Dennis Quaid once surprised Meg Ryan with a blue convertible for Christmas

LOS ANGELES – Dennis Quaid makes for a great Santa Claus. Speaking to Fox News, the “Parent Trap” alum, 64, opened up about the first holiday gift he ever splurged on, revealing that the lavish present was actually for his ex-wife Meg Ryan. “It was a car, an old Mercedes convertible,” Quaid shared on Thursday. … Continue reading “Dennis Quaid once surprised Meg Ryan with a blue convertible for Christmas”

LOS ANGELES – Dennis Quaid makes for a great Santa Claus.

Speaking to Fox News, the “Parent Trap” alum, 64, opened up about the first holiday gift he ever splurged on, revealing that the lavish present was actually for his ex-wife Meg Ryan.

“It was a car, an old Mercedes convertible,” Quaid shared on Thursday. “It was baby blue.”

The former couple — who fell in love as co-stars filming the 1988 movie “D.O.A.” — tied the knot in 1991 and had son, Jack, one year later. However, the pair eventually called it quits in June 2000.

As for why Quaid bought that specific car?

“She wanted one,” he explained, adding that “it was a surprise.”

Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan are pictured here in February 2000. Quaid spoke to Fox News about his first-ever splurge for the holidays. (KMazur/WireImage via Getty)

This year, the Dennis Quaid and the Sharks frontman might not be gifting any cars to his loved ones, but his family and friends are still going to be in for a treat – his Christmas wrapping paper will have his face on it.

“It was very surprising [to see my face on the paper] actually,” Quaid — who is teaming up with Esurance’s “Surprisingly Painless Gifting” campaign, which is giving shoppers a free item from the “Fortitude” star’s collection starting on Monday — admitted with a laugh.

“It’s got to make you feel a little good, but it’s wallpaper in my house," he teased.

When it comes to his holiday plans, Quaid says he’ll be taking a trip to Hawaii, but on December 25th, he’ll be celebrating right at home.

“That’s where I’d like to be. Right at home on Christmas Day.”

Fox Nation host Steve Doocy’s Christmas dinner includes recipes from famous friends: ‘Everybody loves to eat’

“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy spends most of Christmas day enjoying good food — and celebrities including talk-show host Dr. Oz and even the late Alan Thicke have helped the Doocy family with their lavish holiday spread.

Doocy meets a lot of celebrities hosting “Fox & Friends,” and uses his love of food as a way to connect with people. The result has been an ever-growing Christmas menu.

“We’re so used to asking people about the news of the day and how they feel about politics, but when you ask someone about food… they’re very passionate about it,” Doocy said. “Everybody loves food. Not everybody likes to make it, but everybody loves to eat it.”

Fox Nation is home to “Cooking with Steve Doocy,” which takes him inside the kitchens of some of his famous friends who are willing to share family recipes. He has already recorded episodes with Fox News host Martha McCallum, Anthony Scaramucci, NFL legend Joe Theismann and Dr. Oz, among others.

Doocy and his wife, Kathy, also wrote “The Happy Cookbook: A Celebration of the Food That Makes America Smile,” which has an entire chapter dedicated to holiday foods.

The Doocy family starts off the holiday with “Mary’s Christmas French Toast Casserole,” a recipe that a family friend provided many years ago and found its way into the cookbook.

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Deviled eggs are another Doocy family tradition, and celebrity chef Paula Deen even offered advice on how to improve upon his conventional recipe.

“There’s just something about deviled eggs, whether it’s the summer around Fourth of July for a picnic or a big sit-down meal like Christmas or Easter, we always do that,” Doocy explained. “Paula Deen gave us hints on how to transport deviled eggs and make them a little tastier. That was much appreciated.”

Deen also gave Doocy tips on “how to make the perfect pimiento cheese dip,” which may or may not be part of the Christmas spread.

“For the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, we always have turkey. And a couple of years ago we got a recipe from Alan Thicke’s wife,” Doocy said.

Thicke, a legendary sitcom actor, died in 2016, but his family’s turkey recipe lives on in the Doocy household.

“It involves marinating the turkey overnight in vermouth and then you stuff it with oranges and onions,” Doocy said. “It is so juicy and so delicious. We’ve been making Tanya and Alan Thicke’s turkey, and it’s in the cookbook.”

The Doocy family borrows its turkey recipe from the late Alan Thicke.

As for side dishes, the Doocy family enjoys Jimmy Dean sausage dressing, and Dr. Oz offered up his recipe for mashed sweet potatoes with pomegranates.

