November 17, 2015
Five years ago, our family began having an ‘Annual Christmas Dessert Contest’. We always have our family get together on Christmas Eve. Early afternoon, family members begin arriving. The house is decked out with Christmas decorations and the dining room table is prepared and waiting for the dessert entries.
An abundance of appetizers is spread out on the kitchen island early in the afternoon for people to start munching on as they arrive. Hot appetizers are served throughout the day. We always have a large vegetable tray with ranch dip. Aidan is a cream cheese and Wheat Thins cracker kind of boy! We have to have those!
The red pepper-ham roll-ups are always requested and there will be plenty of those. Shrimp spread is one of my favorites and will surely be served. The recipe was given to me by a very sweet lady from my hometown, back in the seventies. The Ham and Cheese Stuffed Baby Potato appetizers will be baked in the oven and served hot and ready. We usually have baked ham for mini-sandwiches.
At five o’clock we have the dessert contest. By that time, the dining room table is full of desserts. We put a number by each entry, which coordinates with a number on the scoring sheet. As our family expands, we are beginning to have more desserts. Even the grandchildren are submitting their desserts as entries! Sophia, who is seven now, won last year!
Everyone gets a scoring card and is a judge. The younger kids have a lot of fun with this. It is interesting that some of them are very serious about the scoring, really study the desserts, follow the rules, and score the desserts from one to ten.
Others give scores of one hundred and more to their favorites. It is all in fun and they laugh and giggle over it. I enjoy their silliness and laughter.
Jon-Michael tallies the scores and a winner is chosen. There are prizes for the first, second, and third place. The prizes are always mini dessert glasses, cake pans, cookie cutters, decorating supplies, or something used for making desserts. Anytime I am shopping and see a good prize for the contest winners, it is purchased and tucked away for this event. One year I forgot where I hid one of the prizes! It was found later and tucked away for the next year.
Alex, Will’s girlfriend who is an amazing baker, has already told me she has chosen her dessert for this year! Right around Thanksgiving, we start planning and plotting! At the end of the dessert contest, we choose the theme for the next year. Last year we decided that ‘gingerbread’ would be our theme for this year. It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with to represent the theme.
Maybe you will like the idea of this tradition we have at our humble home and will add it to your own holiday traditions. We all enjoy the ‘Annual Christmas Dessert Contest’, whether we are sharing our entries or just judging this annual event!