There's a Christmas cookie party going on at jama rattigan's alphabet soup ("a children's writer offers food for thought & fine whining"). Here's another of my holiday baking traditions.
My first two years of teaching were in a school in the Dallas Independent School District that was on a federal low-income list. It was like being in the Peace Corps. Every year I taught there, my student loans were reduced and deferred. If I would have made it 5 years, I would have erased my student loans. I lasted for two. But I'm proud of what I accomplished in that short time. I took my kids on a field trip, single-handedly, to the (then) brand-new Dallas Museum of Art. I taught with literature. And I started a tradition that lasted 20 years: I made gingerbread people for the students to decorate. Some of them had never decorated cookies. I made myself a promise that I would make cookies every year in case I ever had students who had not decorated cookies.
After 20 years of gingerbread, I was ready for a change. I have an extensive collection of cookie cutters and only two were getting used. So, a few years back, I switched to sugar cookies. And, in a bold move that gave the whole event a new twist, I provided the kids with plain white butter frosting (yes, from scratch) and FOOD COLORING and let them make their icing colors. Here are some views from last year's event: