We might be a little behind in holiday prep. I can’t tell. It is December 4 and we still have Halloween gummies decorating our front door (though I did take down the fake tombstones in early November). We have no tree, no wreath, no Christmas lists, no decorations, no presents stashed anywhere … yet.
We did donate to the school holiday sponsor-a-family giving tree. So there’s that.
And there’s gingerbread dough chilling in my fridge. Today will be the first of the season’s memory making, a happy afternoon rolling dough and choosing cookie cutters and cutting out shapes and baking fun cookies.
There will be nothing Martha Stewart about it. The dough will not be rolled out once, carefully, with a minimal of added flour. Those tips about not letting it get too warm, not overworking it, rolling from the center out, and so on? Forget it. We will smoosh the dough, adding more flour and rolling it out to an inch thick, rolling in all directions, rolling too thin. Then they will finally ask for my help, and I will try to roll the mess out to about 1/4″ thick.
They will then cut about two cookies, and we will have to mash up the dough again, roll it out again (queue the smooshing and the added flour and what have you) and start over. Two more cookies.
I’m finally (mostly) over the whole “don’t overhandle the dough” thing. We don’t make the most tender cookies around here. And I fancy myself as something of an efficiency expert, maximizing the rolled-out dough, selecting cutters to get as many cookies as possible.
Not my children. The rolled dough is more than a foot in diameter? Great! Let’s use the gingerbread man shape! Just once! Right in the middle!
I let it go. Let’s mash it up and start again!
While I might still have some personal growth to do in this area (because clearly I still think about the poor overhandled dough), when it comes to decorating, I love a free-for-all. I don’t care what the final result looks like as long as we all have fun doing it.