Daddy's Guide to Surviving the Lead Up To Christmas With The Kids !!!

Daddy's Guide to Surviving The Lead Up To Christmas With The Kids !!!

A Stay-at-Home Dad prepares you for when Daddy has to take the charge!

Ahh! Christmas really is the most magical time of year isn’t it? There is nothing better than on Christmas morning being woken up at some ungodly hour by your kids to be asked if Santa has been yet. This may sound sarcastic, but I really do not mean it to be. One of the best parts about being a dad for me is Christmas I love it.

Daddy's Guide to Surviving The Lead Up To Christmas With The Kids !!!

With that being said Christmas day is just a small part of the Christmas experience. As much as I love the actual day of Christmas there is no denying the fact that the lead up to Christmas can be a royal pain in the backside. Sometimes the school holidays for whatever reason will result in the kids getting off school up to a week before Christmas day. That is a lot of time for kids to drive you crazy. Of course the whole week leading up to it they are crazily excited.

So how do I take care of the kids at Christmas?

And stop them driving me crazy and me then in turn having to lock them up in the garage? Well its not easy! I would be lying is I said it would be.
For me the best way to approach the lead up to Christmas day is to think of it like you are in the armed forces and this is a tour of duty.
Hey I know this may sound a little extreme, but its the best thing I compare it to. You need to have every little detail planned. If you give the kids a spare hour then prepare to be driven mad. To be fair its not as much a chore as I am making out as you can actually do some really fun stuff with the kids leading up to the big day.

Playing Outside

You may think that I am crazy here suggesting playing outside in December, but hear me out. If its snowing then you have it made as there is no end to what you can do. We have a great time making snow men or having snow fights. The best part about snow fights is building a snow fort.

If your family is anything like mine however, snow fights are great until someone takes it too far and it ends up with someone getting hurt.

On Certain Days…

Another thing we like to do and it may just be us being crazy is to play mud tackle football. We do this on years when we do not have much snow, but a bunch of rain.

Now my wife hates mud football, but we love it. I mean there is the downside of catching your death from cold and getting covered in mud, but these are just a small price to pay for some exciting mud football action. Now guys trust me when I tell you this. You wife or significant other will not appreciate you coming in the house after mud football.

A Stay-at-Home Dad's Guide to Surviving Christmas
The best part about snow fights is building a snow fort. If your family is anything like mine however, snow fights are great until someone takes it too far and it ends up with someone getting hurt.

Movie Days

Another thing that is great for keeping the kids occupied is movie days. We will either get a bunch of Christmas movies or we will take a trip to the cinema. I know you are thinking that these may sound like expensive activities, but they do not have to be. Most movie rental stores offer great deals where you can get like five movies for fives days for very cheap. And at the cinema I know my local ones during the holidays have a matinee showing of a older movie for only $2 per person including adults.

Little girls love to watch ballet and theater during Christmas and there is sure to be one in your city too. If too much snow if a problem, have her friends over and play one of their fairytale Christmas movies. Popped corn is the simplest thing to make and they are going to love it!

And lastly, it is fun to help mommy sometimes! Lead the gang into the kitchen to help cut out the cookies or take up a cleaning task somewhere (the kids own rooms would be the biggest help). Mommy definitely wouldn’t mind!

Overall the way I see it – the best way to survive the lead up to Christmas with your kids is actually quite simple. Have fun with them. I know that they can drive you crazy, but that is only because they are so excited for Christmas day. So channel that excitement in fun activities for you to do together.

5 Super Easy Christmas Tree Cards to Make

5 Super Easy Christmas Cards to Make

For our 2012 issue of the Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine, we used the evergreen Christmas tree motif to inspire our Handmade Christmas cards. Getting creative with the razor-edged triangle shape that is so popular in Christmas crafts, we have come up with unusual ways to use it in our cards.

5 Super Easy Christmas Cards to Make

Now, creative never means ‘difficult’, mind you. All the projects are easy enough for beginners who will enjoy creating hand-crafted gifts to give to their friends and family without fussing over advanced paper crafting techniques. So get started with your handmade Christmas cards with these easy Christmas tree cards.

Christmas Tree in Winter Woods

With a little creativity and a few scraps of Christmas patterned paper, you can dress up a lovely card for Christmas.

