Cookies with My Daughter: An Annual Tradition

Julia Arnold Hyland's

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Early on in my motherhood journey, I knew I wanted to create traditions for my family of four, especially around the holidays. I wanted to find time each year at Christmastime to do something special with each of my children and as a family— to create that Christmas magic in meaningful (but simple) ways. One special tradition that has developed naturally is the annual cookie making my young daughter and I share.

By the time she was two, it was clear my little girl loved helping in the kitchen, especially when she got to add bright sprinkles or gooey icing to something! We began to call her The Littlest Baker. Every year, she has become more involved with the annual Christmas cookie project. Our extended family, as well as our list of friends, neighbors, and teachers, has grown over the years. Having so many loved ones in our lives is a wonderful gift, but it simply isn’t possible to purchase gifts for everyone we care about. Cookies we can do, however. Delivering batches of tasty, colorful (if imperfect) homemade cookies is a way to give back to those who have given to us all year, without overspending.

Part of the fun of our mother-daughter cookie making is the delightfully messy process of measuring, mixing, and decorating, but my daughter and I also relish packaging the cookies in cute containers and delivering the green and red-sprinkled sugar cookies all over town. The most fun is when the cookies are left as a delicious surprise for their recipient.

As a mother, I want my children to look back on their holidays and remember the time we spent together and the ways we gave to others. I think those memories will last much longer than what toy was under the tree on any particular year, or what happened to be on a rather endless Christmas list. I treasure each and every time my daughter and I make these cookies. She is already six years old, full of that kindergarten energy and a developing a sense of independence, and I hope our baking days are something she’ll enjoy and remember for many years to come. I know I’ll never forget this simple, joyful tradition we share.

About the Author

Julia Arnold

Julia Arnold is a mom of two young kids living in the Twin Cities who is still coming to terms with the fact that her counters are always sticky, and her floor is never clean. She writes about the less glamorous side of new motherhood on her blog .

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