Part two of my Blogging Christmas Carol begins with being elbow deep in flour, sugar sprinkles and frosting as I have begun my holiday baking! My Christmas “Present” is a lot different from my Christmas Past….For one, I am working full time. This has changed how I prepare for the holidays this year.
Here are five of my top holiday tips that have helped me through the seasons and will hopefully help make your holiday a little easier:
1. Make a list and check it twice: of what baked goods you plan to make. When your list is complete, make another list with all the ingredients, paying attention to the amount of flour, sugar, confectioners sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla (the most common ingredients) that are used in each recipe. Make this your shopping list for the store-you will be sure to have all the ingredients you need, saving time and money. This has helped me through many- a – baking season without having to run to the neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar!
psst – if you need some cookie recipes I've got some good ones for you!
2. Click and Ship: Shop online for friends and family that are in far away zip codes. I have missed the holiday's on more than one occasion by not shipping gifts on time! I have learned that with a click of the mouse, I can purchase the same item I would pick out in a store and then have it shipped directly to my loved one, AND have it arrive on time! NO more finding the right sized box, dragging the kids to the post office and standing in line for ages. Why I did not do this years ago, I will never know.
3. Focus Santa, Focus: Have the kids make a focused Santa List. We all had that gift that we were searching for under the tree, so when the kids were old enough to make a list for Santa, my husband and I asked them for the top 3 things they would look for under the tree. The 3 things that they really, really wanted. Of course their list was filled with more than 3 things, but by separating the top three, made it easy for us to shop because we could handle their wish-list and not go overboard. This also kept it very simple for us because the other items could be shared with family members for gift ideas.
4. Save a tree and some money. Don't wrap the gifts from Santa. My husband and I never wrapped with exception of only a few things: ( ie: clothes). I can honestly say that I have used the same wrapping paper for a good two or three years.
5. Have Christmas in July! Have cards printed and addressed early. Are my greetings mailed yet? No. I hope to make it to the post office today. I tell myself every year, I am going to make a spreadsheet of next year's card list, get that special photo, have it printed and ready in July. Does it ever happen? Not a chance! I need to take my own advice.
So how is Christmas Present shaking out?
I spoke to my MIL early Saturday morning and she shared the best line I think I have heard coming from my FIL…she said he asked her “When are you going to make the house smell like Christmas?!” He is speaking of the lovely anise aroma that accompanies making Italian Pizzelle cookies. My husband surely follows in his father's footsteps…when the first steam of the waffle cookie escaped from the pizzelle iron, my husband exclaimed “It's Christmas! I smell Pizzelles!”
I only make these cookies twice a year: Christmas and Easter. But I do have to admit, they are delicious!
**Update***1/1/11 – If you notice the recipe is missing….you are right. Hubby claimed that giving this recipe was like sharing a sauce recipe….something you just don't do! So, I promised to take it down today.
The baking has started, the gifts are shipped, I still have wrapping paper and the cards are ready to go. Now the only thing still needed is to light a fire under Santa's butt to get out and shop!
Next up is Blog of Christmas Future: Some big announcements are headed your way!
Do you have some easy holiday tips? Share with us in the comments below!
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