As the years go by we find ourselves getting busier and busier but there’s one tradition we’ve managed to hold on to. Every year we get together with some of our best friends for a Christmas cookie baking extravaganza. We share a few hours together catching up and helping baking dozens of cookies then we split up our haul and everyone goes home with treats to share with coworkers and friends.
This year we took advantage of our new house and extra space by having everyone spend two nights with us. It was a rare treat to have us all together for such a long time. We had just returned home from Maui a few days before so we had a bit of a scramble getting things ready but with the help of Nana watching the boys for a day so I could run errands, we just barely made it under the buzzer.
I got our advent count down boxes put up in a window sill for the boys to see. I put ornaments in each box to give the boys something to add to our tree each day.
I really wanted to have our tree up in time for cookie baking so it would feel more festive and thanks to the help of our friends it was all put together before we went to bed on Friday night. I did a simple red and gold theme with candy cane accents and we’ll add toy ornaments from the advent boxes.
Aaaand the star topped it all off.
Saturday we jumped right in to cookie baking after a light breakfast. The boys seemed interested in everything but weren’t anxious to jump into the baking.
Zandra with a sheet of cookies ready to go in the oven.
Aaaand Tim with our 25 pound bag of flour.
The boys were mostly excited that the weekend brought them unlimited screen time. It was tv shows and iPad apps galore all day.
After a couple hours we took a break to snack and rest. I had this grand idea of getting the boys to bundle up and go play outside for some fresh air and to get tired out for their nap.
Kerry offered to rake our leaves when I suggested that as an activity and I was happy to take her offer thinking it would be a fun time with the boys running around outside playing with her.
Well it turned out to be Kerry raking leaves in the rain solo while the rest of us watched from inside. Joel got Miles to go outside for a little bit but he wasn’t interested in the leaves and came back inside after a while. Graham just fussed inside and wouldn’t let us suit him up and throw him out there.
The first Christmas present for the boys came from Kerry, she made them their own aprons, just their size (with a little growing room).
Before nap time we roped the boys into getting their hands into one batch of sugar cookies. We all supervised and helped them out.
Miles seemed interested in the whole process, rolling the dough, pushing in the cookie cutters, getting the cookie onto the sheet, starting with another one.
Graham did a couple cookies but then was really more interested in rolling out the dough. I finally clued in and just let him roll out the dough by himself. We’d ball it up and let him have at it again.
Our seventh cookie baking session, this time with extra helpers.
After the cookies were on the sheets and dusted er, dumped, with sprinkles it was time to clean up the table.
They weren’t the prettiest cookies.
But they baked up just fine.
And Miles was very pleased with the results.
We got the boys down for naps and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon baking various batches of cookies, running errands to the store (between all of us there were four separate runs that day) and finally dinner and crashing on the couch.
Sunday morning was back to cooking bright and early, even before we were out of our pajamas.
Graham helped Kerry put carmel apple cookies on the sheet and kept the table tidy by eating the extra dough.
I’m not sure how many dozens of cookies we ended up with but we worked our way through three dozen eggs (okay some of that was for Sunday’s breakfast) and more cups of sugar than we could track. We had a very chocolatey theme this year. Fudge, seven layer bars, peanut butter hershey kiss cookies, pretzel chocolate peanut chip cookies, shortbread chocolate peanut butter bars, carmel apple cookies, sugar cookies and pumpkin cranberry bread. Whew!
There was a sweet moment on Sunday afternoon (right after a naughty step episode for biting his brother) when Miles found another box of candy canes and asked if he could put them on the tree.
He hung up a dozen more canes and was pretty pleased with himself when it was done.
I didn’t get that many group shots but this one of Mark, Miles and Tim (Joel in the background) cracked me up. Miles wouldn’t look away from Busytown Mysteries.
It was a great weekend with good friends and a great kick off to our Christmas season.