Over the past four years, my Hawaiʻi best friends and I have gathered for an annual friend Christmas party (although we missed last year somehow??) where we eat delicious dinner, enjoy Parker’s homemade drinks, and make and decorate our own Christmas cookies in one of our houses (usually Kaiʻolu’s)! We started this annual friend tradition during the 2019 holiday season when I housesat for my aunty and uncle in their extraordinarily festive neighborhood and I thought it would be fun to celebrate together before walking down the lane to view the Christmas lights. That year we ate Mexican food at a nearby restaurant, baked and decorated our Christmas cookies in one evening, created homemade coconut hot chocolate, and drank Parker’s fresh cosmopolitans well before 11 pm, which was by far our most productive annual friend Christmas gathering yet! We learned that we aren’t the best homemade cookie bakers when it comes to cookie cutting cooled dough and that making icing from scratch is really difficult! In order to make our next year’s Christmas party more efficient, Brandon and I baked cookies together the night before and Kaiʻolu made a batch of her own for us to bring together the next night at our gathering. The cookies were a little doughy and the frosting came out way too liquidy, so we smoothed some cake frosting on top of them and went for a simple route. Those cookies tasted fine despite the odd texture, but again, the end result was missing something. Thankfully this year I chose to bake Pillsbury sugar cookie dough yesterday as our cookie base and they came out perfectly! They weren’t crunchy and the sweetness of the cookie wasn’t overpowering. We decorated with vanilla flavored red and green Pillsbury frostings and a peppermint flavored one, which made the decorating and clean up process far smoother. Pre-cookie decorating, we ate some of Mikayla’s incredible charcuterie board pictured above and it almost entirely stuffed us. Kaiʻolu and Brandon made chicken long rice and kalua pig and cabbage, respectively, for dinner, which were both delicious! When Parker arrived two years later, he made us cranberry orange mocktails with tonic water, which we drank with dinner and while we played games like Poetry for Neanderthals and Blank Slate. We finished the night by doing our cookies and listening to Christmas music and it was our best annual friend Christmas party yet!