I don’t know if this ever happens in your house, but sometimes Christmas traditions are really built up in my head as a wonderful, magical thing and in reality, it’s just not so fabulous. For us, decorating the Christmas tree is one of those things. In my mind, we happily decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music with a fire warmly crackling in the background. After decorating the tree, we all cuddle and drink hot chocolate, soaking in the magic of the season the the love of our family.
That is so not how it goes.
Decorating the Christmas tree is fun for about 30 seconds. Then someone is fighting, someone is crying, someone is bored, an ornament is broken, and it all goes downhill from there. So this year, I just decorated the tree all by myself (with the Christmas music playing, of course) while everyone was off at school. I think the kids were actually more excited about coming home that day to a tree filled with their handmade ornaments than the would have been to participate. I’m letting the Christmas tree decorating fantasy go, at least for a little while.
Baking Christmas cookies is another one of those things that’s a little more magical in my head than in reality. I grew up decorating Christmas cookies each and every year, and it’s one of my favorite childhood Christmas traditions. I think I’ve attempted it a few times with my own kids, but it never ends well. I decided this year I wanted to try again, mostly because Camryn has shown a great interest in all things having to do with the kitchen. She loves to “help” which is pretty opposite of how my boys have been in the past.
The cookie adventure was a two day process. Day one: make the dough. Logan was happily playing at a friend’s house, and Connor was happily playing with his rubix cube (which is a topic that deserves a post of it’s own.) Making the dough was a project just for the girls.
It was a very serious undertaking.
Camryn helped pour in all the ingredients.
And she kept a careful eye on the mixing progress.
She also took on the ever important job of taste-tester. (I helped with that part, too. I love the dough more than I love the cookies.)
We wrapped the dough, and popped it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Camyrn was taking a nap, and Connor was happily playing a video game. But Logan wanted to help cut out the cookies and bake them.
He took his job pretty seriously.
Once Cami was up from her nap, it was time for the best part: decorating.
I love how they both stick their tongues out when concentrating. I have so many pictures of me as a kid doing the same thing.
Their first decorated cookies.
I think what I’m probably forgetting as a kid is the fact that I could just decorate for a few minutes and then if I got bored, no big deal. But when you’re the mom, you have to finish the project. That means that I was sitting at the table icing cookies long after the kids ran off. And then there was the major clean up operation.
But all in all, it was just about as great as I remember.