My mother has many arcane Christmas traditions, but one of my favorites is her annual cookie-painting party, when our young relations come over to consume unlimited quantities of sugar in dough, icing, and sprinkle form. Then the kids run shrieking around the house, ripping candy canes from the Advent calendar and festively knocking things over, while Mom and I chug mimosas in the kitchen.
I seem to remember the cookie-painting party being less chaotic in previous years. Now that we’re training the older kids to look after the younger kids, however, Mom and I are under a mandate to do whatever the opposite of helicopter parenting is, for the sake of teaching the children self-sufficiency. You know, like they do in France. (The opposite of helicopter parenting might be champagne.)
Despite the rampage that ensued shortly after the disappearance of the first reindeer cookies (barely recognizable as iconic animals under their puddles of green and pink icing), Matt still managed to capture some tender moments. Then I think he fled to the garage, where my brothers were also wisely hiding from the children.