Easy, handmade Christmas tree card idea

What you will need:

1 Notecard/Card Blank
1 Background paper in light blue, preferably depicting a snowy theme
4 Scraps of green paper in different patterns
1 Strip of brown paper for the trunk

How To:

1. Glue the winter patterned paper to your blank notecard.
2. Using the picture of the finished card as a guide, cut out similar shapes from the different patterned papers in green color for the tree.
3. Glue them as shown, to form the tree.
4. Glue the little strip of brown paper in place to form the trunk. We used a little piece of a brown quilling strip.
5. Stamp or write your greetings on the inside of the card.

Festive Christmas Trees

A Row of Christmas trees, all aglow with ornaments and lights make for a lovely handmade Christmas card.

Festive Christmas Trees - Easy Handmade Christmas Card Idea

You will need:

Brown Notecard
Green patterned paper for the Trees
Strip of Red and Green paper

We used a scrapbooking paper with a Christmas tree print to cut out the trees. However, you can use any green patterned paper and cut them in long triangles to make trees of varying patterns.

Easy Christmas Tree Cards - How to

How To:

Cut out 3 tree shapes and glue them to the card. Glue the red and green strip to the base of the trees.

Alternatively, you can also cut out one large shape from a sparkly scrapbooking paper and use that instead.

Woodland Christmas Tree Card

Christmas Wishes Tree

Scrapbooking stores are filled with sheets printed with Christmas wishes lettering. All you have to do with one such sheet is to cut out the words and form a Christmas tree out of it!

Christmas Wishes Tree - Easy handmade Christmas card

A star outline sticker forms the tree topper on this card made on red cardstock.

Christmas Wishes Tree Card - How to
Cut out Christmas wishes/phrases/sayings from a scrapbooking paper to make a lovely card in no time.

Modern, Minimalist Christmas Tree

A very modern twist to the traditional Christmas tree motif.

Modern Christmas Tree Card made using Quilling Strips

Material Required:

• Teal Blue Notecard
• Quilling strips in Gold and Cream
• Star Sticker
• Glue

How To:

Modern Christmas Tree Card - How to

1. Hold the two quilling strips together and glue one end where the tree would end.

2. Using the image above as a guide, form the tree by folding, gluing and turning the strips (always holding them together) to the top. The folds will shorten/narrow down each time.

3. Stick the star sticker on top. You can do this in as many color variations as you want. A great idea would be to make the cards in your chosen Christmas colors.

Starry Christmas Tree

Starry Christmas Tree - Easy Handmade Christmas Card Idea

This gorgeous gold and blue card is very simple to create. Outline stickers in star shape have been glued together to form a Christmas tree shape. A larger star makes the tree topper and a strip of golden paper makes the trunk. A classy and bright Christmas card made in minutes!

7 Beautifully Festive Christmas Tree Themes

7 Festive Christmas Tree Themes

These beautifully styled designer Christmas trees are sure to be the focal point of your Christmas decorations and will probably inspire the rest of your decorations as well. Get inspired by these creative festive Christmas tree themes to decorate your own masterpiece.

Burnished Treasure

Burnt Autumn Palette Christmas Tree Decorating Theme

Look for decorations in deep autumnal color palettes for this look. Start with over-sized poinsettias in burnt orange and fill up spaces with smaller decorations in colors ranging from reds, autumn oranges to gold and copper.

Traditional Red

Traditional Red Christmas Tree Decorating Theme

Go all traditional with reds this Christmas. Large polyester poinsettias will add a designer look to your tree. Fill in the spaces with traditional shapes and colors like red, green and gold.

Champagne Frost

Champagne Frost Christmas Tree Decorating Theme in Champagne and Silver

Champagne and Silver come together to decorate this elegant Christmas tree for the festivities. Start by adding evenly-spaced large champagne colored poinsettias to the tree and then fill up with smaller balls and ornaments in champagne, sparkling silver, frosted and beaded. Champagne colored sprays and boughs add a lovely look to the tree.

Holiday Menagerie

Holiday menagerie Christmas tree decorating theme - A Colorful tree for the kids

For a tree bursting in color that is sure to please the kids, go for an all-white tree to showcase colored decorations. Look for solid and striped ornaments in assorted candy colors. Add a ‘zoo’ look to the tree with animal shaped ornaments which will be loved by the younger ones.

