Growing up, one of my favorite holiday activities was decorating sugar cookies. And we actually decorated them every Easter. They were egg shaped cookies, and the decorating possibilities seemed endless to me...stripes, polka dots, zigzags, initials. It was a great way to foster our artistic creativity.
While I whip up a batch of these cookies only occasionally for Easter, I always do them at Christmas.
It's one of the kids' favorite activities and it keeps them entertained for a whole hour or more. Some of these cookies get wrapped up and make their way to the kids' school and music teachers. The rest we share with family at our Christmas gatherings.
Elaina (2 years old) took her job very seriously. Every now and then she would holler out "I need red!" or "here mom, you need green!" (she has no idea what her colors are yet). She was especially serious when it came to sprinkles. She went to town. I wish I would have gotten a picture of her six cookies. They each had a small mound of frosting in the middle, then a mountain of green sprinkles. :)
I've been thinking about traditions a lot lately. I think they are important. They foster a closeness among family members and create a sense of belonging. I've thought about what traditions we have as a family, and most of them are carried over from either mine or Dean's childhood. While that is good, I want to start creating some that are our very own.
One tradition that I'm excited to continue this year and every Christmas from here on out, is caroling. Our little family bundles up and makes the round of our culdesac and other neighbors we know, singing our favorite carols. I love that my kids are old enough for this! Everyone sings! Afterward, we come home and drink hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread houses.
And yes, while these traditions are supposed to be fun, I sometimes get lazy as a mom and am tempted to skip the things my kids anticipate. Excuses of we're too busy, it's a hassle, and there's just no time shouldn't get in the way of my family's traditions. These are the things I know they'll remember of their childhood, just as I have such fond memories of my own childhood cookie decorating days, biscuit bunny making, and waking up to a valentine's day surprise.
What traditions do you and your family keep?