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I'm Allison and I love planning for Christmas. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the holidays, never having enough time to enjoy the season, consider a new approach.

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Limit Your Time in the Kitchen

Happy Friday! For me, it's baking weekend.

Not too many years ago, I opened this large cookie tin, thinking, "I wonder how many cookies I can fit in here?" To my own surprise, I found I had written my future self a note on the lid, "This tin holds exactly 4 batches of chocolate chip cookies...." It actually took me aback because I had no memory of leaving myself this genius nugget of information. It took so much guess work out of the front-end planning.

Baking is funny. Much like holiday cards, you have to decide what you're best at and what you're willing to take on. In my early years in the kitchen, I baked too many varieties of holiday goodies, at least 6 or 7 things. It was so inefficient. In hindsight, it ultimately helped me discover difficult and bad recipes that I never wanted to touch again. I did, however, discover one shortbread recipe and this became my "famous" cookie.

Many of us have something awesome we bake and possibly gift. The year there was an actual argument over my shortbread in a hallway at work, I knew I had to increase production and record my offerings for the following year. I used my Christmas Journal to track my shortbread and who I gifted it to so that I was sure not to leave anyone out the next year! You will receive a printable to help you track this for next year as well.

I now limit my baking to one day, and my variety of cookies to two. Right before Thanksgiving, all of the baking supplies you will need will be on sale. Why not stock up early to avoid missing out on your favorite ingredients? You'll see discounts and coupons at large grocery chains and wholesale clubs that you can take advantage of and stock away for holiday baking.

Reserve a date on your calendar, gather your ingredients and spend one and only one day baking. And change your attitude to file it under "Christmasing" instead of "chore." With the right balance of music, help and adult hot cocoa, I think your spirit will come back. I'll be sure to share an Instagram story on Saturday of my baking day. Join me!

And as for that shortbread recipe, nope, I'm still not sharing it.

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