lunches that could be accompanied by a homemade cookie!

2.Pack Treat Bags for your Postal Carrier or Garbage Collector


chanelcoco872 on Flickr

Tie up your treats and attach a "Thank You" card for the people in your life that often go unappreciated. It will make their day to know that you are thinking of them as they work long hours to deliver your gifts on time, and make your holiday parties mess free. 

3.Send to the Troops Overseas

Gift Boxes

Mulberry24 on Flickr

Let them know you appreciate their service by sending them goodies to make them feel at home this holiday season. Don't forget to include a note or card!

4. Pack Individual Bags and Hand out on City Streets


YoAmes on Flickr

In my community, I have seen bus trips go to NYC or Philly for the day and hand out meals to the homeless. So next time you head to your closest city to see the holiday attractions, or do some shopping, pack up some treat bags and remember what the Holiday season is truly about. 

5. Bring to the front desk of a local Hospital, Fire, or Police Station

Holiday Christmas Cookies Food

stevendepolo on Flickr

While you're relaxing at home during break, first-responders are still hard at work, pulling long shifts and late nights. Remind them how much their work means to the community by sharing your holiday treats with them. 

While it's awesome to have some extra cookies to snack on here and there, having a couple a dozen lying around the house is bad news. Remember the gift of giving this holiday season and spread some cheer around your community while getting yourself ready for that New Year's Diet