6 more days until Christmas! Can you believe it?! Everyone in our house is beyond excited. I’ve always been a Christmas person but now with kids it brings on a whole new meaning for me and I love starting traditions as a family that we then repeat year after year. Christmas is such a magical time and these family traditions bring about a touch of nostalgia that truly makes it the happiest time of the year. Read on for my absolute favourite Christmas traditions with my family and how milk plays a role in our holiday season. I’m also sharing our family’s buttermilk sugar cookie recipe as well as an easy and delicious sugar cookie icing recipe – both made with the goodness of milk!
Favourite Family Traditions
[ 1 ] Baking Christmas cookies . I love being in the kitchen with my kids and baking Christmas cookies is probably the absolute highlight of our year. Baking, in general, is always fun but add to it the festive cookie cutters and colourful icing and my kids (and I) are in heaven. Milk is a staple in our holiday baking, from the cookies themselves to the icing we put on top. And we also love enjoying our baked goods with a delicious glass of fresh milk (especially Nicky – he asks for milk about 50 times per day haha).
[ 2 ] Opening an Advent calendar . We have a reusable fabric Advent calendar (ours is from Ferm Living) and I love filling it every year and then watching the eagerness with which my kids look into each pocket to see what treat is in store for them. It’s like a little preview of Christmas morning every single day.
[ 3 ] Visiting the Distillery Christmas Market . My absolute favourite thing to do in the city during the lead up to Christmas is to visit the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. We do it at least once every year (usually two or three times) to find some handmade stocking stuffers, listen to carolling, and sample all the yummy treats. And of course to visit Santa!
[ 4 ] Wearing matching family jammies . If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love matching as a family. And Christmas PJs are my absolute favourite way of doing that! There’s just something so nice and comforting in everyone wearing matching cozy jammies to open Christmas presents. It highlights one of my favourite things about the holidays – and that is bringing loved ones together.
[ 5 ] Leaving out milk and cookies for Santa + carrots for the reindeer . Milk is such a big part of our everyday lives (Nicolas is a huge milk drinker and I love making healthy smoothies and popsicles with milk) but especially around the holidays. The most quintessential is of course leaving out milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. Do you know where this tradition comes from? It actually originated in the US and can be traced back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Parents wanted to teach their children the value of charity, so they baked chocolate chip cookies to put into stockings and put out a glass of milk for Santa (which was a typical childhood treat already back then). Make sure to round up your kids and check out this sweet video put together by Dairy Farmers of Canada showing what Santa does with all the milk that’s left out for him on Christmas Eve.
Buttermilk Sugar Cookies Recipe
We have quite a few Christmas cookie recipes that have become a tradition in our house but a firm favourite are these buttermilk sugar cookies. I love that they have a bit more softness than traditional sugar cookies made without milk and these are definitely my kids favourites (to make and to eat).
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups butter
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Blend sugar, butter, and eggs together. Add vanilla and buttermilk.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into sugar mixture. Add more flour as needed to make the dough firm.
- Chill for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on a grease baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe
No sugar cookie is complete without a little icing to sweeten the deal and this one here is super easy to make and also super delicious.
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp golden corn syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Food colouring
- Stir the powdered sugar and the milk until smooth.
- Beat in corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glossy. If it’s too thin, add more corn syrup.
- Divide icing into separate bowls and stir in food colouring (one colour per bowl).
- Spread icing on cookies using the back of a spoon or dip them in upside down.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.