Advent Day 12, 13, and 14

Advent Day 12 was “Decorate Christmas Cookies.”

We decorated gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. I made the gingerbread men the night before, from this recipe.  Normally I am not a huge gingerbread person, but once a year I get this CRAVING and I must have a soft spicy made from scratch gingerbread man, and that recipe is my favorite.  In fact now I’m kind of wondering if I might need to make another batch.

I have a gorgeous copper gingerbread man cookie cutter that I once paid waaaaaaay too much money for at Williams Sonoma, and every time I see that gorgeous expensive lovely cookie cutter, it makes me happy in a way that all the crappy Target cookie cutters in the world do not.  Although I also can still remember being horrified at the shocking amount of money I was spending on a cookie cutter.

I made the sugar cookies from a bagged mix, because last year by the time I was done making the cookies from scratch, I was SO NOT IN THE MOOD to decorate them with the help of a wee one.  And I am not a huge fan of sugar cookies anyway, they are always too crunchy for me, so it makes no difference to me if they come from a bag.  Also, the dough that the bagged mix makes tastes really disgusting, but the cookies themselves? No discernable difference between them and a from scratch sugar cookie.

I really really HATE that frosting in a can, though. HATE.  So instead I used Trader Joe’s boxed frosting which I really really do like, and I tinted some red and some green. I decorated the gingerbread men in white using a pastry tip, and Eli smeared green and red frosting all over the sugar cookies and then poured “glitter” all over them.

Does anyone else feel disgusting by the time they’re done with this kind of cooking? I always feel like I am covered with grease and sugar and like I need to take a shower and I never want to look at another baked good for as long as I live.  Ick.

Here are the cookies.  This was Eli’s attempt at “throw your arms out and show me ‘look at all these fabulous cookies I made!'”

Then we packaged them up and delivered them to the neighbors, which was actually the most fun part of this activity.  I have this…strange issue where I HATE aimless walking. It just doesn’t work with my personality.  But if I have a project to accomplish while walking? I am good.  Delivering cookies was an excellent project walk.

Day 13 was Make a Snow Globe.  Let’s not even talk about Day 13, ya’all.  Only THIS CHILD could ruin pineapple and ham pizza.  However, we made that snow globe, yes we did.

Day 14 was today! “Open and Read a New Christmas Book.”

Now, let me just say, I worked in children’s book selling for many years and it is my personal opinion that essentially, there are no good children’s Christmas books.  And I’m just not going to buy “Barbie’s Hot Pink Christmas!”, I’m just not.  I worked in a giant book warehouse and we had a long row of Christmas books and almost all of them were terrible.  However,  we do have three of four that we REALLY like:

Santa Calls.  This is a longer book, with more text, but it is my favorite Christmas book OF ALL TIME.  So wonderful.  Really. SO WONDERFUL.

The Polar Express.  Let’s ignore the creepy movie.  The book makes me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME I read it.

Take Joy! A Tasha Tudor Christmas.  Also for an older child, and be prepared to feel VERY inadequate regarding your own Christmas as soon as you read this.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas.  A big hit last year, not so much this year.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Also for an older kid, but one of my very favorite books all on its own, Christmas or no.

So this year I wasn’t really sure what book to buy for our new Christmas book.  There are a lot of nice stories about Christmas trees, but Eli is not a huge book reader, and I needed something to hold his interest.  In the end I went with The 12 Bugs of Christmas, because I like David Carter and his work and Eli loves bugs.

This book was a hit, although it should be noted that when I paused “Kung Fu Panda” and told Eli that we were going to open and read a Christmas book, he looked right at me and said “Womp womp. That’s NOT FUN.” The little ingrate.

Also, you will note that I mentioned that I worked in children’s book selling for MANY YEARS.  This means that yes, I have heard of Robert Sabuda.  I know all about Robert Sabuda.  I met Robert Sabuda and stood around talking to him in the back room of a bookstore for 2 hours while he signed store stock.  I basically am Robert Sabuda.  In other news, I AM WELL DAMN AWARE OF ROBERT SABUDA PLEASE DO NOT RECOMMEND HIM TO ME HIS WORK IS NOT MEANT FOR A FOUR YEAR OLD.

Sorry. Just had to get that out there.



15 Responses

  1. Who’s Robert Sabuda?

  2. Hey, have you heard of Robert Saduba?


  3. Or Sabuda and now my annoying joke is RUINED.

  4. Check out “A Cup of Christmas Tea” by Tom Hegg — it’s my favorite Christmas book out there.

  5. I have Robert Sabuda books but I’ll be damned if a kid is touching them. DAMNED. No grubby child paws will come in contact with my GORGEOUS pop-up books.

    Anyway, kid Christmas book? This one: The Jolly Christmas Postman

    It’s letters to Santa from fairytale characters and I love it.

  6. We are doing Christmas cookies on Friday. And I made a note of your snow globe for next year because I think that is a great idea.

    I just ordered The Polar Express. I didn’t really like the movie, but when we lived in Florida, every year Sea World has this big Polar Express ride and I loved it so much. It is one of the biggest things I miss during Christmas about moving away from there.

  7. Have you read “Santa Mouse”? It was Ben’s favorite, favorite at that age and I still love the super-charming illustrations. Love that book.

  8. Eli cracks me up: “womp womp”! Whose kid says that?? Love it 🙂

  9. Until this year, Benjamin REFUSED to have Christmas books read to him. It’s only because he gets stickers toward video game time for reading books nicely with me outside of bedtime reading that he’s deigning to indulge my need to read Christmas books. Mostly, he really liked It’s Christmas, David, and Blue’s 12 Days of Christmas. I mean, it may as well have been the Barbie book.

  10. Tasha Tudor!! One of MY favourite Christmas books was illustrated by her. It’s called “The Christmas Cat” and it’s lovely. I took it out of my school library in Kindergarten, and we loved it so much that my parents bought me a copy that I still treasure.

    I also love “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and second “The Jolly Christmas Postman”. Who doesn’t love mail?

  11. So I’m looking at the reviews of that spicy gingerbread recipe and I’m wondering if you’ve had any of the issues that people are mentioning…not enough flour, too spicy, not spicy enough, etc? I didn’t read them all in detail but that seems to be what a lot of people are mentioning. I need a gingerbread cookie recipe for Saturday!

    • I’m not really in it for the spice, so I am not worried about that, I love the flavor, and mostly I want them to be soft. (So I make them really thick and bake them on the shorter end of the time frame.) It is a really sticky dough, I just add A LOT of flour when I’m rolling it out and it’s fine.

  12. I LOVED The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. SUCH a good book!

    And I’m going to check out the gingerbread recipe. “Soft” is a really important quality for me in a cookie.

  13. I was looking for a gingerbread recipe — excited to see one so highly recommended!

    Christmas books? These are the ones my 4.5 and 6 year old ask for nearly every night and are also the ones I love reading out loud. Everyone wins!
    Snowmen at Christmas (fun to read and the art is lovely)
    The Dinosaur’s Night Before Christmas
    The Snowglobe Family (clever and fun to read)
    Mooselicious (I was really, REALLY doubtful about this one, but man, it is SO much fun to read out loud!)

    And now, I am off to look for the ones you recommended that we don’t already have.

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