Forget Christmas. The happiest season of all is almost upon us: Girl Scout cookie time!
As of today, those ubiquitous green-vested scouts will descend on South Florida roadsides and storefronts to ply their tasty wares, testing the fortitude of your New Year's resolution with the Thin Mint, the peanut butter Tagalong and the coconut Samoa.
They'll have an army of helpers: their parents, who drive them around, barrage friends and family with emails and wage workplace wars to unload their scouts' cookie quota.
That team effort worked for Aaliyah Booker of Lauderhill, propelling the Virginia Shuman Young Elementary student to the top of the Southeast region's cookie sales chart two years running. Last year, she and her family sold 3,225 boxes of the stuff.
How did they get so many of us to buy? With preparation, innovation and teamwork, starting with a pre-season family meeting where they devise a marketing strategy and set a daily sales goal.
Along the way, the fifth-grader learned the power of a smile, a handshake, fast math skills — and involved parents and grandparents.
"It's a lot of fun," said her father, James Booker, a Broward County Sheriff's officer. "It brings our family closer together because everyone's involved."