I know this is not a hot take, but I love Christmas. I loved making Christmas cookies with my mom and siblings every year. I loved getting dressed up for Christmas Eve service, waking up early to open presents on Christmas morning, and driving to my aunt’s house after a big Christmas breakfast. Now that I have a family of my own I’ve loved starting new traditions. One of my favorites is an annual cookie decorating party.
During the holiday season of 2020, my oldest son was around 20 months and we had a pod of friends with kids the same age that we did everything with. Everyone came over to our house and we gathered outside (because Houston in December) where I set up a table and chairs with frosting, sprinkles and cookies for the kiddos to go crazy with. We all had so much fun and created lasting memories for all of us.
The second year was a little more refined, as one of the moms is a preschool teacher and much more organized than I am! It’s nice to rotate host houses so no one feels pressured to host every year. Unless you love hosting play dates because it means not having to leave your house! I’m definitely not speaking for myself (I am).
Things have gotten busier over the last few years with preschool and other activities so we don’t get to see each other as much, but the cookie decorating party is a tradition that we love and love to continue. Many of us are now celebrating the first Christmas with our second babies, making it even sweeter this year.
Whether you like to go all out or need just a few simple ideas I am here for you and your cookie decorating party!
If nothing else, you need at least a few key supplies to pull off the best cookie decorating party of the season.
Plastic tablecloth – you definitely don’t want to skip this. Make cleanup so much easier on yourself. End the party by ripping it off the table and throwing it directly in the trash.
Cookies – depending on the age of your kiddos and the length of the party you can either include cookie making as part of the day or not. I typically make cookies ahead of time. This is my favorite recipe.
Frosting – buy store bought or make your own. There are pros and cons to both. Store bought obviously saves you time and work. The taste of homemade, on the other hand, cannot be beat.
Food color – if you go the homemade route, be sure to get a couple of food color options. I suggest at least red, green and blue.
Pastry bags – again, for the homemade version, pastry bags make cookie application much less messy (once you get the hang of using them!). Check out this how-to video if you’re new to pastry bags.
Sprinkles – HEB, Walmart and Target all have heaps of options so you can really go wild and pick as many different colors and shapes as your heart desires.
Reusable Silicone Baking Cups – I use these for all kinds of things, including packing snacks and lunch for school. They are also great for dumping sprinkles in so the kids can easily view and access all of the different options.
Plastic Spoons – you can either give each baking cup its own spoon so you don’t cross-contaminate, or give each kid their own spoon and let things play out at as they will.
Depending on the time of day, you can do snacks or even a full meal during your cookie decorating party. The key is to get something besides sugar into bellies!
Breakfast board – If you’re doing a morning cookie decorating party, a breakfast board is a great way to feed a large group of people with different tastes and appetites. You can even invite attendees to wear their jammies to really give your party a cozy vibe!
Strawberry Santas – a cute and quick way to add some nutritional value to your party spread.
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate – get it started a few hours before party time, and you’ll have perfect, decadent hot chocolate to enjoy with your decorated cookies.
Other snack options include donut holes, mandarin oranges, individual bags of pretzels, crackers, popcorn, or fruit snacks.
Set the mood with some twinkle string lights.
A mini Christmas tree makes the perfect centerpiece for your cookie decorating table.
No party is complete without the perfect playlist. My family will be rocking this Christmas Party playlist from Thanksgiving through the new year.
We hope these tips help you throw a great cookie decorating party of your own this holiday season!
Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates and other Affiliate Programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com, Target.com, Nordstrom, ABC Mouse, and other affiliate sites.