1 - Decorating cookies has been a huge part of my family's Christmas tradition, since I was a kid. It all starts with this well-used recipe.
2 - The recipe comes from this very cookbook, which my mom has used since she was a new bride.
3 - Sometimes the ginger cookies end up as drop cookies, but this year my mom decided to go for two types of Christmas cookies. I have to say - as a fan of gingerbread, this recipe is unsurpassed.
4 - Mom's rolling pin has smoothed out many, many lumps of dough in its day. And it's more than up to the job.
5 - These are the little packets of cookie dough, chilling for a few hours before they can be baked.
6 - 40-year-old cookie cutters do their magic.
7 - Sugar cookie angels bake in the warmth of Mom's oven.
8 - The sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies cool off, waiting for the big event. When I was a kid, my mom started inviting my best friend and my cousins over to decorate them during Christmas vacation from school. She always made enormous amounts of cookies, because the invited kids could take home whatever they decorated.
9 - We kept on holding the Cookie Decorating Party even when we grew up. This is my best friend Connie collecting her goodies from the 1983 event. She was at university then, studying office management. I was taking my Early Childhood Education at St. Joe's in Halifax.
10 - Not sure exactly which year this is, but it's mid-80's. These are my high school choir friends, several years into university. Home for Christmas and attending the Phillips Cookie Decorating Party. L to R: Shelley, myself, Andrew, Philip, Maureen and Mark
11 - Fast-forward a decade and a half - here you have my sister Michelle ready to bake up the cookies at my cousin's place, when we were all gathered for Christmas.
12 - This cookie party was right here in my mom's kitchen in 2004. L to R: my best friend Connie, my mom and my husband.
13 - Here's a few cookies from this year. Hope you all have a chance to relax, put up your feet for a minute and have a cookie or two, a cup of tea or a glass of milk. Don't worry about the crumbs!