On December 13, 1934 the first Christmas Tea was held in the browsing room of Gorin Library. Hosted by the Millikin Dames, an organization for women on Millikin's staff and wives of faculty members and trustees. The expenditure for this first tea was $2.
The Christmas Tea, an annual holiday event in honor of Millikin students, was held in the Gorin Library until 1960. The only exception being 1943 when the tea was held in Aston Hall to allow the Army Air Corps use of Gorin Library for their Christmas dinner. The original teas were rather formal events with the use of silver tea services and members of the Millikin Dames as servers.
In 1960 the location of the tea was moved to the University Center. In 1964 the Christmas Tea was renamed the Cookie Party. The Cookie Party has been held in the Richards Treat University Center since its opening.
Student music ensembles have long provided the musical entertainment for the Cookie Parties. Music at the Cookie Party is first officially noted in the cookie party records of 1947, with Professor Harold C. Hess providing a string quartet with piano accompaniment of music "appropriate to the Christmas atmosphere." Music has been a continuous part of the Cookie Parties from that year to the present.
Some Cookie Crumbs:
1946- War rationing dictated sugar for the cookies be bought with donated stamps.
1947- Mrs. Glen England baked a record 500 cookies!!
1953- The cookie party records note: "All dames who baked over 100 cookies were reimbursed at the rate of 2 cents per cookie for all those over 100."
1979- The oddest recommendation appears: "Save throw-away cookies for Askill's pet pig."!!!