Hosting the Perfect Christmas Cookie Party
When my older two kids were babies, I wanted to make sure I passed along family traditions on the holidays. I also wanted to start some of my own. I decided that baking Christmas cookies was a great idea. We started out when they were just 1 (my oldest 2 are 10 months apart). They stood in a chair and helped me stir things and crack eggs. I am so grateful that my husband was there to video the process! They were adorable!
As the years went on, we made friends that would come over and help us. It was always fun to watch the kids decorate their cookies. SO MUCH FROSTING AND SPRINKLES! You can never have enough on one cookie! LOL
It got to the point that there were so many kids, it was inefficient to have them come over to help bake the cookies. I started baking sugar and gingerbread cookies ahead of time and just letting the kids decorate them the day of the party.
Last year was our 10th Annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party and we had 23 kids come over to decorate more than 1,000 cookies!!!!! It sounds like a lot of work, but it is just so much fun! A great memory for the kids and even for the parents. We always serve some finger foods and play Christmas music. It is a festive time!
I would like to pass along some tips if you are planning on starting this Christmas tradition for your family!
1. Make about 10 cookies for each kid. You want them to have enough to eat 1-2 and still have a couple for Santa. Some of the kids will finish quickly and go off to play games, others will take their time. I always have a few cookies left over.
2. Use cookie cutters and only use a few shapes. I make sugar cookie Christmas trees, bells, candy canes, a stockings, snowmen, and trains. For the ginger bread, we only have a boy and a girl gingerbread cut out. I make 2 of each gender for each kid. I used to make their names out of our letter cookie cutters, but it got to the point that there were just too many kids.
3. Make the same cookies for each kid. I count how many kids there are and make that many + 2-3 extra for accidents of each cookie shape.
4. The cookies are fairly cheap to make, the cost comes from the decorations. I have everyone bring a container of frosting or icing and some sprinkles or candies. I make a quick suggestion list: M&Ms, redhots, mini chocolate chips, etc. There are so many cute sprinkles out there! I put a few of each on the table (or tables) and give all of the kids a paper plate. I also put plastic spoons (and knives according to the age of the child) at each station.
5. Buy a few packages of shirt boxes from the Dollar Tree. I put the kids’ names on them, separate the cookies out in to them, and then pass them out when they arrive. They can use these to carry the cookies home without having to stack them too much, ruining their creations.
6. Use these recipes to make the cookies: Soft Gingerbread Cookies and Perfect Christmas Sugar Cookies. Make sure you use parchment paper. If you have 2-3 cookie sheets going (one in the oven, one cooling, and one getting cookies added to it), you can get 100s of these cookies made in NO time at all! I have had years of practice, but it goes really quickly for me.
7. Make sure to keep the dough you are not using in the fridge, even if its just for a few minutes. If the dough gets warm, it will get sticky and it will be impossible to cut out shapes.
Are these not impressive?! Every year I take picture of each kid with their plate of decorated cookies! I just absolutely LOVE doing this party! I cannot WAIT until this years party!!!!!
What are your family Christmas traditions? Are there any you would like to start but haven’t yet?