family traditions.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my sister and niece moved here from New Jersey a couple of years ago.  Since they’ve been here we’ve started some new Christmas traditions.  Last year we drove around looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, and I think we’ll do the same this year.

And last Saturday, for the third year in a row, I went to my sister’s house to help with her Christmas baking.  My sister definitely got all of the baking genes in our family, and basically there were none left over for me.  She loves to bake, and she makes a ton of cookies, quick breads and candy at Christmas.

Let’s face it, I really just go over on baking day to hang out, watch Christmas movies and eat cookies.  I do however have one official duty.  Ball rolling.  I wrote about discovering my mad skills at ball rolling the first year I helped Debbie with her baking.

Apparently no one really enjoys this part of the baking process.  My niece made up some lame excuse about being the godmother at a baby christening back in New Jersey just to get out of it.  So this year most of the ball rolling fell to me.

And although my sister cut down on the number of kinds of cookies she was making this year, apparently most of the cookies that require ball rolling remain on the list!  That includes Snicker Doodles, Almond Cookies, Ginger Cookies and Peanut Blossoms.

And this year a new task was added to my to-do list, Hershey Kiss unwrapping.

Yep, I can handle that one too, no problem.  Although now that I think about, maybe that is a bit of a demotion from ball rolling.

When I’m not rolling balls, or surfing Netflix in search of Christmas movies, I play around taking photos with some of my sister’s vintage cookie cutters (even though we really didn’t use these to make any actual cookies).

With all of this going on last weekend, I didn’t have much time to paint furniture or even finish the final post about my tour of Jodie’s house.  But I hope to be sharing that by Friday, and maybe this coming weekend I’ll find time to paint some real furniture.  I’m starting to suffer from withdrawal.

Oh, and one quick public service announcement.  If you’ve been thinking about painting your own gift boxes

Or maybe even just a decorative hat box or two …

the plain cardboard boxes are 50% off this week (thru Saturday, 12/16) at Hobby Lobby making it a great time to stock up.

19 thoughts on “family traditions.

  1. Having an extra pair of hands while baking is a big help. However it is a task often assigned to young family members. But then they don’t have the same taste in holiday movies and they don’t record these memories with fantastic photos. Love the cookie cutter shot. Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends. They are all part of our daily lives.


  2. My sisters and I used to do the same thing. We would all gather at my moms and make cookies and candy all day. My dad was the designated candy stirrer and official taste tester. Both my parents have passed so we have great memories of time spent doing that. Love that stack of tablecloths, Linda. 🙂


    1. Sounds like you have some fond memories of baking day Becky! and yes, there is that stack of tablecloths. I think I’ve added a few more to my stack since that photo was taken 😉


  3. You look like an amazing ball roller! I’ve never seen such perfectly rolled balls, nor such perfectly unwrapped kisses. Truly, Debbie has revealed yet another layer of your many talents! Lol…I bet she set you up a tad outside the kitchen space so you weren’t in the way as she baked. Lol…I can just see it now. And in case none of your readers know…Quandie is a “cookieaholic”….


  4. I am a cookie baker too so Debbie is fortunate to have an assistant in the kitchen. Ball rolling is an art they need to be uniform is size. Looks likes you’ve nailed it. Snickerdoodles and peanut blossoms are favorites at our house too. I love the idea of setting aside a day devoted to baking cookies. Thinking I may have to add that to our traditions. 🎄🎄🎄


  5. I’m sure Debbie enjoys the company during her work! How fun that you get to have traditions with your sister and niece. We’re missing the annual pic of Debbie and her bright smile in the kitchen! 🙂 A first Christmas in a new home is so special. FYI, since you were with me when I bought the boys their Elf on the Shelf Reindeer pet, he is now named “Snickerdoodle Spruce”, a nod to your cookies!


  6. It’s wonderful that you are able to get together with your Sister to bake, no matter what role you have in the process. i am glad your cookie making duties allow you time to make pictures to share. ,


  7. Thanks everyone! It was nice to have company all day while baking and we test tasted every kind of cookie we made. I ended up doing 7 kinds of cookies,2 breads and 1 candy that weekend.


    1. Oh my goodness, both my sister and I would love to do that! We will definitely add it to our bucket list. Wait … does he teach them in English? Our Swedish is pretty much non-existent.


  8. Love your beautiful photos, and your post made me laugh, and brought back so many memories! I have 5 sisters, and the only tasks I was assigned was nut chopping and kiss unwrapping, just like you. The “head baker sister” was convinced I had no skills. But as it turns out,she was wrong, and I’m actually quite a good baker! Next year tell Debbie you want to play with the measuring cups and make some actual dough. You never know, you might really like baking! Merry Christmas!


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