The kids came straight from their respective churches, so we fed them lunch, but kept it simple with a couple of frozen lasagnas, bread sticks, and salad.
I sent them off to entertain themselves, while I cleared and reset the table for cookie decorating with:
- a plate of undecorated cookies (our normal recipe of 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 stick of salted butter softened, and 1 teaspoon vanilla was sufficient to make 28 normal size Christmas cookies, and 14 minis)
- 1 large plate for each teen (or pre-teen) to work on
- a triple batch of butter cream frosting (I totally cheated and used canned frosting) divided into bowls with a variety of colors added, and one batch left white
- extra bowls, spoons, and food coloring for mixing their own colors of frosting (and mix they did)
- snack sized, resealable bags with scissors handy to snip corners for piping
- a variety of candy sprinkles
- every butter knife in the house, for spreading frosting
- several piles of napkins
- and a few damp dishrags on the ready.
The kids frosted, talked, laughed, and ate a LOT of frosting. Some took their decorating very seriously. Others glopped on some frosting, and called it good. But, they all seemed to enjoy themselves.
When they were satisfied with their work, I shooed them back to their video games, cleared away the mess (which, being used to decorating with younger children - was not too bad at all). I moved their masterpieces onto paper plates, so they could munch on a few, and wrap up their leftovers to take home. All that was left was to join the Man of the House, sequestered in our room watching Christmas movies with the younger children, slipping out every once in while, to offer hot chocolate, eggnog, a glass of milk, or a board game/puzzle suggestion to teens wandering through the kitchen for a bite of cookie.
It's great to be homeschooler.