Decorate Christmas Cookies and Enjoy Time with Loved Ones

With the clock ticking rapidly toward Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s likely your schedule is filling up quickly. If you’re feeling the holiday stress beginning to escalate, don’t add to it by trying to get together with all your friends and family in formal settings. Instead, opt for a fun, multipurpose holiday gathering: A holiday cookie decorating party.

I should begin by explaining that this gathering is not a cookie swap. However, if you are attending a cookie swap or simply need a few small gifts to give away, it’s a good way to prepare while enjoying the company of friends and family. Consider it sort of a pre-gathering to all the big events you have already committed to.

Throwing a Cookie Decorating Party:

Step 1: Call a few friends you haven’t established official holiday plans with yet and invite them to your cookie-decorating gathering. Inform them of the time and date. Be sure to add a specified beginning and end time. If you are honest up front, they can make plans around the event and you don’t have to cleverly ask friends to leave when the party is over.

Step 2: Request that your guests bring over undecorated cookies, sprinkles, their favorite frosting/icing or ingredients for their favorite frosting/icing. Make sure they know that you will only be providing the location for decorating and holiday music. You may add in your conversation that the Christmas cookies can be homemade or store bought. It’s a busy time of year and there is no need to pressure your guests. Lastly, let them know they will be taking their decorated cookies home to give as gifts or for upcoming cookie swaps. You may even suggest that they bring a few copies of their favorite Christmas cookie recipe to share.

Step 3: On the day of the cookie decorating party, cover the designated decorating space with plastic tablecloths, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. This will make the post-decoration cleanup a breeze.

Step 4: Set out several small paper or plastic mixing bowls for mixing frostings. You’ll also need small spreaders and any decorations or food coloring you wish to share with your guests. Remember that this is not a requirement.

Step 5: Turn up the holiday tunes and let your guests enjoy the common space for completing a fun holiday chore in a friend-filled environment.

A few suggestions: While at your home, it’s likely your guests will be thirsty and they may enjoy a few snacks. This comes to personal preference, but I’ll be setting out a few appetizers for guests to snack on. I’ll also have a fresh pot of coffee brewed and maybe a pitcher of milk if kiddos come and want to taste test a few of those beautifully decorated Christmas cookies.

I’ve suggested that much of the preparation is left to the guests for this kind of event, but if you are feeling particularly festive there is always the option of preparing the cookies and icing yourself. In that case, you just have to ask guests to bring sprinkles or nothing at all. Whichever route you go, it’s sure to be a fun gathering for all.

Happy Decorating!

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

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