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The holiday season seems to be filled with traditions old and new. Traditions and recipes that have been handed down through the generations and sometimes new traditions that you start in your family.

One of my kids favorite holiday traditions is a tradition we started when my oldest two boys were 5 and 2. We had checked out a book at the library called “The Gingerbread Pirates”.  My oldest son was typically scared of all pirates – in books or movies and wanted nothing to do with them.  This book was different.

Both my boys loved the book!  They kept asking to read it again and again.  They would pour over the pictures when we weren’t reading it and wanted to make their own pirate cookies.  And this is how one of our favorite holiday traditions was born.

We bought ourselves our own copy and it is taken out each holiday season to read and make some pirate cookies.  They love making Captain Cookie as well as the mates Dots and Wavy.

Over the years our pirates have been decorated just like the gingerbread pirates in the books as well as the kids making their own designs.

We’ve been doing this since 2012 and it hasn’t gotten old yet!  If you want to add this tradition to your family, click here to grab your own copy of Gingerbread Pirates.

We started off the holiday season with this book and a batch of gingerbread cookies.  Here are some pictures from our most recent baking session making our own “Gingerbread Pirates”.

 

Here is a gingerbread pirate before it was baked.  You can see my son cut off part of the leg and inserted part of a toothpick to be his peg leg.

This is after the pirates had been baked.

I forgot to take pictures after we decorated them.  This year I didn’t make as much frosting, so the frosting was more of an accent on the pirates.  In years past, we have gone all out with lots of frosting and other candy bits to decorate the cookies.

With the toothpicks – we haven’t had any of the kids have any problems when eating the cookies.  They pull the toothpick out of the cookie before eating.  If the toothpick is difficult to remove, then gently move the toothpick around and it should come out easier.  When my kids were younger I was really worried about them eating around the toothpick and I made sure to keep a close eye on them.

My kids love to play with the pirates after they’ve been made.

Some supplies you might want to have on hand to do this:

Silicone Pastry Mat – This is what our dough is on when we roll it out.  Not worth having one if you are only going to use it for making cookies once a year, but if you make pies, pizza and bake with dough a lot it is totally worth it.  I love having marks on it to show me how large a 9″ pie crust should be.  My kids also use it when playing with playdoh.  I have 3 of them – one for each kid to use when we make cookies or if they all want to play with playdoh at the same time.  I’ve had one of them for 11 years and it still looks the same as the day I received it, with a lot of use during that time.
Rolling Pin
Gingerbread Man Cookie Cutter (or here’s a cookie cutter set with both a boy and girl)
Gingerbread Pirates Book
Your Camera – make sure to capture the memories you are making with your kids!

Let me know in the comments your favorite Christmas tradition to do with your kids!

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A fun family tradition to start with your family this holiday season. So much fun for kids making and decorating their own gingerbread pirate cookies!