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Challenge: Your Special Traditions

Cookies Only Santa Would Love

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“Mama, can you help me with the frosting?” My daughter asked as she added ocean-like waves on a fire truck-shaped cookie. Her younger sister reached for the shaker of green sprinkles at the center of the table.

With a butter knife, I smoothed the frosting into a swirl. Earlier, when I first dropped red food coloring into the icing, the frosting turned peony pink. Then my daughters creatively added blue, green and yellow food coloring, and the frosting turned an unappetizing shade of diaper brown.

Pop! Whoosh!


“Uh, oh…,” My youngest daughter’s nose squinched. Her eyes locked on her plate. An avalanche of green sprinkles had devoured a sugar cookie.

Every year we make sugar cookies. And every year we make a giant mess.

Flour was splattered decoratively on the kitchen counter and tile floor.

“That could be a Christmas tree,” I said gently, and poured the sprinkles back into the container. “What a masterpiece.”


Sugar cookies are blank canvases. There is no expectation about how holiday sugar cookies should look—they’re edible anyway—and that makes our family tradition a perfect opportunity for my daughters to exercise their motor skills. And when I’m tired (which is all of the time), I can roll the cookie dough into a ball, poke a popsicle stick in it, bake it, dip it into chocolate and call it a cake pop. It works in a pinch.

Baking and decorating sugar cookies has been a holiday tradition in my family for generations. Although, I could also claim that destroying the kitchen while baking cookies only Santa would love is our tradition, too.

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