|Magic Bar recipe|
1. Be choosy. I mean this with a lot of things. With who you spend your time with. With where you spend your time. With how you spend your energy. I don't love spending a lot of time baking, but I do love the treats from my childhood. So, I pull the recipe for Magic Bars, a treat that takes 4-5 ingredients, is quick to put together and makes the house smell amazing. So far they have been made three times and I expect we will make a couple more batches before Christmas! Little energy, big reward!
(The Magic Bar recipe is as follows: 1 stick butter, 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)...1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 13x0-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven. 2. sprinkle graham crackers over butter; pour condensed milk over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients, press down firmly with fork. 3. Bake 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool. Cut & store at room temperature. )
2. Cut corners. Not in a bad way. But in ways that will free up your time for things you want to spend it on. When I found a huge gingerbread cookie and the icing ready to go I was so excited! I was able to have the fun of playing around with decorating the cookie without the fuss of creating it & the icing. We have also found a mini bouche de noel that we will be buying for Christmas day.
3. Talk to your family. I've been surprised by what is important to my daughters when it comes to the holidays. It's not always what I think it is. Samantha decided this year that she wanted to try baking camembert cheese. So, we made time for it to happen, she had her Grandad over, and it became a highlight of this season for her! It was so good, she may create it again for me at my book group this month!
|Boston and I on the trails|
4. Get outside. When I get truly wound up I realize it might be time to head out. Having a dog is always a helpful reminder. Even if I start the walk not really into it, I find by the end of it that my head is clear and I feel so much better. Deep breaths of cold, clear air is just the thing for getting one back on track.
|Taking a moment|
5. Count your blessings. We just watched White Christmas and the song 'Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)' will not stop running thru my mind. Being able to partake in all the fun traditions this time of year are things that I sometimes have to take a moment to remind myself that I am lucky to do so. The parties, the gifts, the treats. Taking time to really sit with how fortunate we are makes it all even sweeter. Our girls are 17 & 19, so knowing also that time is short makes it all that much more special. (and that cup of cocoa is a perfect reward after a cold walk!)
These are just a few of the many ways I manage this times. I also read, watch cheesy Christmas movies and workout to offset all the treats! How do you manage stress this time of year? I'm always up for more ways to cope!