We have had not one, but two, cookie decorating playdates this week. The first was at my friend Elizabeth' house. I don't know how many kids were there, but it was a whole lot! There's always a little bit of stress taking the trio to other people's homes. While they were especially curious about the Christmas tree lights, ornaments, and presents, they played nicely and didn't damage anything.
Everyone filled up on a hodgepodge lunch, then decorated cookies. Like most of his peers, Jackson's decorating technique was to pile his cookie with a mound of icing and candy. James, Amelia, and Maddie were quite persistent that they join in the fun. Obviously they could not be trusted with a bag of icing or can of sprinkles, but they did enjoy a plain cookie.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Fast forward to today...
I hosted a cookie decorating and ornament making party at my house with another circle of mom friends.
Let me just tell you, I should stick to baking cakes. I had trouble with the dough being too cold from being in the refrigerator overnight, then being too warm/soft after being rolled out so much. I rolled the dough too thick where the cookies would have been raw in the middle, then too thin where they fell apart when I tried to pick them up. The dough stuck to the wax paper, so I had to use more flour. After cutting out a dozen cookies, then kneading them back into a ball of dough, I finally fell into a cookie making groove.
It didn't help that the trio were especially needy this morning. After a full morning of baking and consoling children, I finally had several dozen Christmas cookies, candies, and colored icing ready.
I also provided healthy snacks, chicken nuggets, and cheese crackers.
There were eleven kids (including mine) between the ages of one and five. The weather was warm enough that the kids were able to play outside, in addition to upstairs and downstairs.
James, Amelia, and Maddie were perfectly happy with all the attention they received. James develops this big boy complex every time Jackson has friends over. He tried to do everything they did. Affectionate Amelia walked around with her hands up in the air, waiting to be picked up. Maddie bossed everyone around and scavenged for cookies
In between cookies and ornaments, everyone scattered about. At one point, Jackson and his friend went upstairs and changed into dress up clothes. (Fun fact: Jackson had three full wardrobe changes in the 2.5 hours that his friends were here.) Three more boys played in the sandbox in the backyard. The girls were inside pushing wagons. And the younger kids were on the gated deck.
I wasn't sure if the kids would have the attention span for ornament making, but I found some $2 kits of foam and felt ornaments. I'm so glad I offered crafts because half of the kids were so focused on decorating with foam stickers, gluing felt stars on precut trees, and threading beads onto pipe cleaners.
Once everyone left, Jackson spent another hour continuing to make ornaments. It had taken me three different stores to find the necessary "tri-beads". Several of the ornaments hanging on our tree are twenty year old candy canes and wreaths I made with those beads when I was a little girl. It was so fun to watch Jackson enjoy making the same ornaments and adding it to our tree.
Jackson and I decorated the last few cookies. He requested we "save some for Daddy and give some to Mr. Gary [our next door neighbor]". So that is what we did.