“He has two favorite recipes, the sweet potato casserole that his wife makes… and the other one is German chocolate cake, which is terrific because my favorite cake is German chocolate cake,” Doocy said.

But Dr. Oz’s cake isn’t the only dessert served on Christmas in the Doocy house.

“The hallmark desert is my wife’s Christmas cookies. She’s been making them for as long as we’ve been married — over 30 years ago she started,” Doocy said. “She makes simple sugar cookies… wherever we go around Christmas time, we always bring a plate or two.”

Doocy and his family also make gingerbread cookies and have recently started serving White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ bourbon chocolate pecan pie – which she famously made for the press corps after CNN’s April Ryan accused her of lying about whether or not she made the desert.

“We also make Martha MacCallum’s mom Betty’s bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, which is one of the greatest holiday deserts and she only makes it once a year,” Doocy said. ”It is so delicious. It’s unbelievably good.”

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

Are Christmas trees a fire hazard? Tips to keep your home safe from a blaze this holiday season

This holiday season, leave the chestnuts for roasting on an open fire instead of your Christmas tree.

While the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Christmas tree fires are not particularly common, “they’re much more likely to be deadly than most other fires” when they do occur.

One out of every 32 reported Christmas tree fires in a home result in a death, according to the NFPA. In comparison, only one out of every 143 home fires results in a death overall, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

From 2010 to 2012, 10 people died and $17 million of property damaged in fires that started with the Christmas tree, according to the NFPA.

Read on for a few safety tips to prevent your evergreen from catching fire.

Placement

When figuring out where your Christmas tree should stand for the holiday season, keep in mind it needs to be at least three feet away from heat sources, such as radiators, lights or fireplaces, according to an NFPA fact sheet. Space heaters, too, should be kept away from trees.

A quarter of Christmas tree fires in homes are the result of a heat source too close to the fir, officials have said.

Christmas trees should also not block any entrances.

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Decorations and lighting

While flickering candles are a favorite decoration around the holiday season, they should not be placed in or near trees. Candles cause two out of every five home decoration fires, the U.S. Fire Administration warns.

As for lights, the NFPA recommends using those with a “label of a recognized testing laboratory.” The lights should also specify they are for inside use if the tree is indoors.

Worn chords and loose light bulbs should also be replaced as they could become hazardous. A quarter of every Christmas tree fire in a home is the result of electrical issues, according to the NFPA.

After the presents have been opened, Pinestead Tree Farms in Minnesota encourages people to immediately remove wrapping material – particularly tissue paper – from under the tree. The material can be “effectively a torch if somehow ignited.”

Always make sure to turn the lights off if you’re not present, experts suggest.

“Regardless if you’re at work or even sleeping, never leave your Christmas lights out of your sight,” expert Pol Bishop said.

Tree maintenance

After you’ve picked out your Christmas tree, cut about 2 inches from the base of the trunk, the NFPA says. Experts also recommend buying a fresh tree; those in stores could be older and well on their way to drying out.

Pinestead Tree Farms suggests nestling a humidifier in with the presents to prevent a tree from drying out faster.

Water should be added to the tree stand every day. An unwatered Christmas tree set an entire room ablaze in less than 20 seconds, according to an NFPA video.

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Gently shake the tree to see if any needles fall off; if many do, the tree isn’t getting enough water.

Once the tree begins to dry out, it should be discarded. Some communities may have a recycling program for unwanted trees after the holidays.

“Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home,” the NFPA says.

To figure out if your tree is too dry, test the needles. If they immediately snap when bending them, it’s time to throw the tree away, according to Pinestead Tree Farms.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

‘Modern’ Santa? Some want Father Christmas to be gender-neutral, have tattoos, survey finds

A tattooed, hoverboard-riding, beardless Santa Claus? Some respondents to a recent survey think this Christmas icon needs an upgrade.

The survey, which was conducted by logo-making company GraphicSprings in October and November, used Google surveys to gather responses from 400 people across the U.S. and U.K, asking them how they would “rebrand” or modernize the jolly fellow. From there, 4,000 people across the two countries then voted on the most popular suggestions, the company said.

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About 23 percent of respondents think Santa should have an iPhone, while 25 percent said Saint Nicholas should wear sneakers or trainers. Eighteen percent said he should be “more hipster,” while 22 percent said he should ditch the sleigh and reindeer for a flying car.

And forget Santa's hard-working elves: Another 23 percent said he should use Amazon Prime instead.

As for Santa’s appearance, 20 percent of the respondents said he should have tattoos, 21 percent said he should go on a diet, while 18 percent said Santa should “get a new hairstyle.”

