I used to love Christmas baking a lot! Too much probably. During my teenage years I’d start bookmarking recipe books in early December. Baking mountains of gingerbread, sugar cookies, butter tarts, and all sorts of squares each weekend. My Mom spoiled us rotten when my brother and I were growing up too. But, there’s been a steady decline in baking and holiday fuss over the years for my family. The focus of our traditions now is quality over quantity, and just simply spending time together.
This year is a particularly special Christmas, after spending my first Christmas away from home last year. Instead of stressing out and trying to make things perfect, my Mom and I decided to make a selection of our favourite treats. Having less means we also don’t eat as much, thank goodness! One or two treats a day is definitely enough to curb the craving for holiday treats. From left to right in the photo below are: Chocolate-Date Truffles; Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Squares; Date Squares; and Nanaimo Bars.
I think taking things in stride, finding space to breathe, and not getting overly stressed out if things don’t go perfectly is a good way to make the holidays more enjoyable. Start by simplifying your own expectations for the big day (can’t believe it’s just a day away). Focus on making your favourite dishes and leave some of the others off the menu this year. Delegate tasks to other family members, making it a more collaborative meal. And if all else fails, make sure you have a good bottle of wine around!