By Kaye Dennan
One of my fondest Christmas memories is decorating Santa and Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies with my mom when I was ten years old. They were supposed to be for a holiday bake sale, but they were so delicious that we ended up eating half of them before we were even finished frosting them. Consuming that much sugar in one sitting was amazing, of course, but it is the fun I had just spending time with my mom that really made that day so much fun. Christmas baking with your children is a great way to bond with them during the holiday season, and make memories that both of you will treasure for a long time.
Bonding Over Cookies
Christmas baking may not seem like anything that special to you, but there is possibly no better way to bond as a family than to cook together. You are collectively creating something special, not just in the form of cookies, but also in memories that will likely be with you and your children for the rest of your lives.
Even children as young as four love to help in the kitchen, whether it is pouring ingredients, mixing batter, or putting frosting on cookies. It can get a bit messy, but that is part of what makes it so fun. Your child will be happy that they get to be a part of the exciting Christmas-time preparations, and more than that, they will be glad to be spending time with you.
What to Make
Sugar cookies and gingerbread men/houses are great treats to make with kids during the holidays. Not only can your children help with baking these items, but they also get the chance to decorate them afterwards. No matter how old your children are, they will love frosting cookies and decorating them with colorful candies and sprinkles. After all, what is more fun for a kid than an edible arts-and-crafts project?
If you don’t want to make gingerbread yourself, you can also make “gingerbread” houses out of graham crackers and frosting. They are just as much fun to decorate as the real thing, but they are a little less work and so a good alternative for moms who already have a lot on their plate during the holiday season. All you need for this easy treat is some graham crackers, a strong frosting, and an assortment of candies to decorate with.
Passing Down Traditions
Whatever you make with your children, it is sure to create fun and pleasant Christmas baking memories that will stay with them the rest of their lives and encourage them to bake and decorate with their own children some day. It is these kinds of traditions that strengthen connections between children, parents, and grandparents and bring families closer together.
My family has been making the same Christmas cookies for generations, and they still evoke the same pleasant emotions in me when I make and eat them now as an adult that they once did when I was a child. There is something truly magical about my grandma, my mother, and I all sitting in the kitchen together mixing the batter of our favorite holiday cookies and sharing memories from past Christmases.
It’s difficult for anyone to be mad or upset with each other when the smell of gingerbread is filling the room. All the hostility that may exist during the rest of the year is gone when we are sampling dough and mixing frosting. We don’t remember how the other people in the kitchen may have hurt us in the past, but only how much fun we have had making cookies and celebrating the holidays together. That is why Christmas baking will always be a large part of the holiday traditions that we pass down to our children, because the joy and togetherness it encourages is what Christmas is all about.
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