Sprinkles and Sparkles

By Kate Riley December 2, 2010

My friends, yesterday I disappeared into a vortex.  I didn’t do all the things I ordinarily do.  I didn’t check my email, I didn’t start my morning by sipping coffee and reading my favorite blogs.  I didn’t login to Facebook, and I didn’t even tweet.  I’m not sure I even showered. 

Where was I all this time, pray tell?  I was busy refereeing a Cookie Decorating Party with 20 kids in my house, all under 7 years of age.  There was frosting and sprinkles, followed by sugar highs and 40 muddy feet running up and down, in and out, all around the borders of our property.   It’s fair to say it was Christmas Cookie Carnage.

Why would I subject myself to such an insanely crazy delightful experience?  My middle daughter begged me to host the event.  I caved.  It’s that simple. 

My day began here.

sugar cookie cutouts


Thank goodness for Betty C’s sugar cookie mix and mega large cookie cutters from Sur la Table, snagged a few years ago in an after Christmas sale. 

I whipped out a few dozen shapes to please the kiddies and covered the dining room table in a VERY thick vinyl tablecloth. 

 table set for decorating


At this time, I should state that I consciously chose not to vacuum before the party.  Don’t you see all those sprinkles?  Really, what’s the point. 

The kids descended on our home after school and like that scene in Willy Wonka (the original), the kids eyes were big as saucers when they spied the sugar.  Cookies ! Frosting!  Sprinkles!  They went to work doing what they do best.  


girls decorating

  plates on table

  Sugar sugar sugar and more sugar . . . .

What’s a kid’s party without a treat bag?  I sent the sugared up munchkins home with cookie cutters and colored sprinkles to continue the madness on their own home turf. 

treat bags 4 kids


In the end, a few cookies survived the jaws of the herd of six year olds, and I gave them some fun sprinkles of my own. 

christmas cookies on platter


Speaking of cookies, here’s a peek at two more holiday cookie recipes for chocolate lovers.   

chocolate cookies

Truth be told, our Cookie Decorating Party was such a charming event.  The kids decorated, played, and ran around, while the moms all chatted and enjoyed a festive start to the holiday season.  We even got a majority of them to sit still for a porch front photo. 

kids on steps cookie party


Today is Rhoda’s vignette party, so amidst the madness, I did snap a photo of our *cheapo* tinsel tree in the foyer, which I bought last year.  Funny how grouping a medley of ornaments together in one color always seems to work. 

 foyer vignette with tree


The tree is adorned with a few of the ornaments we crafted last year, including these glitter cookie cutter ornaments, how apropos !

 glittered mitten


glittered ornament


Link up to Rhoda’s party today with your holiday display !

ornament medley

Do you have any holiday traditions that revolve around baking?  Perhaps a cookie swap or a decorating party of your own?  I’d love to hear all about it!  Got a favorite or signature cookie recipe?  Link to it in a comment! 




  1. The kids look like they are having so much fun!! My sisier in law Sheryl has an annual Cookie Exchange. It is always a riot with about 30 of us!

    Art by Karena

  2. So fun! We had a fundraising event at my school last week and we had different booths. I was in charge of the cookie decorating booth. We probably had over 200 students come to our booth throughout the day. I had frosting in my hair, clothes, and I smelled very sweet all day. This looks like a blast.

  3. I remember doing this with my kids. One year, I probably made 200 large gingerbread cookies from scratch for the Cub Scout troop. Cherish the great memories!

  4. You are one brave mama to take on all those little girls! ;) What a fun party. The cookies look great–I love iced cookies. :) Curious as to whether you’re still having trouble with your Feedburner? It deleted all but 190 or so of my subscribers a few days ago, and of course Google has ZERO help anywhere. I feel like I’m at their mercy.

  5. We do this every year with our very best friends. It started before any of us were married many moons ago and now includes 7 spouses and 15 kids between us. It’s one of my most favorite holiday traditions!

  6. My mom and I used to bake cookies every year for Christmas when I lived at home. I even went back home the first few years I had my own place to bake with her. I wasn’t able to for the past 2 years, and I miss it terribly. This post took me back to my childhood for a moment. Thank you.

  7. Your were one brave woman!!! How fun!! I love to watch how they decorate. I did this with my grandkids and I have never seen so many sprinkles in all my life and they do it so strategically. Merry Christmas to you Super MOM!! Kathysue

  8. How fun! Actually one of my favorite things growing up was decorating cookies with my BFF each year. Her mom even made gingerbread men for our entire class each year and brought in frosting and sprinkles and we did it at school too! My oldest is two this year and I just sent e-vites to two families to come over for a cookie decorating party! I am SOOOO excited!

  9. Terrific idea for the neighborhood kiddos. I was a Nanny for 3 kids a few years ago and we did this. They loved it. I love your little white “cheapo” tree too. My daughter has a pink one like it. These photos give me some ideas for decorating it this year. Thank you.

  10. This is such a wonderful and great way to share the Holiday spirit with your kids and friends! These are the kind of memories your kids will always remember.

    We have a Rum Ball rolling tradition in my family. My mom makes the Rum Ball batter and we (her 4 kids) roll em’ into a ball and in powder sugar. Even as adults, we still make a HUGE mess and sneak Rum Balls. :)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

  11. This is a great idea, I will have to plan an afternoon like this soon.
    I just had to say that the glitter cookie cutters are inspired! You are so talented.

