For the last two days my mom has been pestering me to post these pictures of our cookie decorating party this weekend. I have a lot of posts to catch up on, so posting this now isn't quite right chronologically, but I'm sure y'all will be able to figure things out.
So yes. Cookies.
It's a tradition in our family to bake an army of cookies around the holidays and invite people over to decorate. My parents recently uncovered a significant amount of video from Christmases past of all of us, plus many other family and friends, decorating oodles of cookies. I have many, many fond memories of cookie decoration parties. In fact, most of my Christmas memories are of cookie parties.
I have learned many things from my years participating in cookie parties.
1. Bake the cookies beforehand.
2. Wax paper the heck out of your decorating surface.
3. Keep sprinkles out of the reach of anyone under the age of 5.
4. Bake about a dozen cookie (or slightly less) per participant.
The reason you "only" bake a dozen cookies per participant is that the younger kids lose interest about 2 cookies in (and eat those anyway), the older kids decorate about 10 before losing interest, and the adults usually end up making a dozen "fancy" cookies before just slathering on some frosting and sprinkling it with whatever is handy. So a dozen per person means less 'grunt' work at the end of the party and you still get enough cookies for everyone to eat a few and take some home.
This year my parents were 3+ hours away and I considered not doing any cookies. It was the end of the semester, I was exhausted, Bryan was busy with work and school, and the parties can be a lot of work. But because I have such fond memories of cookie parties I decided to have one anyway and invite some of my coworkers.
And I am so, so, SO glad I did. We all had a wonderful time - the kids (well, Penelope) still talks about the cookie party, so I know that she's starting to form the same kind of memories I have about the holiday season. And I love that we're establishing traditions for our family. We don't have religious traditions (since we're Atheists) but we still feel that traditions are important, so the cookie parties give us an opportunity to create/maintain some secular holiday traditions that we can enjoy every year.
Also? We have Star Wars cookie cutters. So the party was extra awesome.
And now - finally - here are the pictures:
Star Wars batch
All the baked cookies
Two of Penelope's cookies and one of mine
With the Bubs
Sissy with her crown (which she got at the $1 bin at Target for being brave and peeing in the bathroom there - which, BTW, is loud and scary)
Apparently I have not learned rule #3 well enough
Heather, Andrew, & Chrissy - A&C teach English at SHS. H is a SPED Aid and is married to A. H&A have two girls (6 & 16 months).
All of us, sitting in the front are Patrice and her son Connor. C came because of the Star Wars cookies ;)
Some of Connor's "masterpieces"
As you can see, we had fun. So much fun that we forgot to take video. This will definitely be a yearly event so next year I promise video.
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