Partridge in a Pear Tree

Nature Themed Christmas Tree Decorating

Go all natural with your Christmas tree decorating this Christmas. Look for rustic colors and natural decorations. Add grass, oak leaf and pine tree sprays along with bird and nest ornaments. Bundles of feathers and fruit laden branches will add to the charm of this nature-themed tree.

Merry Winter

Merry Winter Christmas Tree Decorating Theme with Santa, Snowmen, Snowflakes and Winter Symbols

All things that make winters bright and cheerful make this tree a favorite! From large sleigh bells to snowflakes, stockings, warm mittens to pinecones, Santa and Snowmen, this tree has them all! Add homespun felt ornaments to make the tree even more personal.

Designer Hot Pink

Hot Pink and White Christmas Tree Theme

If you are looking for a more offbeat and modern theme, consider decorating your tree along the lines of this designer Christmas tree. Jeweled poinsettias in hot pink set the theme on a white tree. Add trumpet flower and mistletoe sprays in pink with a few touches of silver sprays and ornaments here and there.

All products from RAZ Imports

I Believe in Santa

I Believe in Santa - A Mom recalls how she managed the tricky age of 12 when the existence of Santa Claus begins to be challenged

A Mom recalls how she managed the tricky age of 12 when the existence of Santa Claus begins to be challenged

As a parent, I would often strive at Christmas time to recreate the feelings of anticipation and magic that I had felt as a child, for my own daughter.

 I Believe in Santa - A Mom recalls how she managed the tricky age of 12 when the existence of Santa Claus begins to be challenged

My husband and I were able to, for many years, maintain her belief of Santa Claus. He and I took it upon ourselves to improve on the illusion from one year to the next, even as she grew older, and wiser to our wiles.

Of course the ritual began when she was a pre-schooler, her letters written in her small, unsteady hand. A single, heavily iced cookie in some seasonal shape left on the kitchen table with a glass of milk, both of which would be gone by morning. Standard Christmas procedure required the leaving of a carrot as well; the reindeer could not be forgotten!

We hid presents in the branches of the sparkling, decorated balsam, so the tree’s spicy oils delicately scented the wrapping. Her eyes shone when she’d discover her gifts hidden among the baubles and glitter.

As she got older however, it became more of a challenge for us to convince her that Santa, an imaginary creation, was more than that. We had to come up with sneakier ideas, more creative scenarios, to keep up appearances.

One year we were able to sneak into her bedroom while she slept, remove the quilt that covered her, to replace it with the desired “Lion King” comforter. She had to be coerced back into her bedroom, her excitement was so great that she’d flown out of bed, completely missing the new blanket she’d been snuggly tucked into.

As luck, or fate, would have it, things took on a life of their own that year.

We had always had to be aware of things that interested her, she rarely, if ever, requested anything specific from “Santa”. Generally she’d just been satisfied with whatever she received.

Christmas Eve that year found us enjoying a meal with my parents, who lived some ways out of town. On the late night drive home, I reminded her that she still hadn’t written her letter to Santa.

She laughed at me and made some comment on how ridiculous it was to be doing that at her “mature” age. Her Dad asked that she indulge us this one last time then, just because, “sometimes you have to believe in something”.

Once home she begrudgingly went up to her room to write, while we laid the table. A beer for Santa, (she had decided some years before that he worked way too hard for JUST milk), and the carrot for the deer. She brought the note down and dropped it on the table, hugged us goodnight and returned to her room.

As we read the note we realized that the only request she’d made was a video game system that was popular at the time. A toy we had sworn we would not buy due to its expense. Yet what she didn’t know was that a week earlier we had changed our minds and had purchased the

system, along with a couple of games. One of the games we’d chosen was also on her list. We awoke to her shrieks of joy, dancing around the living room. Thanking us profusely for getting her exactly what she wanted.

I had to question her, however. “What makes you think we bought this?”

“Well who else could have, Mom?” was her slightly sarcastic reply.

I continued, “Consider this; we got home at almost midnight last night. We had no idea what you wanted until you wrote the letter last night, and even if we wanted to, had no way of going out to buy it. What store is open at that time on Christmas Eve?”

She absorbed that for a moment.