  12. For the past 10 years I have hosted gingerbread decorating parties for my children and their friends. I would make each child their own house, give them their own bag of icing put all the candy decorations in the middle of the table and joyfully watch as beautiful gingerbread houses came to life. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – me or the kids! Unfortunately, my children are now teenagers and have outgrown this tradition – but I anticipate doing the same for my grand children some day!

  13. WOW Kate, you are one brave lady!!!!!!
    Your daughter will remember this forever, looks like the kids had a blast!

  14. With events like these, your kids are going to be the most popular in school! LOL. I love baking. Every year I host a Pastry Fest at work. Not everyone there enjoys baking as much as I do, but enough people bring goodies to share with everyone. It’s a great way to get everyone together. And it’s always fun to try new recipes.

  15. Hi, friend! You are such a good mama, what fun those girls must have had!

    I love your little vignette & those tinsel trees always catch my eye. In fact, I bought a tiny one this year. Such a cute display. And if I didn’t tell you how beautiful your mantel is this year, let me just way, I loved the pink so much last year, but you’ve outdone yourself once again. That blue one is stunning! Jaw-dropping gorgeous!

  16. My children are all grown up, and I miss those hectic times. Your daughter will have such great memories of that day. It looks like it was a lot of fun! Good job Mom!

  17. I thought about having a small handful of my kid’s friends over for a cookie party…but quickly dismissed the idea! And here you had 20?!!!!?? You are the best mama, and brave. I’m sure your daughter felt so special having everyone there and having a ball because of your creativity.

  18. You’re a better woman that I am. . . Not sure my nerves could handle it :)

    I also bought one of those cheap tinsel trees last year and now don’t have the first idea on where to put it. . .

  19. The girls are adorable! And I’m sure they thoroughly enjoyed the cookie party. I remember always loving to decorate/bake cookies…especially with fun moms, like you!

    I have a tinsel tree just like that I bought for my apartment. I’m really into the whole one color ornament thing, as well. I love the glitteriness that you brought to your foyer.

  20. You are one brave lady! All those crazy, excited kids would have had me running for the hills! LOL

    Your tinsel tree looks very cute. I love all the white and silver. So very festive and pretty.

  21. Brave girl you are to host so many kids! I’m sure it was lots of fun…I would have LOVED doing something like that when I was a kid. Personally, I am kidlet-less so I don’t ever get the opportunity to host things like this but in the future I’d be all over it! PS – I think I’m gonna head over to the dollar store and grab some cheap cookies cutters just to sparkle up – thanks for the idea!

    ~ http://www.billiemonster.com ~

  22. Oh my. I taught a cooking class at my house for that age group several years ago. I only had 6 kids and I was almost in tears each time. You are a brave woman, but it does look like such fun!

    I’m going to a cookie exchange next week. I’ve hosted many at my house, this year I’m going to someone else’s home…yeah!

  23. Oh what fun and look how cute they all all in the photo! I would loved to be a kid at your cookie party yesterday! What a good mother you are, Kate! The cookies looked yummy, cute little goodie bags you sent home with the kids, your decorations are beautiful….what a great afternoon had by all. I bet all the sugar on the floor was well worth it.

  24. God bless you for having all of those kids to your house for cookie decorating…just watching my own daughter pour sprinkles everywhere is enough to stress me out! But, your party looked really fun!

  25. Hi Kate-
    I am thinking you are going to now be known as the “holiday cookie party”mom and your house is going to host the annual party with your kids and all their friends until they are teenagers- and then they are going to still want you to do it as it will bring back fun holiday memories for them. :) Kidding aside -what a nice thing to do with the kids – I love the group photo.
    My best- Diane

  26. What fun! A cookie decorating party.

    And, I’m loving the glittered cookie cutters. Our kitchen tree has paper backed cookie cutters. I may have to redo them, I like these so well.

  27. You are a marvel. A real marvel. Those kids look as if they had loads of fun. You must be the
    most popular Mummy in the area.

  28. I want to do this but I’m not sure I’m ready to handle all the kiddos!

    And I love your cookie cutter ornaments. Makes me want to find a tree for my kitchen counter!

  29. You truly atr amazing -What a cute group of kids -you now this will be one of the best things they do all season. Your dtg will always remember

  30. What a fun looking party!!!! I looooove the adorable standing reindeer on the table :) Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes sprinkle party event :) Looks like so much fun that I may actually make cookies myself for the 1st time EVER :) I don’t even know where cookie dough is kept in the supermarket : 0 My smoke alarm goes off all the time .. so I may need supervision for my baking over here :) Hmm, maybe a grown up baking party :)

  31. I don’t have any kids but I do have an annual Gingerbread House making party with my friends and mom. I bake and assemble all the gingerbread houses and then have everyone bring some Christmas candy to decorate. Everyone has a great time and gets to allow their creativity shine! :-)

  32. What a cool mom you are! The cookie party looked like so much fun! I’ll have to remember that when my daughter gets a little older.

    Your silver vingette looks gorgeous!

  33. When I was young (many years ago) a friends mother threw us a cookie decorating party, and to this day I still remember that party as the best one I ever went to as a kid. It is a great memory for me, and I am sure it will be for your daughter and her friends as well. :)

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