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Christmas Cookie Party

There is nothing guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit like a Christmas Cookie Baking Party with a bunch of kids! Create a family tradition that allows everyone to get in on the act. It is easy to do and loads of fun. The kids get to bake, decorate, eat and take home their cookie creations. Proper prior preparation makes this party easy to do on a weekend afternoon or an afternoon when school is already out of session. Follow the easy tips for making this the kind of party that is fun for all. Preparing the cookie dough in advance (see below) and having it rolled out and ready will make this easy.

You need to have some simple foods ready for the baking and decorating elves to offset the sugar binge about to take place. And, if they have a healthy snack before the cookies, it will help to cut down on excess cookie consumption. The menu below is simple to prepare and will appeal to most children.

Chicken Noodle Soup (serve it in coffee mugs with big spoons) and Goldfish Crackers
Chicken Nuggets with Ketchup
Carrot and Celery Sticks with Ranch Dip

You will need the following items to facilitate cookie baking:

Cookie Dough - Sugar Cookies reign supreme for holiday cookie decorating. There are 2 recipes included here. One for the making and using the same day and one which can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If you are not inclined to make your own dough, you can purchase cookie dough from the store.
Cookie Cutters - Here is the opportunity to start a collection of Christmas Cookie Cutters. Trees, Santa, Stars, Bells, Snowmen, etc. are all available in stores now and throughout the year.
Cookie Sheets - The best are sturdy aluminum sheets without any dark coating. Dark coatings make it easy to burn the cookies.
Icing - Have ready several bowls of icing in a variety of Christmas colors, red, white, green, yellow, blue, etc. Have small spreaders (table knives also will work) for the kids to apply the icing to the cookies.
Decorations - Purchase sprinkles in Christmas colors, cinnamon dots, etc. You will find all sorts of fun items at the store.
Paper Plates - Purchase Christmas themed paper plates (they needn't be the large ones) for the children to put their favorite cookies on and take home. If you like, you can also wrap them in a colored plastic film.

If you are really under time constraints, you can bake the cookies in advance, freeze them and let thaw before the kids arrive. Everyone still gets to have lunch, decorate and take cookies home. This is also a good option if the kids are very young. But, the maximum fun comes from the actually baking and decorating the cookies. Plus, your home is going to smell great from all of those baking cookies!

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