The process of making sugar cookies - preparing the dough, rolling it out, cutting the shapes, baking them, whipping up the royal icing - is daunting. But when you break it up into a couple of sessions, it's remarkably doable. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to invite a few friends over to decorate cookies (I do the heavy lifting before they even arrive). We play festive music, drink mulled (and ahem spiked) cider, decorate cookies, and usually end up on the couch watching Love Actually. This year's party was a nice way to embrace the holidays as a final hurrah before we move into our new home in the beginning of the year. Sugar cookie and royal icing recipes here as well as a video tutorial.