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Thursday, December 23, 2021

It's Cookie Decorating Day!

Oh my, oh my--- it's my favorite day of the year. It's Grandkid Cookie Decorating Day. This is the day that I get a pile of the grandchildren all to myself to decorate Christmas cookies! They were already off school for the holiday and looking for something to do. We collected four of the little stinkers and brought them back to our house. Jameson, the oldest, opted to stay with his dad and go workout at the gym. So we had these four helpers were all ready and eager to come over to Grandma and Grandpa's house and spend the entire day.

We started out with a little breakfast buffet. I found that if I put out a variety of breakfast items on the island they can choose what they like and then there's no arguing or leftover wasted food. They have choices of fruit, applesauce, a variety of juices and eggnog, cereal, and toast with my special Trader Joe's cookie butter! I love that they are all set up on my little table in the sunshine. Laughing and giggling and talking to each other. That's the best part of this day: listening to them talk and relate to each other.  The Christmas Excitement is high, and they are just chock full of energy and joy that the season brings.

While the younger ones went off to play in the playroom, Chelsea and I were making frosting in the kitchen. Once we mixed up the big bowls of white frosting, we split it up into smaller containers where she could add food coloring to each one.

The two little girls came out to get their aprons. A long time ago when I started this tradition I made a whole bunch of kid aprons in all different sizes. It's amazing though, these kids are growing up so fast that only the biggest aprons fit. I think it's time to sew some more for the next decade. Then we will have large enough aprons to fit everybody.

Clayton started getting the table set up for the decorating. He had the table covered up with a vinyl tablecloth spread out and all of the cookie cooling racks. He brought in the variety of sprinkles and sugar shakers and set them out across the table too. Now they were in reach for everyone on each side of the table. Chelsea brought in the colored frostings and we were ready to begin.

Grandpa ran around with the camera and took pictures of us all set up at the table before we were ready to start.  The music was playing, the stuff was ready, and the kids were more than eager to start. 

Chelsea and I spread the frosting on each of the cookies and then we would pass them down on plates to the other three--- who were ready with all of the sprinkles and decorations and candies.


We had 169 cookies to decorate. 

Claire and Whitney first started out kind of just tossing on as much as they could and moving on to the next cookie. After a little while, they started slowing down and making more detailed cookies and carefully placing the decorations on each one.

As each one would finish up four or five cookies on their plate, then Grandpa would take them off to space them out carefully on the drying racks. From there he would take each rack into the kitchen and spread them out on the counters. That way the frosting could get hard and firm. Later they could be stacked up between layers of wax paper in containers. Each family was going to go home with about 5 dozen cookies, with the rest remaining here for us!

We had Christmas music playing and the kids were very, very silly. But it was fun talking and hearing about their excitement. With the upcoming holiday, and knowing Santa was keeping track of things, they were on their very best behavior. They talked more about what they were GIVING to other people, and very little about GETTING things. I like that.



We only had one mishap, my butter knife full of green frosting landed smack dab down on the oriental carpet underneath my feet. I was able to quickly clean it up before the food coloring set in. Even the littlest girls were very careful and didn't make a mess.

Everyone worked so well together and cooperated.

Here's a little video clip 
that we shot during a quick break 
when I went to wash my hands:

Here are the results of our wonderful morning. We decorated all of the 169 cookies. A couple of them broke during the decoration process and were quickly consumed by the eager little Busy Bee workers. Maybe a few got broke on purpose? LOL

We cleaned up quickly and put things away. The kids all helped. Then while we were preheating the oven and getting ready to make lunch, these three decided that the chairs in the dining room would make an excellent airplane! Whitney in the middle decided she was the gate attendant and she collected passports from everybody. Clayton was the pilot up in the front and they all went for a ride. I'm not sure exactly where they went, but it kept them busy while we got things ready in the kitchen to make lunch.

Quite the Airplane Pilot.
The cell phone on his feet is part of his control panel
in the cockpit. 

