‘Twas The Weekend Before Christmas…

And all through the house, kids are on a sugar high. That’s what happens here when we have our annual cookie-baking extravaganza.
 
It’s a day for fun and for not worrying about the dentist or caloric intake. Besides, I planned to hit the gym afterward, knowing my gang had to leave by three as my oldest grandson had a basketball game.
 
I mentioned to my granddaughter I’d make the sugar cookie dough early so it would have its time in the fridge before rolling. She immediately objected–but, but, but, we like making that dough, too.
 
Okay then.
 
Sugar cookie dough starts the day, with everybody taking turns. You got to put in the butter, I get to put in the sugar! Many years of experience has taught me how to manage all this, down to supervising how a five-year-old cracks an egg. (Messily.)IMG_1242
 
While that dough’s chilling, we opt for a double batch of the crowd favorite–chocolate chip. It’s an assembly line from the measuring and mixing to the dropping and the baking. And then to the most important element.
 
The taste testing. We all agree we can’t inflict inferior cookies on the world, so we will throw ourselves on our sword and sample.
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They passed the audition. More than once.
 
It’s onto a new-for-us cookie. Kayla had asked if we could do the Hershey Kiss Blossoms. Sure we can, so BW was tasked with getting the kisses. He initially brought home the mint ones by mistake. So now we’ll make two new kinds. There’s a lot of fun here rolling dough balls in colored sugar, unwrapping kisses, putting them on warm baked cookies.
 
These, too, passed the test.
 
Onto the more traditional peanut butter blossoms, and we rolled these in gold sugar or white sugar.
 
The mess by now is awesome.
 
We must break for lunch–even an indulgent nana has to get some actual food in these kids. I’m amazed when the five-year-old wants seconds of actual food. Where is he putting all this?
 
An extended break for another tradition in our house on baking day. The early Christmas gift. I held this off until after actual food, despite many pleas. That single gift–always something relatively small–causes near desperation.
 
Then it’s time for the crescendo.
 
Out comes the sugar cookie dough and the cookie cutters, and the little plastic bowls along with the food coloring Kayla has purged and organized. We mix the paint–it’s just that food coloring and evaporated milk.
 IMG_1246
I roll, they cut, they paint. Much discussion on which they HAVE to eat themselves. I bake. Multiple times. We have color, weird art, festive shapes, and–of course–a taste test.
 
Success!
 
We’ve done it all, in the five hours allotted, and my gang heads off with a big bag of cookies, early gifts and happy faces for the basketball game. I tin up a variety for our Christmas visit with BW’s family on Sunday.
 
BW and I clean up the awesome mess. Awesomely happy mess. I, however, wonder what I was thinking when I planned to workout after the marathon.
 
I have a really big glass of wine instead, and a cookie.
 
That’s a happy holiday tradition!
 
I hope you all enjoy your own.
Nora

51 thoughts on “‘Twas The Weekend Before Christmas…”

  1. What a great nana! I was always upset that my mom always had the sugar cookie dough already made too!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Love reading your blogs and your books. Looking forward to more happy reading in 2016.

  3. Kudos on your restraint and giving into temptation with the glass of wine and cookies instead of a workout.! Now I have to ask – where did you get the BIG kid with facial hair? Which grandchild was THAT? Merry Christmas to you and yours. And don’ forget to write! Seriously, keep writing!!

  4. Having two boys like you, I used to make cookies with them but also my two nieces would come every year and we would make cookies while by brother took my two boys on an outing. It was so much fun. Now I have two grandsons and until a year ago, every Christmas when we went to visit, we would make Gingerbread houses. Sadly, they are too old now for that but it was a holiday tradition we all enjoyed. Holiday traditions make the best cherished memories!

  5. Nothing better than spending time with the grandkids, baking or doing crafts! The mess lasts for a moment…but the memories a lifetime!!
    Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! BTW, can’t wait for all the new releases in 2016!

  6. Love the story and extra kudos as I didn’t see flour in anyone’s hair. Something that always seems to happen to me….must be my technique.
    Merry Christmas to all!

  7. This is a nice tradition. Hope you have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    I enjoy reading fall in into the story.

  8. Meet Christmas! Sounds like a great day!! Blessings to you and yours for a wonderful new years also!

  9. Lovely cookie baking tradition. You are a good nana! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

  10. The taste testing is a mandatory part of the cookie baking in my way of thinking. Another thought I had is that if the 5 year old is a boy, he has a hollow leg to fill with all the actual food he was eating. My brother ate enough to feed all 5 of us when he was younger. I don’t remember if it was when he was five, though.

  11. Looks like you guys had a great time while making memories. I hope you and your family and Laura and her family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
    Well, I made my cream cheese pound cake and it turned out wonderful . it takes three hours from start to finish. to make this one. (Not counting the hr to cool) Man, it was worth it when my Mother, who is just like a kid in a candy store, says I’m cutting this now!!!

