So lately I’ve been wondering if there are any Irish Christmas traditions that we are missing out on. I know I could google it, but with the internet, I always think it’s tough to figure out which traditions regular people really honor. How do I find out about those? I’m sure it would be really easy for me to find out just by asking Paul’s cousins but I always forget. Anyway, I’ve heard that in Ireland people leave a Guinness alongside that plate of cookies they set out for Santa (or “Santy” as some say). I’m not sure whether this is true or not, but it sounds like a lovely tradition.
I’ve actually been baking cookies like a crazy person in preparation for the cookie party that I promised my kids we would have. We invited a bunch of friends over and set the table with tons of sprinkles, candy, different colors of frosting and of course, cookies. I made chocolate sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and vanilla sugar cookies in all different shapes and sizes. Some even had little holes in them so that they could be used as ornaments.
I learned a lot from this experience. Mostly, that I would have to set my borderline-compulsive disdain of waste aside and drink more wine if I wanted to survive the day. Turns out, the 4 and under set have no concept of restraint - which resulted in a few of them covering the cookies in a pool of frosting and sprinkles until you could no longer recognize what was underneath. The 7 to 12 year olds definitely took more pride in their work, which made me happy, because sometimes, as a parent it’s nice to see what you have to look forward to.
In the end everyone seemed to have fun. And my house came out shockingly unscathed by the amount of cookies, frosting, sprinkles and drinks circulating. Nothing a quick once over with the vacuum didn’t take care of.
The cookie recipes came from all of my favorite sources:
All of them were easy to make and roll out. I made most of them ahead of time and stored them in the freezer until the night before the party. It’s important to wrap them well and keep them in airtight containers so that they don’t pick up any weird smells or condensation from the freezer. I stacked mine in plastic freezer bags and placed those in plastic containers (which has the added benefit of preventing breakage e.g. when you are rummaging around the freezer looking for a frozen pizza) and had no issues whatsoever.
I ate way too many. Still, I know I’ll be happy to get out some of the leftovers to eat with my Guinness on Christmas Eve.