This year was the first year in a long time that I made and decorated Sugar Cookies for the Holidays with my girls. I used to bake a TON but pretty much gave up after needing to go gluten-free; This year I decided to give gluten-free baking a go (Spoiler Alert: Huge Success!). My daughters looked forward with much anticipation to rolling out the dough, and cutting out the shapes, and frosting, etc. etc. We made the dough from scratch and dug out of storage all of your standard shapes; mittens, bells, stars, and gingerbread men. And we had tons of frosting colors.
After the dough was ready, we started with cutting out the cookies. The girls wanted to differentiate the people cookies somehow since I didn’t have a gingerbread woman shape, so we made a teeny-tiny little indentation with the side of the spatula for a vulva on one of the cookies. The girls giggled with laughter at the simplicity of the solution and wholeheartedly agreed that a cookie doesn’t need a skirt to be a woman.
The time came for baking. The girls could hardly wait for the cookies to get out of the oven, let alone to cool on the rack. But finally, once the yummy goods were cooled the fun of frosting began. I needed to run out to get something for dinner so a sitter stayed with them for this part (I also had to bow out because knowing how much of a control freak I can be I wanted to step away and not squelch their creativity).
I returned to see the typical shapes got decorated with a more traditional style but when it came time to decorate the people it got a little creative! The girls figured out that you could layer the frosting for breasts, so some people had extra frosting mounds on them. Cindy put a little extra frosting on the crotch of one (to indicate a bulge for a penis). Cindy also made a cookie that was dressed like Red Foo from LMFAO’s video “I’m Sexy And I Know It” complete with hair (black frosting) under his arms. My boyfriend came over while this production was underway noted that this style of cookie decorating was what he and friends did when they were teens.
Of course, as expected, after a few dirty christmas cookies, the novelty wore off and they resumed the more traditional cookie decorating—those we will share at holiday parties. Or set aside for Santa Claus.
I know it is not typical in most households to allow kids to be silly in this way – I’m sure my own mother will have words with me in some way about this when she reads this – but we were having so much fun together. Perhaps this was how you wished YOU could have made cookies when you were growing up? Perhaps you did…are you any worse for the wear? Like I said, the silliness was short lived and the bottom line is we had a ball. I’m sure this will be a lasting positive memory for them as it will be for me.
There is so much lightness and fun to be had around this topic and I truly believe making this difficult topic easy now will make the tougher conversations that will undoubtedly come later easier.