Regular Contributor, Calvalyn Day, shares one of her cherished holiday traditions – A children’s cookie party.
Cookie Party For Kids
A Christmas Tradition
For the last 10 or so years, I have hosted a cookie party for my children. Over the years, its gone from my only child, Autumn, with my nephew, to include two, then three, then four girls. We’ve also started including more friends, and family. Occasionally, we even give some of our bounty to church or neighbors as gifts. Here’s part of the bounty a few years ago.
(Notice the shoe, I purposely left it here so you could see this is kind of how my cookie parties go.)
This year, at Thanksgiving, my kids started asking about our party again. What will they eat, what cookies will they make, and of course, how many friends can they invite? These are just a few of the questions that fill their heads and my ears.
In the beginning, it wasn’t as much of a production, but my kids are more social than me, and since Lauryn’s love language is quality time, there’s no way I’m getting out of this. Over time, I’ve gotten better about making it an enjoyable, and not stressful occasion, but a recent question in one of my Facebook mommy groups prompted this post.
How do you bake cookies with older kids when the toddler and 8 month old can’t sit still long enough to participate?
I wrote her a long reply, but I’ll sum it up in a few easy tips for you here.
- First, drop your expectation for picture perfect. I tell moms all the time, perfect is for Pinterest, you cannot photoshop your life. This is about time with your children, making memories, and enjoying the moments that literally fly by in a blur. Expect things to go wrong. There will be a mess, and not everything you want to get done will actually get done. Then, you will be less likely to flip out on the kids when exactly those things happen.
- Next, make it easy on yourself. I know you may long to have your children create, from scratch, your great grandmother’s homemade crinkles, but perhaps this year with twin 3-year-olds, that just isn’t in the cards. You can take the easy route, like I often do, and go with mixes or pre-prepped ingredients; or, completely make it easy with slice and bake. Another option is have one “hard recipe” and make filler cookies that are simple and fun to make, like good old Rice Krispie treats. Yes, we consider these cookies in my house. The point is, worrying about getting a complicated recipe just right can make you crazy, and that is especially true while you’re also trying to keep your teenager interested and your 8-month-old from dumping the flour bag.
- Finally, don’t spend all of your time behind the camera. Sounds counter intuitive I know, but hear me out. I have some pictures of Christmas parties from the past, and as the kids get older and are more hands on, I have taken more and more, but most of my pictures are from before the party and after. I try and immerse myself in the fun of the moment and not waste too much time getting the perfect shot. If you’re having fun, you and your children will remember even without a ton of pictures. The pictures are important but being truly present is worth so much more.
- As a bonus, I usually include an activity in our party for when all the cookies are baking or cooling. One year we decorated our fridge. It was a nice distraction and we kept it up even after we took down the tree. This year we have a black refrigerator, and I haven’t figured out how to make that into a Christmas theme yet. Other activities we have tried are making cards and painting ornaments. This can also help if the thrill of cookie dough loses its’ zest at some point during the evening.
If you bake cookies with your kids each year, or maybe this is the first time you’re diving in, let me know what’s on your menu for the year. I’m still planning for ours, and I’m totally game to adding something new to the list.
Visit Calvalyn at her blog, Indy Parent Coach!
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