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Christmas cookies are a traditional holiday must for families all over the world. In my house, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without our annual Christmas Cookie Day. My mom, my sibling, and I get together every Christmas to make a few hundred cookies that we share with teachers, neighbors, and family friends that have helped us throughout the year.
And, of course, we save a box of yummy treats for ourselves that we eat as we watch one of our favorite classic holiday movies.
Whether your Christmas cookie tradition is baking for your whole neighborhood or just making a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies for yourself and your family, here are some tips and tricks to help add a little “spice” to one of our favorite holiday traditions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Play With Spices and Flavors
While having a Christmas cookie that you make every year is a great way to create annual traditions, don’t be afraid to play around with your recipes and add some new spices and flavors. Even a little dash of cinnamon or a splash of almond extract can take a classic cookie to fun new heights.
Baking Christmas cookies is also a great time to try new flavors you’ve never considered or attempted before. Interested in trying out a chocolate-and-peppermint treat? How about a light and delicious lemon and ricotta cookie? Maybe your famous apple pie would be another crowd-pleaser in cookie form?
Baking new types of Christmas cookies is a great way to keep a family favorite tradition while also adding a little extra spice to an old recipe.
Find Recipes You’ve Never Tried Before
Another great way to change up your Christmas cookie game? Find some completely new recipes! For our annual holiday baking day, my mother would scour the internet looking for fun new treats we hadn’t tried before, printing out each recipe and keeping them all in a recipe box to go back to during future holidays (just like Grandma used to).
One of the best parts about our annual baking day was trying out all these new recipes. Some could be incredibly challenging (for anyone who’s ever had to roll cookie dough into a log shape, you understand the struggle), and some didn’t always turn out the way they were supposed to (make sure to check your extracts – peppermint and vanilla may look the same, but don’t be fooled), but over the years we’ve baked some incredibly delicious cookies.
Trying new recipes adds to the adventure and makes every baking day interesting and different, but still a beloved yearly tradition.
Make It a Family Affair
Christmas cookie traditions aren’t meant to be experienced alone – they’re a family affair. My family’s annual baking day wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t experienced and enjoyed by the whole family – my mom baking with my sibling and me as her sous chefs, and my dad trying to avoid the kitchen entirely so he doesn’t have to see the giant mess unfolding on the counters (he doesn’t complain about the mess anymore once he’s enjoying the yummy treats).
Baking in my family is a way for us to bond, to put on our favorite Christmas music and dance around the kitchen as we beat eggs, sift flour, and measure oil. It’s laughing and shouting instructions and complaining about whose turn it is to wash the mountain of dishes.
Therefore, in order to really enjoy Christmas cookies, you must first bake them with the people you love. So grab your favorite aprons, throw on that Bing Crosby Christmas album, and make baking Christmas cookies a fun, loud, joyous traditional Christmas activity.
And don’t forget to sit down together afterward and eat your delicious treats until your bellies are bursting with sugary goodies. The post-baking day snacks are a family affair, too.
Bake Enough to Feed an Army
Christmas is all about sharing joy with the people around you, and Christmas cookie traditions should be no different. As I’ve said before, my family’s annual holiday baking day ends with tray upon tray of cookies – when I say hundreds, I mean hundreds. In the spirit of the holidays (and to keep our pants fitting for another year), we pack our various cookies into boxes and goody bags and distribute them to our neighbors, teachers, and loved ones.
Sharing your Christmas goodies is a great way to show the people around you that you care and are grateful for all the love and support they’ve given to you throughout the year. While gifts are always fun and appreciated, a homemade treat is the best way to bring warmth to peoples’ hearts and tummies.
Plus, your children’s teachers will definitely consider you the mom of the year. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Enjoy Your Cookies with a Delicious Christmas Drink
Don’t let the title of this article fool you – Christmas cookie traditions aren’t just about the cookies. Because what’s a cookie without a glass of milk?
Whether you’re a traditionalist and go for a glass of cold milk, or whether you “spice” your drink options up as well with a more Christmas-y choice, your delicious Christmas cookie traditions just won’t be the same if you don’t pair them with a festive, delicious drink.
Personally, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same for me without warm apple cider, heated on the stovetop and poured into my favorite Christmas mug. While she also appreciates our tradition of drinking apple cider around the tree, my mom is a lover of hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows. On the other hand, my dad likes to drink his special Christmas coffee no matter the time of day.
Whether you choose eggnog, apple cider, or hot chocolate – or maybe you decide to stick with the fan-favorite glass of milk – having a festive drink to go with your Christmas cookies is the best way to finish off your traditional baking extravaganza.
However you appreciate your Christmas cookie tradition this year, we hope you find all the love, joy, and wonder this favorite holiday treat brings to families all over the world.
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.