Already, the Christmas decorations are in the stores, colourful lights on the streets are up, and the local garden centre is stocking birch reindeers and other holiday paraphernalia. On one hand, it seems so early, but the 6 week period before Christmas is generally a flurry of activity at our house. How about yours?
Every year, I devise a plan to prepare for the holidays (with best intentions!) but somehow, as December approaches, the schedule has shifted. As time ticks away, things either happen in a few massive overnight sessions (which is very difficult when you’re working or have children or both!) or omissions and substitutions occur. Although the recipients of the edible treats and gifts are none the wiser, I always look back wistfully wishing that I could have managed my plan better.
How do you manage your schedule in preparation for the holidays? What steps do you take to make sure you’ve finished everything you’ve planned?
This year, I’m taking a new tact and am going to start my holiday baking in advance. This Christmas, I’m going to have time to relax, eat, drink and be merry.
For many, the holidays are the one time of the year where large-scale hosting happens. Making everything as close to the events as possible seems like the right way to go because everything is fresh, but taking a page from the playbook of professionals, you’ll be a lot fresher if you do your preparation in advance. Now’s the time to start!
Eliminate the panic and stress associated with (last-minute) holiday guests with these tempting festive treats.
Savoury: Easy Cheesy Spelt Crescents | Spelt Parmesan Gougeres | Smoked Oyster Buns | Lamb Lollypops | Spanakopita | Spelt Crust Pizza Buns
Your guests won’t be able to resist these Easy Cheesy Spelt Crescents straight from the oven. Bake and freeze.
Spelt Parmesan Gougeres are a light and tasty treat for your holiday party. Bake ahead and freeze.
Smoked Oyster Buns are a unique appetizer. Try filling these with sausage for a more traditional alternative. Fill them then freeze them.
Lamb Lollypops are perfect for your casual holiday entertaining. Bake or grill and freeze.
Spanakopita on this scale is perfect for an easy holiday brunch or buffet dinner. Assemble and freeze.
Make these Spelt Crust Pizza Buns for a quick dinner treat during the holiday season. They can be frozen unbaked or baked.
Sweet: Shortbread | Ginger and Spice Cake | Chocolate Olive Oil Truffle Cake | Whole Wheat Honey Cookies | Secret Surprise Cookies | Braided Bread (Paszka)
Classic Shortbread is the ultimate traditional holiday treat. Freeze the dough before baking. Thaw, roll, cut and bake.
Ginger and Spice Cake – tastes just like Christmas.
This make-ahead Chocolate Olive Oil Truffle Cake is pure decadence. Let thaw for 24 hours before you’re ready to serve.
These Whole Wheat Honey Cookies can be frozen after they are baked. The taste will warm your heart.
With a hidden chocolate treat inside, these Secret Surprise Cookies will become a family favourite.
On a less sweet, but oh-so-enjoyable note, this holiday Braided Bread will spur a new tradition in your holiday kitchen. Freeze after baking.
Breakfast Treats: Lemon Cranberry Scones | Maple Cinnamon Scones | Ham and Cheese Quickbread | 1 Hour Cinnamon Buns
Start holiday mornings off right with a selection of scones to meet everyone’s tastes, including Simple Butter Scones, Lemon Cranberry and Pumpkin. Freeze them before baking.
Maple Cinnamon Scones are perfect for teatime or anytime.
Ham and Cheese Quickbread is perfect for those looking for something a little savoury for breakfast.
1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls – freeze them before or after baking.
Just think of how much easier the holidays will feel. You’ll avoid crowded shops and snarled traffic when you plan ahead. Your make-ahead Christmas effort will be such a success, you’ll seem like you were up many late nights and early mornings slaving away but really, you’ll be rested and relaxing with a hot chocolate and a selection of treats while everyone opens presents under the tree.
Sounds like the perfect way to spend the holidays!