  12. I love reading about your fun with your grandchildren! Wishing you a bright and beautiful holiday! Your cookies sound delicious!

  13. I enjoy Fall Into the Story posts so much. Thanks for the smile and the warm feeling. Beautiful traditions! This is our first ‘almost empty nesters’ Christmas, with our oldest not only moved out, but in another country. We still have the 18 year old (hugs!) and added a niece, so it’s all good. Best of everything to you and yours!

  14. I remember those days with my children and Grandchildren, with a tear in my eye. Everyone is so spread out that we all can’t get together for those wonderful family days. Have a wonder Christmas and a very healthy New Year…..

  15. Thanks so much for sharing a peek with you grandkids. What a fun time you all must have had! Merry Christmas!!!

  16. I love this story! I always thought we would do this with our grandchildren, but neither of the girls (5 and 2+) can have gluten or dairy, so I’m a little reluctant to try anything else. I guess we’ll be dipping our toes into alternatives.
    What lovely memories you’re making!
    Merry Christmas!

  17. Sounds like a wonderful time. This year I am on my own with the cookies since my daughter has to work. ? Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in February.

  18. Thank’s for letting us know your family and personallife! Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2016 from one of your biggest admirer in Sweden! <3

  19. This all sounds like so much fun. Half of my grandkids live in another state- and they range in age from 7 to 25- so we never did this. Also, I don’t bake, or know how to make dough. These are memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy them- it seems like yesterday when my first grandson was born- and he’s 25 now. You are the best nana, ever.

  20. Merry Christmas. God bless you and your family. Thank you for my enjoyment of reading.

    Kelly Ann

  21. We are blessed that we not only get to enjoy your fabulous published stories, but you are taking the time to write and share these vignettes as well! I absorb all you write because it brings out the happy- thank you, thank you.
    As we enjoy our traditions with my children and grandchildren (some do live in other states but close enough to travel and stay often, yeah!) your books are often under our tree and discussed at our tables. My mother, my daughters, my daughter in law and I share and love all your books. Anyone listening to our “gossip” might think Dallas and her friends were our friends as well!

  22. THANKS for bringing us all in to share the holiday fun with you, Bruce and the g-kids. Merry Christmas….Nora and Laura….Have a wonderful New Year.

    And, Nora….Thanks for all of the glorious stories. Looking forward to the new ones in the coming year.

  23. It sounds like lots of fun, but I have a question.

    What’s the difference between the new Hershey’s Kiss Blossom recipe and the regular peanut butter blossom recipe. Even on Hershey’s site, the only recipe they have is “Hershey’s Kiss Peanut Butter Blossoms”.

    I wish I’d had those types of cooking/baking traditions growing up, and thought to start it with my kids. Alas, they are mostly grown now (19 and 21), so I guess when I am given them, I’ll start with my grandchildren.

    1. Hershey’s has a mint kiss with a sugar cookie type recipe, as well as the chocolate kiss with the peanut butter, so we made both.

  24. Sounds like you had a five-hour workout, Nana! You are creating wonderful lifelong memories. Thanks so much for sharing and Merry Christmas!

  25. Food coloring and evaporated milk?? Never thought of that. So much easier than colored frosting! Cookie baking with the 3 year old takes place in my house tomorrow.

  26. Thanks for sharing your fun day with us. We have 11 grandchildren & had a wonderful Christmas party with them & their parents today. There is nothing like grandchildren. Thanks for all the hours of pleasure from reading your books, starting years ago with your earliest Harlequin books, of which I still have my copies!

  27. Sounds perfect! I’m planning a baking day Tuesday with my 3 girls. With maybe a sugar cream pie to offset the sugar cookies. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  28. I have the people from my writer’s group coming tomorrow for our last meeting of the year and this one we do in my home so we can have Xmas goodies. We try to have a humorous Xmas story to read out to get us in the mood. We then do a lot of talking and nibbling. Over the last few days I have been cooking and sweet making, tidying and polishing. We finally iced the luscious smelling (Southern Comfort and Drambuie for alcohol content) Xmas cake baked in November. Must away to write that short story as it is almost midnight and I need to get up early. It may centre around the fact I dyed my hair Glimmer Gold earlier tonight then had a blonde moment when I ran into my glass sliding door thinking it was open. I cleaned the door the other day.

  29. We indulged in the same fun at our house on Saturday! All were there, the 23 month old great-granddaughter to the 21 year old grandson and the beautiful three in between, ages 9, 8, and 4! What FUN and what a mess! We wouldn’t have it any other way! We are so incredibly blessed! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  30. Looks like great fun. Will try this with my granddaughter on Wed. Merry Christmas and God Bless .

  31. How fun for you all! And a thank you for allowing us into the tiny window of holiday tradition with your grandkids and BW too. Have a wonderfully merry Christmas and a blessed 2016!

  32. Thank you for sharing your holiday traditions & your blog with your many fans. Happy holidays Nora, Laura & your families.
    I hope 2016 brings you all joy.

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