Roughly 11 percent said Santa should be female while about 17 percent said he should be gender neutral.

Just over 70 percent said Kris Kringle should remain male.

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A breakdown of the complete survey can be found here.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Fresh Christmas trees can be crawling with spiders, mites and other bugs: What you need to know

Some would argue there’s nothing better than a live, freshly cut Christmas tree to bring joy and holiday spirit to your home ahead of the jolliest day of the year. The smell of fresh pine, the fun of picking out the perfect tree with your family and the colorful decorations — but there is a potential downside: insects.

These holiday staples can harbor certain insects such as mites and bark beetles.

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In fact, “several hundred baby insects or spiders can be on a single tree,” the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach warns. Gardening company Safer Brand reported in 2017 that as many as 25,000 bugs (many of which are microscopic) can be found on a single tree.

But there's no need to fret.

"These 'accidental invader’ insect and spider pests are harmless and should not be viewed as a disruption to the festivities,” the university added. The North Carolina State Extension also noted that it’s relatively rare to find pests on a tree in the first place.

But with Christmas Day just around the corner, it's better to be safe than sorry. Read on for a look at some of the critters that could possibly enter your home — and what to do if you find them.

Aphids

Aphids are insects that “use their piercing, sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap,” the University of Kentucky’s Department of Entomology says online. These critters are typically found in colonies and have the ability to fly.

These creatures are often found on Christmas trees, and a certain type — Cinara aphids — are sometimes mistaken for spiders or ticks. Another, balsam twig aphid, can appear on “true firs” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry states online.

Doug Hundley, a retired pest management professional and spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association, told TODAY these critters are “harmless hitchhikers” and typically go unnoticed by homeowners.

"They tend to move off of the tree once it starts to dry out. Some years they are more common than others. This was a very wet fall, and so I don't think we're seeing many — if any — problems with aphids," Jill Sidebottom with the NC State Extension told Fox News.

Also, they aren’t known to feed on houseplants, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry.

Spiders

While these eight-legged creatures may scare some, the ones typically found on Christmas trees shouldn’t cause homeowners to worry.

In fact, “spiders found on Christmas trees are predators of insects and are not dangerous to people or pets. They are either overwintering species that have become active or spiderlings that have hatched after being exposed to warm temperatures,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry states.

These spiders may leave the tree and form webs nearby. But these can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner, the bureau states, noting the spiders brought in with the tree “are not [an] indoor species and will die in a short time because of their new, unsuitable environment.”

Praying mantises 

Video

Beware of the light brown, walnut-shaped shaped masses that can occasionally be found within the limbs of a freshly cut tree. These masses are likely a  praying mantis egg sac, which can contain up to 400 unhatched eggs, according to Safer Brands.

“These eggs will begin to hatch after being indoors for several weeks. When this happens, numerous tiny mantids swarm over the tree seeking food. Since they are cannibalistic they will eat each other if no other food is available,” the  Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry explained.

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Cut off the twig containing the mass and place it outside on an “evergreen shrub or tree outdoors,” the bureau recommends, explaining these eggs will hatch in the spring when the mantises have better access to a food source.

"They are large, and most retailers know to look for them and remove them. Inspecting a tree for the egg mass is the best way to reduce the likelihood that they would hatch out in the home," Sidebottom said.

Mites

Mites can sometimes be found on Christmas trees, but they will typically remain there and go unnoticed, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry.

“Several species of bird parasites may be found in nesting material after the birds have abandoned the nest. Although these mites are generally not present on the trees in winter, bird nests on the tree should be removed to assure that no mites are brought into the home,” the bureau adds.

In fact, "mites seldom move off of cut trees. They can sometimes be found on trees, but they are typically treated for by the grower. I only remember one growing season when it was exceptionally warm and dry in the fall that they were a problem," Sidebottom said.

Bark Beetles

Dormant bark beetles may find the warmth of your home pleasing, causing these “minute” brown and black creatures to wake and bore “into the trunk, creating small holes and very fine sawdust,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry also states.

But no need to worry: These beetles won’t get a taste for the wood furniture inside your home, which is “too dry” from them, according to the bureau.

How should I get rid of them?

When picking out a tree, be sure to check it for egg cases or any other critters that might be lurking on the branches or near the trunk.

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After bringing the tree home, rid it of any insects and loose pine needles by shaking it before bringing it inside. Another option is to wash the tree with a garden hose, Sidebottom said.