“That’s just messed up, Mom. So, Santa’s real.”  She smirked.

“Does it really matter?” I asked.

She smiled a little, ran a finger along the game system.

“No, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes you just have to believe in something.”

Published in Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine 2012 issue

Festive Ideas: 5 Quick Christmas Decorations

5 Quick Christmas Decorations

Do not forget the little details. They are the most special things to take care of, and often bring smiles to many faces. These ideas for 5 Quick Christmas Decorations, published in our 2012 issue, are perfect to brighten up any place in no time.

Your door knobs, for example. Bring holiday cheer to any hand that reaches out for them. Here are two ways to decorate them, but the possibilities are endless.

Spare some of tree ornaments or tie a ribbon to a bauble or a stocking and slide them into a door handle. A handspun fabric ornament can also be used.

5 Quick Christmas Decorations - Stockings on Door Handles

This could also be a great way to use your Christmas cards. Find a smaller card or use the front of an old card, punch a hole, tie it using ribbon and slide it into a handle or a knob.

5 Quick Christmas Decorations - Ornaments on Door Handles

Flower arrangements for Christmas need not be elaborate. Less is more with seasonal red berries. A branch of berries along with some greens look festive in white vases.

Red Berries in White Vases - 5 Quick Christmas Decorations

A little touch that makes a lot of difference to any Christmas Day décor is Candle rings. When making your wreaths, be sure to make some miniature versions to use as circular bases for your Christmas candles. Berry wreaths look especially beautiful since most of us use red or white candles during this time of the year.

Berry Wreaths as Candle Rings - 5 Quick Christmas Decorations

Fabric crafters who are into patchwork and quilting can create one-of-a-kind keepsake gifts that will be cherished for a long, long time to come. Get patched quilt squares framed to give as gifts. It is easier than making an entire quilt and you will be able to make several of these in no time and with most of the fabric coming out of your scrap box.

Framed Patchwork Quilt Squares as Christmas Decor or Gifts

North Pole Christmas Party Ideas

North Pole Christmas Party Ideas

Treat all the naughty little elves to a Christmas party at the North Pole. Check out our Christmas party ideas for throwing a fun and festive party for all ages.

North Pole Christmas Party Ideas

Invitations

Get red and white wrapped candy sticks (these are often sold near candy canes and look very similar to candy canes except they do not have the curved end). Cut Heavy white cardstock into 4×3 inch rectangles. Hold a rectangle so that the longer sides are at the top and bottom. Punch a hole in the top middle and bottom middle so that it will fit on the candy stick. Write “Welcome to the North Pole” on the rectangles on one side and write the information for the party on the other side. Slide the paper onto the candy sticks so that it looks like a North Pole sign. Hand-deliver the invitations.

Decorations

Elves decorating the North Pole Christmas Tree
Elves decorating the North Pole Christmas Tree

Santa’s House

Make your home feel like it could be the house of Santa Clause. Most of your decorations that you already have up for Christmas will help set the tone like your Christmas tree and garland. You can give them an even more North Pole feel by making the tree look snow covered. This look can be achieved with fake snow that you can find at most craft stores.

Decorating the Yard

You can decorate the yard by putting up a sign that says North Pole and hang decorations on the trees. If you don’t have snow you can create a snowman to put next to the North Pole sign by stuffing two white garbage sacks with leaves or paper. Put one bag on top of the other and add a face with a black permanent marker. You can also attach a hat.

Elves Decorating the Tree

It is the little elves who decorate the tree at the north pole. Continue the tradition at your party by putting up a step ladder near a tree and perching atop it some stuffed elf toys. Give each elf toy some ribbon or tinsel or garland to make them look like they are working on the tree or gifts.

Santa and His Sack

Set up a large Santa with his sack to welcome guests at the door. The sack can contain the party favors to be given at the end when the kids leave. Make the sack out of red velvet in the form of a large pouch and use later for wrapping large gifts.

Santa and his Sack of Gifts - Christmas Party Decoration Idea

Craft Ideas

Have gingerbread boys and girls cut out and baked. Provide the kids with icing and small candies and let them decorate cookies and eat them. You could also do Christmas crafts like decorating stockings and gifts.

