By Martie Duncan, MyRecipes Contributor


Baking cookies and cookie decorating is a timeless holiday tradition. Make it into a wonderful memory for the kids in your family. It’s a perfect holiday party theme for schools, churches, and neighborhoods, too.

This is the perfect last minute party for kids hanging around the house waiting for Santa to arrive. They can make their own cookies to leave for Old St. Nick and here's all you need to do to throw the party.

Send an email or even call in your invitation since it is last minute during the busy holiday season. Do ask for an RSVP... you need to know how many guests are coming so you don't overbuy supplies.

I usually bake all of the cookies in advance so the party doesn't take all day. I'll let each child cut out a few cookies when they arrive in their favorite holiday shape so there is that delicious smell of cookies baking as the party progresses. I like to make vanilla sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies and let the kids decorate them especially for Santa.

The Cookie Decorating Table

  • Clear off or pop up a large table and cover it with white or brown Kraft paper you can get at the craft store.
  • Line the center of the table with supplies like tubes of icing, sprinkles, candies, gum drops, etc.
  • Make a work station for each child and write their name above it in crayon so they know where they are to create their cookies.
  • Design a few simple cookies in advance so the children can have an example.

Food and beverages should be simple. I like to offer bite size treats with a hot chocolate bar for this party. Keep it simple and self-serve so your hosting duties are easy.

A few party games, caroling, a holiday movie, or a visit from Santa can keep the kids occupied while their creations dry. Make sure to have some paper bags, tin containers, Asian take-out boxes, or foil wrap available so guests can pack up their cookies to take home after the party.


If you need ideas for cookies, see the MyRecipes collection of Cookie Recipes for all kinds of cookies including drop cookies, bar cookies, slice-and-bake, shaped and rolled or check out the MyRecipes 100 Hottest Holiday Cookies.

For more fun entertaining ideas, see Party with Martie Duncan.