Christmas traditions are a very important part of the spirit of Christmas! The year 2020 has made us all look back at years past and re-evaluate what truly is important. It also has urged us to look forward, beyond pandemics and all the scary times that came with that, and decide what we wish to carry with us for the coming years. Spending time with loved ones is something I believe we can all agree is at top of the list. How amazing is it that a small little cookie, decorated with sprinkles and festive colors can do just that? Making memories with Christmas cookies is a tradition my mom started with us years ago.
As a child, we would sit in our cozy little kitchen at a fold up card table. There was one gingerbread cookie sheet that was the moldable type. I can still see my pudgy little fingers molding the soft cookie dough into the form until it was just right. Mom would pop them in the oven and it didn’t take long for the sweet smell to fill the small kitchen. Anticipation is what comes to mind!
Bowls of colorful icing would be brought to the table in preparation for the next step. Once those cookies were done, we got the wonderful job of icing each gingerbread man and woman in an attempt to make the prettiest one. Corn cob butter brushes were converted to paint brushes for the icing. My heart still warms as I think back to these sweet memories.
Carrying On The Tradition ~
Fast forward to the 1990’s. It was now time for me to start making memories with Christmas cookies with my own small children. The cookie shapes and icing methods have changed a bit, but the family fun remains the same. We switched to cookie cutters and small kid’s paint brushes for the icing. (only because the corn cob butter brushes have become next to impossible to find!)
If your little ones are still young, don’t let this deter you. It may be a bit messier, but oh so worth the time spent. Taking pictures through the years will create fun memories of how their decorating style has changed over time. Plus, kids of all ages love cooking in the kitchen with their parents.
As the years progressed, the kids would each start inviting a couple of friends for the annual Christmas cookie decorating event. The cookies were made ahead of time, which left the icing fun to them. Back then we would add extra Christmas festivities to the day with Christmas Bingo and Christmas Scavenger Hunts. It became a day they looked forward to each year. Thus the Christmas tradition lives on. I would have small holiday toys purchased ahead of time and they would get to pick from the treasure box each time they won.
Making Memories With Christmas Cookies~
Fast forward to 2020…the tradition lives on! We just celebrated Year 15 with the same girls….and my son joins in each year to help with one or two. These girls are now in their 20’s and 30’s and somehow we all manage to find one day each year for Christmas cookie fun!!! We have also happily added my precious grandchildren. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about? Making memories with those that you hold dear to your heart!
Making memories with Christmas cookies is so much more than just decorating cookies. It’s sharing stories and laughter while you all create your works of art. It’s laughing and reminiscing about the year’s past. It sharing dreams of the future. It’s watching your children’s friends treat the new kiddos at the table with love. It’s a whole lot of love wrapped up into one short night!
We have tried different cookie recipes and various icing recipes as well. We have come to the conclusion that these are our favorites! In fact, we love them so much that we can’t seem to get the cookies all decorated before we start enjoying our works of art.
Of course, I have to share with you some quick links to get you started on your Christmas cookie adventures. We have found that we tend to add one or more new shapes each year, however, there are several that tend to be the tried and true favorites. You have to have a good Santa, Christmas Tree, Reindeer and Candy Cane. Get Christmas Tree, Reindeer, Santa and Candy Cane cookie cutters in one grouping!
We also have come to love the cute little penguin. He is so fun to decorate! You will definitely want to add the penguin cookie cutter to your collection!
Another favorite is the snow globe…this one has created a lot of imagination over the years! The snow globe cookie cutter is a definite favorite of the whole cookie crew!
It is my biggest wish that each of these girls (and my son) carry this tradition on with their families. That they too can have their hearts filled with happiness as mine is each year we all gather. We continue to add new “things” to our group each year…sometimes its gifts, aprons and ornaments we share with each other and other times it is even better because its a new “crew member.” And just like that….we continue making memories with Christmas cookies!
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