If you're making drop cookies, you'll need 5 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour (measure before sifting). If you're making cutout cookies, use 6 cups of sifted all-purpose flour (measure before sifting).
In a large mixer mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, buttermilk. Beat until smooth. Add flour one cup at a time and mix into batter. Once you've put in two or three cups, you will need to mix in remaining flour by hand unless you're using a heavy duty mixer. Stir until smooth.
Take a greased cookie sheet and put one heaping teaspoon of batter on pan for each cookie. Sprinkle a little white sugar over the top of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (takes about 12 minutes).
Refrigerate dough overnight. Take out a handful of batter and put on a floured countertop. Roll with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes. Carefully place each cutout on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Repeat until dough is depleted.
Once cookies are cool, use the following icing recipe for the tops of the cutouts (add food coloring for desired holiday color):