Christmas – Keeping it Simple

I love Christmas! Spending time with family and friends, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, sending out cards, arguing whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie — it is, by the way — and the pure insanity of the entire process. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfy spot and let’s chat about keeping it simple and spectacular!

We want to create those warm family moments that our children will remember and share with their children. Traditions that will last a lifetime. Decorating the tree, baking cookies, Christmas parties, a big family meal, shopping, wrapping gifts with a glass of wine and Christmas music playing in the background.

There’s a lot of pressure this time of year to get everything perfect. It won’t be. And that’s okay. That batch of burned cookies, the year the tree fell over? Those will be the memories that you cherish, the moments that you want to get back again. Perfectly imperfect is what I’ll call it. It still isn’t Christmas around our house unless at least one gift from Daddy is wrapped with duct tape. So, let’s tackle these things one at a time. Today, we’ll start with baking.

My mother-in-law was the kindest, most giving, loving person I’ve ever known. To family and friends alike she was known as Cookie-Grandma. Her peanut butter chocolate chips cookies are legendary. So much so that the recipe was passed out at her funeral. There was never a time that a tin of homemade baked cookies didn’t sit on the counter. And as one of the wiser kids found out, if you licked the bottom of each chocolate chip before you put it on the dough, you got the whole batch for yourself. It’s a cherished memory.

Baking from a premade mix or dough can be just as memorable. Follow these simple directions for baking with children, at Christmas, or anytime.

Purchase your favorite type of premade cookie mix or dough.

Place small children at the kitchen counter or table. Wrap an apron around them and lightly dust a small amount of flour on them. Warning: This can lead to extreme fits of giggles.

Mix according to package directions and place on a cookie sheet.

Set the children loose with sprinkles. Lots and lots of sprinkles.

Bake

While cookies bake, wipe off counter, rinse bowl and place in dishwasher.

Optional – Keep that camera ready!

Memories made!

This recipe also works for banana bread, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, the possibilities are unlimited! If you make multiple batches to give to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors as gifts, they’ll be appreciated as if you’d lugged out the stand mixer and spent the entire day baking from scratch. As a bonus, you’ve taught your children the joy and pride of giving a gift they’ve made themselves.

Got a favorite baking memory? I’d love to hear it. Post it in the comments below and stop by again soon as we tackle that Christmas to-do list!

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