Getting ready for Christmas in October always bothered me. I am now officially guilty of doing one of the things that bother me the most. It is a pet peeve of mine to walk into a store before Halloween to discover that instead of finding bats, spiders, ghosts and pumpkins, I am overwhelmed with Santas, stockings, snowflake ornaments and snowmen. Yet, here I am, urging you to get ready for Christmas before the first trick or treater rings your doorbell!
I have a Good Excuse!
In my defense, I know how hurried and harried the Christmas season can get, so my excuse for focusing on Christmas in October is to help you get a few things done so you can relax and enjoy both seasons. You can ooh and ahh (and be a little bit scared) of all the princesses, pirates and ghosts that come to your door, while breathing in the aromas of Christmas baking coming from your kitchen.
My last posts covered two of the most listed ingredients in recipes. I hope you stocked up on a few of the choices, because one of the most beloved items at Christmas is baked goods. We use a tremendous amount of both sugar and flour, as the gift we give our neighbors is a tray of assorted baked goods.
In order to get Christmas in October ready to go by delivery time, there are several items I prepare ahead of time. Especially the cookies. You can go ahead and bake them and freeze them. Or you can make the dough, freeze it and bake later. We usually add at least three different types of cookies to our trays.
Amy’s Cookies (a recipe that is similar to oatmeal, but uses Grape Nuts Flakes instead)
Instead of just decorating sugar cookies with sprinkles, this year I am ordering this decorative rolling pin. When you roll out your dough, it stamps it with Christmas designs. The time you save in frosting or adding sprinkles makes it well worth it. These will add a vintage and elegant touch to any Christmas tray or tin. Plus, you are sure to get oohs and aahs from everyone who receives them as a gift.
You can order it from Amazon by clicking the link above. The best part is the price is reasonable. (Hint: they would also make a great addition to a Christmas gift basket!) I plan on ordering two – one for me, and one as a gift for my granddaughter.
You can also prepare your bar cookies ahead of time and freeze them as well. I do advise, however, to make your breads the day before you deliver your trays. I have found that most fresh baked breads don’t do as well when frozen for a month or two. But that’s okay – there is nothing better in the cold days of winter than to have the entire house smell like hot bread baking in the oven!
Keep in mind, you can also prepare many of the casseroles and vegetables dishes ahead of time as well. If you are going to have Christmas in October, you may as well make the best of it!
Next time you head to the store in early October and see Christmas instead of Halloween, don’t fret. Instead, let it fill your imagination with all those delectable goodies you are going to share for gifts. Then instead of grabbing another bag of candy (that you are really buying for you, and not the trick or treaters), head over to the baking supplies and start stocking up on flour and sugar. With that new rolling pin, you may just want to bake a few extra batches!
Here are great posts on the Two Most Used Ingredients!