It is fun to still be 9 years old and indulge in creative imagination play.

Then the kids ended up playing in the new office room, and decided that Whitney would be the teacher while both Clayton and Claire were the students. They hauled out some school supplies and she taught the lessons. I eavesdropped a bit, and Whitney sure sounded like a teacher! 

I see so much of Whitney's mother, Heather, in her play and in her speech at that same age. I love it that she is confidant and although younger than Clayton, she can be the leader.  She has such creative ideas and led her classroom easily.

The oldest, Chelsea, and I were in the kitchen getting things ready to make mini pizzas for lunch. We recently discovered these cute little mini pizza kits at Aldi. There are three crusts and three little packages of sauce in a pack. We add bowls of pepperonis and the cheese to the island set up.  We don't bother with other ingredients, because this is all the kids ever want. Cheese n Pepperoni.  We write their names on the parchment paper on the tray, so each one knows which finished pizza will be theirs. 

(Because once you bake them, they all look alike anyhow)

They do enjoy the process of putting together their own little pizza and putting on the cheese and sauce and pepperonis. It's kind of cute that each one has their own style or technique.

They had to get them "just right"  
and use up all of the cheese by the time they were finished.

We popped them in the oven to bake while the kids got the table set and ready for lunch. We had Christmas carols playing and the house was smelling so good with their baking pizzas.

Again, they clustered around the table in the kitchen to enjoy their treats. It started to cloud up outside so we didn't have the sunshine that we had in the morning. I love having them all around the table. Grandma and Grandpa both opted to make sandwiches and pass on the pizzas.

I think these little grins and pizza smeared faces tell the story. They were really having fun. Plus they've got to essentially make their own lunch.



After lunch we let them run around and play for awhile. It was too cold to go outside. The windchills were in the single digits. But the day was stretching on and soon it was time to sort out the cookies and make up the boxes to be sent home. The kids took turns choosing out their favorite cookies from the assortment on the kitchen counters. Whatever was left over is what this grandma and grandpa get to keep at their own house.


One more special thing we did before they left was to give each child a package. We are not getting together with all of the family until New Year's Day. So this was a special little "pre-present" before the holidays that they could open up now and take home.

Each child opened up their package. On top was a special ornament that they could hang on their tree. It's not so fun to get an ornament on New Year's Day....  it's much better to get it BEFORE Christmas and hang it on your tree. Then deeper inside each of their red bags were the Christmas village houses that I make for them each year.

Each year, I spend hours upon hours painting up these little village ceramic houses for each child. I think of them as I paint and I smile fondly at the memories from the previous years. I've been doing this for many years for the grandkids and they love setting up their little Christmas Villages at their homes. I think this is the first year that the two youngest girls actually realized that each year I actually painted them. Other years they just remember that they got a house. So this year we talked about my painting them and how long it takes and how I smile and make them with love and creativity. 

Claire got a Roadside Hotel,
 and Whitney got a little General Store


Clayton got a railroad station 
and Chelsea got a little coffee shop


Well, our day was coming to an end. It was time to take one more picture of all of us together on the couch. Grandpa took the shot for us. Actually he took about 15 shots until we could find one where everybody was looking forward at the same time.

They didn't want to go home, and we had groans and protests. We bundled up all of the kids into their gear, packed up their cookies and hauled them all home. We got huge spontaineous hugs in appreciation.  

It was a long delightful day --- but boy oh boy this Grandma and Grandpa were tired. We need a nap. And of course, when we woke up we had to nibble on a couple Christmas cookies.


  1. Wow, it's been a while since I've gotten back to several blogs, including yours. What a special time with the grandkids! So many cookies and so pretty! Great idea with the pizzas. Special village gifts too. Merry Christmas!

  2. Grandchildren are so much fun...and so tiring. And I only have one. He'll be here later today and I am so looking forward to our two days of chaos. Merry Christmas!


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