"For any of the pests, you can wash the tree off with a water hose before bringing it in the home. Allow the tree the dry off overnight before bringing. Pests can be swept up, being careful not to squash them on carpets, fabrics and things as some can leave a stain," she said.

"If a person wants to treat with an insecticide, I typically recommend insecticidal soap which is organic and can be found premixed in many hardware/home improvement stores," she added.

Don't spray the tree with aerosol pesticides, as these products are typically flammable, Safer Brands warns.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Santa stormed out of grotto, tore off his beard and swore at children during fire alarm

A Santa stormed out of his grotto, tore off his beard and shouted: “Get the f*** out!” in front of children.

The cranky Claus was working above a family rave when its smoke machine triggered a fire alarm.

Dad Adam Gaynor, at the Corn Exchange in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, U.K., said: “Everyone was clearing out. Santa came in and started shouting and swearing at people to leave. He was a disgrace.”

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Rave DJ Stuart Wilkin said Santa was “raging” — probably at the thumping music — and the alarm “was the final straw”.

The DJ said there was no excuse for Santa's behavior and the situation was "terrible" for everyone.

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Others defended Santa for helping clear the building. But Mr Gaynor said: “They didn’t see how upset the kids were.”

This story originally appeared in The Sun. For more from The Sun, click here.

Does your Christmas tree have walnut-shaped masses? ‘Don’t bring them inside,’ viral post warns

Among the glistening lights and shiny ornaments, real, freshly cut Christmas trees may be home to nearly 400 praying mantis eggs that have yet to hatch.

One Facebook user’s post warning of the brown, walnut-shaped mass went viral ahead of the holidays in 2017 — and it's making the rounds once again.

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“If you happen to see a walnut-sized/shaped egg mass, on your Christmas tree, don’t fret, clip the branch and put it in your garden. These are 100-200 praying mantis eggs!” Daniel Reed wrote at the time. “We had two egg masses on our tree this year. Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!”

While Reed estimated there could be 200 eggs, gardening company Safer Brand said there could be even more — possibly up to 400 eggs inside the sac.

If the egg sacs are not removed, they will likely begin to hatch “after being indoors for several weeks,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry states online. “When this happens, numerous tiny mantids swarm over the tree seeking food.”

These cannibalistic creatures will begin to eat one another if they can’t find another food source, according to the bureau, which urged those who purchase real Christmas trees to look for the "light tan, walnut-sized, frothy egg masses on the tree before it is taken indoors."

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"Cut out any small twig with an attached egg mass and place it in an evergreen shrub or tree outdoors. In spring, eggs will hatch and the mantids will have appropriate food available,” the bureau added.

While these insects are carnivores, they don’t pose a threat to humans, according to National Geographic.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

SantaCon revelers trash San Francisco restaurant

There’s nothing quite like the holiday season, marked with festive decorations, Christmas music and drunken Santas taking over the city during SantaCon.

The annual pub crawl has people dress up in Santa Claus costumes or other Christmas attire and parade through several cities around the world.

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This year’s event, which took place Dec. 8, brought more than Christmas spirit when one group of Grinches in San Francisco trashed a restaurant when things weren’t going their way.

In several videos posted on Twitter, the vandals are seen destroying Shalimar, a business that’s been in the area for about 16 years, KPIX reports.

The vandals are seen destroying Shalimar, a business that’s been in the area for about 16 years. (Google)

One woman is recorded smashing a chair through the glass on the front door while another angry patron throws something at an employee.

According to an employee, Alejo, who was there when the incident took place, one of the angry customers demanded food she hadn‘t paid for.

“She asked me, ‘Give me my food! I paid the food already!' I told her, ‘You did not pay for the food.’ I said, ‘Show me your receipt and I’ll give you the food,'” he told KPIX.

The video also shows several items, including the cash register, knocked to the floor.

The man who shared the video on Twitter claims a police report has been filed.

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Alejo wants the two girls to pay for the damage to the restaurant and suggests more police presence during the notoriously rowdy occasion.

Seven Santas were arrested during the event this year in San Francisco for public drunkenness.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Are Christmas trees safe for dogs and cats? What to know about the potentially hazardous holiday staple

Oh, Christmas trees. The traditional holiday item can brighten a home with sparkling lights, dazzling ornaments and a plethora of presents below. But Christmas trees can be potentially dangerous for pets, such as dogs and cats.

With the holiday season in full swing, read on for a look at how Christmas trees and other seasonal items may prove to be a problem for your pet.

