5 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Holiday Baking


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Although the vast majority of us enjoy freshly baked Christmas cookies and treats during the holidays, let’s face it: sometimes baking them feels like one more thing to add to your already bursting at the seams calendar.

If the thought of holiday baking is making you feel overwhelmed, here are five tips that will help take the stress out of Holiday Baking.


Christmas baking without the stress! With these tips on how to take the stress out of Holiday baking.

5 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Holiday Baking

1. Have each family pick their favorite homemade treat

I gave up on baking every classic Christmas treat years ago. I found myself tossing stale cookies on New Year’s day thinking of the hours wasted in the kitchen–plus the money that I put into the ingredients.

I noticed that certain items got tossed more than others and I figured the best way to stop the tossing was merely to ask everyone in our family what their number one favorite Christmas cookie or treat was.

2. Make just one treat at a time

Once I knew each family member’s favorite treat, I then decide rather than having one baking day that required clearing hours on my calendar I would simply bake one double batch of each treat at a time. I start with gingerbread the day after Thanksgiving and end with sugar cookies baked the day before Christmas Eve (so Santa can enjoy one).

Combining this tip with number one means, I no longer throw out stale cookies and I don’t have to find a full day to bake. I simply bake an hour here or there as the time appears and I find this a lot less stressful.

Simple fudge & Soda Cracker delights

3. Stick to bringing simple, no-bake treats to holiday gatherings

I have a list of 6 or so crowd favorite, no-bake treats that take minutes to prepare. I try to keep our cupboard stocked with the ingredients to make  2 or 3 of them at all times during the busy holiday season so that if a child tells me, “Mom, I forgot to tell you there is a class party tomorrow and I am supposed to bring something to share.” I can pass the child the ingredients and tell them to make it themselves or make it with them.

Here are our top 3, favorite, quick, no-bake Christmas treats

unwrapping candies for Christmas baking

4. Let other family members help

Yes, you read the above right, my children often make the holiday treats on their own. My children are 15 years old, and up and over the years I have gradually shown them how to make the Christmas treats they love.

When they were younger, I had them help by grabbing the ingredients and placing them on the counter for me. Or unwrapping the Hershey’s kisses to put on top of the peanut butter blossoms. I gave them simple, age-appropriate tasks that grew as they grew and now unless I want to enjoy the relationship building time gained by working in the kitchen with them–which I often do–they can do a lot of the Christmas baking all by themselves.

There were times when they were little that having them help was stressful for me, but as the years have gone by I love the bonding time that working in the kitchen with those you love can provide. Just this year my daughter and I enjoyed an evening of rolling out gingerbread dough and creating gingerbread men together.

 5. Enjoy ready-made holiday treats

Some holiday seasons can be more stressful than others. There can be years when you just added a new baby, a loved one recently passed away, or perhaps your family just moved and are trying to settle in. Whatever the added stress might be caused by, know that it is okay just to skip the Christmas baking altogether and grab ready-made Christmas treats instead.

Here are a few of my family’s  favorite ready-made Christmas treats…

What tips would you add to my list of how to avoid Christmas baking stress? Share them with me in the comment section.

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  1. Great ideas! My kids are older, too: 14, 16, 18. They don’t care as much about decorating the sugar cookies anymore and we haven’t done that the last couple years. The two cookies that I always make sure we make every year are family traditions. Krumkakes are from my side of the family (we are part Norwegian). Fruit jumbles is a recipe from my husband’s great-grandmother. Anything else we might make will vary from year to year. One easy but fun treat we got from Family Fun magazine years ago: pretzel treats (I don’t know the official name). Square pretzels, put Hershey kiss on top in oven for few minutes to melt a little. Then stick green and red m&ms on top and put in fridge to cool. It’s best to keep in fridge til you serve them. You can easily make variations of this using different flavored kisses and m&ms.

  2. Thanks so much for these recipes they will certainly come in handy this weekend.

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