Mrs. Claus’s Class

To make it extra special someone could dress up like Mrs. Claus (wear a silver wig, a red dress and a white apron) and invite the guests to bake or craft with her. You can also easily hire someone to be Mrs. Claus.

Mrs. Claus’s Class

Activity Ideas

Indoor Snowball Fight

Before the party gather tissue paper and wad it into balls. Fill buckets with the “snowballs” and place them around the party area. If the kids are younger just let them have a free for all. They will throw them at each other until they are tired. If the kids are older you can provide boxes and blankets for them to create forts and have a more organized snowball fight.

Meet Santa

The highlight of any trip to the North Pole would be meeting Santa. Santa could also bring along a few of his elves to help pass out gifts (small goodie bags for each guest). Make sure to take a picture of each child telling Santa what they would like for Christmas.

Food Ideas

Hot chocolate with fun items to mix in, like marshmallows, small candies and candy canes would be great refreshments, but if you have very small children attending the party it might not be the best option. Have some baby food for them. Cookies and milk are Santa’s favorite treat so be sure to offer those as well. Check out our Cookie Recipes for ideas.

Cable Buffet Napkin Fold – Festive Napkin Folding

Cable Buffet Napkin Fold - Festive Napkin Folding

This Christmas, try some festive napkin folding for your holiday dinner table. This easy napkin folding gives you pretty pockets to display the cutlery for each place setting.

Cable Buffet Napkin Fold - Festive Napkin Folding

How to:

1. Fold the bottom edge of the napkin up to the top. Next, fold the top layer down to meet the bottom edge.

   

2. Fold all the bottom layers back up a little way and turn the napkin over. To make a longer design you can turn up only the upper bottom layer as in the main picture.

3. Bring the right side of the design into the centre.

4. Carefully bring the left side into the centre.

5. Tuck one half of the napkin deep into the other half, locking the napkin flat. Turn over to insert cutlery into the pocket.

   

DIY Beaded Christmas Ornament Covers

DIY Beaded Christmas Ornament Covers

Make your seasonal foliage shimmer and shine using nets of delicate beadwork – Geraldine Curtis shows us how. Add a little opulence to your trimmings this year with these glittering, embellished baubles. We’ve used clear glass balls as the starting point, which are easy enough to find these days, try the mail order craft outlets for supplies.

DIY Beaded Christmas Ornament Covers

Alternatively spruce up your coloured spheres from last year’s Christmas display. Before you begin, lay the bauble on a folded towel on top of a roll of sticky tape to stop it moving around. Securing the thread around the neck of the bauble can also be tricky, so ask a friend to hold the knot delicately with a pair of tweezers and don’t worry if you’re left with a small gap. Then, follow our instructions carefully, make yourself comfortable and settle down for an afternoon of crafting fun.

You will need

Baubles clear or coloured with 21 cm (8.1/2″) circumference
Beads: iridescent and metallic purple, 8mm round or facetted
Strong thread
Needle size 10
Scissors

Step by step

  1. Prepare the needle with 2.5m (3 yds) of beading thread. This may seem long, but it is easier than having to rethread all the time. Tie a slipknot 20cm (8″) from the end. This is to prevent the first few beads from escaping. Thread on three clear and one purple, seven times, until you have 28 beads in total. Now undo the slip-knot and tie together around the neck of the bauble.
  2. Carefully pass the needle through three white and purple beads. Start the design at the far side of purple bead (diagram 1), refer to pattern pack. Thread on: five clear, one purple and five clear. Pass the needle through the next available purple in the circle of beads you have just tied. Repeat to make seven loops. When you return back to the first purple bead, push the needle through and down into the five clear and out the other side of the purple ready to begin making another row of seven loops (diagram 2).
  3. String on: five clear, one purple and five clear. Make seven loops and when you get back to the first purple bead pass through and down five clear, and on to the next purple bead, ready to begin making another row of seven loops.
  4. Thread on: seven clear, one purple and seven clear beads. Make loops as before and then return to first purple bead, pass through, down seven clear beads and into the next purple, ready to begin making another row of seven loops.
  5. Cast on: nine clear, one purple, and nine clear. Make seven loops and repeat, return back to first purple, pass through and down nine clear into the next purple, ready to begin to make seven loops.
  6. Add on: 11 clear, one purple, 11 clear, and make seven loops. When you get back to the first purple bead, pass the needle through, down eleven clear beads and through the next purple ready to begin making another row of seven loops.
  7. Slide on: nine clear beads, one purple bead and nine clear. Make seven loops and when you get back to the first purple bead pass through, down nine clear and into the next purple bead, ready to begin making another row of seven loops. Now repeat step 4.
  8. Slide on: six clear, one purple and six clear beads. Make seven loops and when you get back to the first purple, pass through, down six clear beads and into the next purple, ready to begin making another row of seven loops.
  9. Thread on: four clear, one purple and four clear beads. Make seven loops and when you return to the first purple pass through, down four clear and into the next purple gem ready to begin making another row of seven loops.
  10. On this last row thread on one clear bead, take the needle through the purple from the previous row and continue this technique all the way around, pull tight to gather into a star shape and tie off. Now fasten thread from beginning of pattern at neck.
  11. For loop, first make a slipknot 20cm (8″) from the end of thread. Pass needle through two purple, the 8mm purple bead and thread on two purple, one clear and two purple. Wind around metal loop twice, take needle back up through to other side of 8mm purple. String on two purple, one clear, two purple, one clear, two purple, 70 clear, two purple, one clear, two purple, one clear and tie off.

Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

A merry twist to the Santa cookies, this Smiley Santa cookies recipe will be fun to make and wake up young ones with.

Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

Makes: 20
Prep: 35 min
Bake: 10 min per batch
Decorate: Depends on skill

Planning Tip:
The decorated cookies may be stored airtight with waxed paper between layers at cool room temperature up to 1 week, or frozen up to 1 month.

Note:
Knead 1/2 cup flour into 18-oz tube refrigerated sugar-cookie dough. Roll into a log, cut log in 20 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Place on lined baking sheet and flatten into a 2-in. round. Add hat (Step 5). Bake and decorate as directed.

Hats:
10 graham crackers, each broken into 2 squares

Cookie Dough (see Tip and Note):
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine (not spread), softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
Whites from 2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
20 wooden skewers, pointed ends broken off (optional)

Eyes & mouths:
1 oz semisweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips, melted
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Yellow food color, liquid, gel or paste
2 purchased disposable decorating bags or 2 qt-size ziptop freezer bags and one #5 plain round piping tip
Red crystal decorating sugar (from a 4-oz tub)
80 miniature marshmallows

1. Trace outline of hat (actual size printed over this text) on sturdy paper and cut out. Place pattern on each cracker square and carefully cut around outline with a sharp knife.

2. Heat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet(s) with foil. Using a 2-in.-diam jar, bottle or glass as a guide, mark 20 circles on foil about 2 1/2 in. apart.

3. Dough: Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla and baking powder in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl sides, then beat in egg whites, 1 at a time until blended. Stir in flour.

4. Set a gal-size ziptop bag into a wide rimmed tall glass or jar (to free your hands); scrape dough into bag. Cut 1/2 in. off 1 bottom corner. Pipe a 2-in-wide, 1/2- in.-high mound of dough in each circle on ungreased foil-lined baking sheet(s).

5. Place a graham-cracker hat, touching dough, above each mound. With a wet finger, smooth top of mounds. If desired, insert skewers into dough.

6. Bake 10 minutes or until puffed and spongy when gently pressed. Using a wide spatula, immediately remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Place sheets of waxed paper under rack.

7. Line cooled baking sheet with waxed paper. Scrape melted chocolate into decorating bag and pipe eyes and mouths for cookies on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm and ready to use.

8. Scrape 1 cup Royal Icing into a decorating bag fitted with piping tip. Tint remaining icing yellow; cover tightly. Pipe icing in bag around edge of hats. Squeeze icing remaining in bag into a bowl and stir in water, a few drops at a time until thin enough to drip easily from a spoon. Spoon icing within piped border. Spoon red sugar over wet icing; allow to dry.

9. Brush excess sugar from hats. Spoon 1/3 cup yellow icing into decorating bag fitted with piping tip. Pipe around curved edge of each round cookie. Thin remaining yellow icing as directed in Step 8; spoon within piped border. Before icing sets, put chilled chocolate eyes and mouth, smooth side up, on each cookie. Let dry completely.

10. Snip miniature marshmallows in half and press sticky side along bottom of hats and at tips.