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An Inexpensive Family Christmas Activity

Christmas Competitions Post

Guest post from Carissa of Pretty/Hungry

The most magical Christmases in my memory have been the ones where the people, the conversations, the laughter, and the love stand out above any of the gifts I gave or got.

It’s for this reason that I believe having a budget can truly enhance our Christmas spirit and our appreciation for special Holidays with those we love. The budget forces us to get creative… and oftentimes, it results in more “together” time because we’re choosing to play a game at home rather than go out to a movie theater or shopping mall.

One year in particular, I organized a Cookie Decorating contest. I had found a huge Christmas tree cookie cutter at a thrift store (for FREE!) and it became the centerpiece of our (now annual) Christmas tree decorating contest!

Christmas Competitions Post1-001

I baked up a big batch of cutout sugar cookies ahead of time (1 tree per person), and everyone contributed decorations and icing. We then had a big decorating party!

The idea was simple. After everybody in the family (young & old) had decorated a tree cookie, we then took a picture of each tree and posted the photos in a public album on Facebook. We asked people to “Like” any/all of the trees they thought were good. And at the end of the voting period, the tree with the most “likes” was declared the winner!

My brother-in-law surprised us all by decorating the winning cookie! (The brown one with Santa Claus on it.)

winning cookie

We all loved looking at each other’s creative ideas, and it was nearly impossible to choose a favorite! But even better than the lovely finished cookies, was the time we all spent together working on a common activity.

Many of us have gotten married since that year, which means we’re rarely all together for the same holidays anymore. That makes the memory of decorating those cookies together all the more special. I will never forget the fun of that Christmas!

Carissa is a wife and mother of a sweet 1-year old girl. She loves the Lord, her family, and cooking! In recent years her family has made drastic cuts to their budget in order to start saving to build a home. Carissa blogs at Pretty/Hungry about all her kitchen creations!

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  • Okay – now I need to look for a large cookie cutter of some kind!

    What a great idea!

  • Heather says:

    DH side of the family has had an annual “cookie day” since he was a kid. His mom is 1 or 11 kids. It was a way to get all the cousins (29) together. The cookies they made were the dessert for Christmas Dinner. “Cookie Day” makes Christmas in his book to the point he still takes off work in order not to miss it. Now we have the next generation (14 kidos) in on the making.

  • Mari says:

    We have a annual cookie making day every year with my husbands family. Never thought of having a cookie decorating contest to go along with it. (It would give the guys something to do too, since they are not much in to the baking aspect.) This is a great idea and I appreciate you sharing it. Thanks!

  • Lana says:

    We have been having family cookie frosting parties for 35 years. We have pictures of our five children at every age frosting cookies. Our adult children call from out of state now to check on when the cookies will be frosted so they can get here in time! Now it is the grandchildren who can barely see over the table spreading frosting on cookies along with their parents. One of our favorite traditions!! 😀

  • Decorating sugar cookies is one of my very favorite and treasured family christmas traditions. I love the contest idea, thanks for sharing!

  • Phil says:

    What kind of frosting do you use? It looks almost like chocolate. Do you have frosting suggestions? Thanks!

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