Christmas trees

Make sure your pets are safe this holiday season. (iStock)

Needles and tree water are two of the most dangerous aspects of the holiday item for your cat or dog. According to PetMD, the trees’ needles can cause “gastrointestinal irritation” if ingested by a cat or dog, as well as possibly causing an obstruction or puncturing the animal’s intestinal lining.

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“The oils produced by fir trees can be irritating to a pet's mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling,” the site notes.

Pet supply company Hartz also warns on its website that the needles are considered to be “mildly toxic,” while Modern Dog Magazine also says the pine needles can damage a pet’s eyes if they were to run into the tree, potentially resulting in a corneal laceration.

Tree water, too, can prove to be hazardous. In fact, the water can poison pets after “only a few laps,” PetMD states. Different substances used to keep the tree fresh and healthy — such as a preservative, fertilizers, pesticides and even aspirin — can harm your furry friend.

"Even untreated water may cause problems, so don’t allow your dog access to the tree water. It’s best to cover the tree stand and water to prevent a dog from getting to it," Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club (AKC), told Fox News..

But the danger isn’t limited to live trees. Fake trees can be an issue for your dog or cat as well.

“Be extra vigilant if you use an artificial tree, especially as it becomes more brittle with age. Small pieces of plastic or aluminum can break off and cause an intestinal blockage or mouth irritation if ingested by your dog,” Hartz warns online.

Other hazardous holiday items

Poinsettia

For cats, specifically, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns these festive red and white plants can be harmful to your fluffy feline.

In fact, poinsettias “have a milky white, latex sap that can be very irritating to his mouth and stomach,” the FDA states online. That said, poinsettia toxicity is relatively mild — typically resulting in drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, which usually betters after a couple of hours.

Mistletoe

While hanging mistletoe may be a romantic gesture this holiday season, certain substances found in the plant could harm your pet.

Lectins and phoratoxins — two chemicals found in mistletoes — can “affect the heart, causing low blood pressure and slowed heart rate,” the FDA says.

Thankfully, “severe mistletoe toxicity is uncommon and usually only occurs if your pet eats a large amount,” the agency continues. Cats and dogs who eat mistletoe may have diarrhea or vomit.

And for those who hang mistletoe in a barn, the plant can cause colic (a sometimes serious belly ache) if eaten by horses, the FDA warns.

“If you see these symptoms in your pet and suspect or know they ingested mistletoe, you should seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible,” Dorothy Black, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, told the Modern Dog Magazine. “Mistletoe shouldn’t be used where pets could possibly reach it.”

Lights, tinsel and ornaments

Lights can become too hot and potentially burn animals that come into contact with them, warns Hartz. Dogs or cats that chew on the wire could also unknowingly put themselves at risk to suffer an electric shock or mouth burn.

"Chewing on an electric wire also can cause pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) which can be fatal," Klein said.

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Tinsel, if ingested, can block intestines “causing decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and weight loss,” Hartz also warns.

"Surgery is often necessary to remove the tinsel. This is especially true for cats," Klein added.

Edible or glass ornaments can be a danger to pets as well, especially if a dog or cat knocks the tree over and steps on or eats pieces of the broken ornament.

“Swallowing an ornament also can cause a gastrointestinal blockage. Some ornaments may be lethal depending upon the materials or chemicals used to create them,” Hartz states.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

5 easy Christmas cookies to make this holiday season

Christmas is just around the corner, which means it's the perfect time to practice your cookie making skills before Santa comes sliding down your chimney.

Whether you’re hosting a lot of family and friends this holiday season or attending another holiday gathering, here are five cookies to easily bake.

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Santa hat cookies

These cookies take inspiration from the jolly man himself. Use a cookie cutter to make these hat shapes before decorating them with red and white icing after they’re baked.

As a separate option, use a sugar cookie as a base and use red icing or a strawberry to create a hat-looking shape. A small marshmallow or white icing can be used to top off Santa’s hat.

Gingersnap cookies with a twist 

Put a twist on traditional gingersnap cookies by dipping half of the cookie in Christmas colored-icing, such as red, green or white.

Traditional holiday shapes 

What's better than a classic Christmas cookie? Use holiday-themed cookie cutters — such as a snowflake, candy cane, Christmas tree or star — to create the shapes before decorating them with icing and sprinkles.

Red and green cookies 

Use food dye to add red or green colors to the batter. Bake and top with fun garnishes — or leave as is. One Instagram user said her green-colored cookies were inspired by Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

“Rudolph” cookies 

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Using your favorite batter, bake traditional round cookies and then use icing to draw antlers and eyes. Use a piece of round, red candy to give the famed reindeer his bright nose.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.