Idea: Make Christmas cookies and memories with the kids.
Strategy: KISSS: Keep it small, simple, short. . . or risk the mama and kids escalating into tantrums of exhaustion and holiday disenchantment.
1. Make 1 batch of gingerbread cut-outs with Genevieve and her friend, plus Ben. Ben and I mixed them up before the girls came home from school. No need to have so many cooks in the kitchen! And no time for the camera, either, as I sped between kids to keep the dough pliable and the cut-outs on the cookie sheet.
2. Another day: ice the cookies with Italian meringue. Let Ben do the sprinkles and the licking. (Bonus: TWO beaters when your sister is in school!)
3. Make the fiddly kind myself in a small batch: chocolate-dipped peanut-butter Ritz sandwiches. I melted 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening in my "double boiler" (bowl on top of pan). I was warned by a veteran candy maker to avoid getting moisture in the chocolate and to avoid burning it.
And that's the end of our Christmas cookies this year. Frankly, I'd rather just eat chips. I think we succeeded in avoiding an overwhelmed-mother-tantrum while making memories, so I'm pleased.
I didn't give Genevieve the idea that she was missing something because Ben and I did some of the fun work while she was in school. She gets to do fun things in school without us!
Most of the cookies were eaten when our families gathered after Genevieve's school Christmas program. We had eggnog, cookies, and candy and (thank goodness) pretzels.