Last week we kicked off our 5 week countdown for a stress-free holiday. Vowing to end the cycle of last-minute procrastinating, frantic wrapping, cursing everyone with their cherry “fa la la’s” while we had so much left to do. No more! This year, the house will be decorated, gifts will be wrapped, cookies baked, and we’ll be relaxing with a glass of nog by December 13th. That’s the plan anyway.
How will this winter-wonderland “not a fairy-tale” happen?
I checked off #5 today, and Week 1 is complete!
Just starting? That’s ok! Jump in anytime.
Here’s what’s happening, though, for Week 2.
Only 3 items this week!
1- Order Christmas Cards. Homemade, purchased, or online, choose your photo(s) and place that order. I know, mailing cards isn’t the greenest option, but it is one tradition I truly love. I love seeing the pictures of friends, their kids, and their 4-legged loved ones. Plus, after the holidays I create a collage frame with the updated photos and cut the cards into next year’s gift tags. Repurposing is definitely green!
2. Make Cookie Dough. We have whittled our cookie list down to our 3 favorites (snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, and pecan balls). I learned long ago that making, baking, and decorating all in one day took far too long and led to too many frustrations. The kids attention span never lasted that long, and I ended up decorating dozens of cookies on my own (my least favorite part). This year it’s baby steps, right?
This week, simply make the dough, wrap it well in parchment & foil or freezer bags, and put it in the freezer. Done. Baking it will come in a couple weeks. If you’re making double batches, freeze it in smaller chunks and it’ll thaw faster.
Plus, now you have cookie dough ready in case you want to make a quick batch for Thanksgiving desserts too!
3. Make Pie Crusts. If you make homemade pies, making your own crust is often side-stepped because it’s so easy to buy frozen crusts, right? Yes, it is easy, but they can also be full of trans-fats and other questionable ingredients. Make the crusts ahead of time & it’s just as easy to pull a homemade crust out your freezer!
Don’t forget to “check your surroundings.” Every time you run an errand, see if there’s a gift or ingredient you can also pick up (checked 4 gifts off my list this week without going out of the way!).
Looking for gifts for your favorite chef in your life? Check out these great gifts for those happiest in the kitchen.
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Dog photo credit.