A Tradition of Holiday Baking


Tradition shared by Kristina of Toddler Approved

My husband and I both love to bake together and with our kids. Baking is such a great way to connect with one another, teach simple skills, and have fun as a family. Growing up my mom spent most of December making a lot of different types of cookies that we’d assemble on plates and deliver to fifty or more of our family friends and neighbors. I loved spending time with my mom and sisters while we baked.

Now that we have our own little family, my husband and I continue to look for ways to preserve this tradition of holiday baking. 

Today I thought I’d share three different ways that we have embedded our tradition of baking into our family holiday activities.  

1. Hosting a holiday cookie exchange 


Each year I invite 30+ of my closest girlfriends over for a cookie exchange. This is our third year hosting. Everyone brings 3 dozen cookies and goes home with about as many. Each member of our family is involved somehow. My daughter helps with the baking and my son and husband are two of the judges on the night of the big event. 

I love to make my favorite peppermint brownie recipe each year for the exchange. 

2. Doing Simple Holiday Service


Each year we try and find new ways to serve others in simple ways at Christmas. This year we made some cards and baked some candy cane cookies. We took them to neighbors and also left some holiday goodies in our mailbox for our mailman. Serving together as a family during the holidays really helps us focus on the true meaning of the season and helps us teach our children the joy that comes from giving to others.

3. Hosting a Caroling Party

For the second year in a row we hosted a toddler caroling party. We gathered all of the toddlers in my daughter’s church nursery class (for kids ages 18 months-3 years) and their families and we spent an evening driving around and caroling to all of their church teachers. This year we had nine families join us. We sang Jingle Bells and Once there was a Snowman and several other more classic Christmas carols. 
After caroling we went back to our house for hot cocoa and cookies. My 2 year old daughter had helped my husband make special peanut butter blossom cookies for our friends who came singing with us. It was such a fun night of singing, thanking teachers, connecting with friends, and eating yummy treats!
Although we love doing these family activities each year, we are always looking for new traditions to adopt as our family grows and changes. I have enjoyed reading all of the posts in this Favorite Family Traditions series and learning from other families. 
If you have any family baking traditions, I would love for you to share them in the comments! Thank you Jenae for inviting me to share these special family moments with your readers!

Do you have a favorite treat you make during the holidays?

Are there other ways that you embed baking into your family traditions?


Kristina is the author of Toddler Approved, a blog where she helps parents capitalize on teachable moments in everyday life and motivates them to discover, create, and learn with their children. She is a mom of three and is a former Special Education teacher. When she’s not crafting, Kristina is reading along with her Virtual Book Club for Kids, volunteering in her son’s preschool, running, and traveling with her family. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest


  1. Even though my sister and I are both grown, my mom still makes holiday baking a big part of our family traditions. Each year we plan a day to get together and bake all day. Sine we live 2-3 hrs apart, it takes some work but it always so much fun. We each plan ingredients for 2 or 3 special treats, double all the recipes and split them 3 ways. Its extra fun now that my 3 year old can help! And when he’s tired in the kitchen, he gets special time with Grandpa and Dad.

    1. That is so special Krista! Some of my favorite chats with my mom and sisters are when we were baking. I love the way you divide things up. and that you include your 3 yr old

  2. We just had a weekend of cookie baking. Tonight, my 2 year-old will load up the plates of cookies in the wagon and deliver them with Daddy to all the neighbors. He is most excited about taking a bell I had from my classroom days and ringing it on the delivery route. I would say my all time favorite holiday cookie is a sugar cookie with yummy buttercream frosting!

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