I truly love baking and cooking and being in the kitchen with my kids most of the time. However, as the holidays approach things tend to get busy and sometimes it is hard to get to those fun baking projects. I often feel like I need to wait until I have enough time to make the cookies from scratch or use the cranberry bread recipe from the back of the book. What I’ve been realizing and learning though is it sometimes it’s better just to do what we can then to put it off and I get it done at all.
This week my son has been begging for us to read Cranberry Thanksgiving and eat cranberry bread like we do every year. It has been a busy week and I couldn’t figure out when I was going to have time to help him make homemade cranberry bread, but he didn’t want to wait until next week. As I was going through the pantry to get out ingredients for dinner one night I realized that we had a box of Krusteaz cranberry muffin mix. (I have no affiliation with Krusteaz, but I have to say that their muffin mixes are so delicious you might forget it wasn’t homemade.) It took my oldest son less than 5 minutes to get the muffin mix mixed, into a loaf pan and in the oven baking. We were able to sit down that morning with some fresh hot bread and read our book. I laughed most of the way through the book because my children could recite much of it before I even read the words. Cranberry Thanksgiving has become such family classic for us.
If there are things that you’ve been pining to do, but putting off until you had enough time, try thinking of ways you can do them with less time or less mess but still make memories. That may mean using a bag of cookie mix or mixing up extra cookie dough next time you cook to have some in the freezer. It could mean buying a bag of already popped popcorn and a simple hot cocoa mix for your next movie night. Maybe you order pizza instead of cooking it homemade, or choose a simple meal like soup or chili for your new family tradition. We have even used graham crackers to decorate for a ‘gingerbread house’.
I truly believe that it will be more important to my children when they look back on their childhood to know that we enjoyed the book and the cranberry bread together than whether or not we made it homemade. Sometimes keeping it simple and using a box mix or something that’s pre-done allows us to say yes more often and spend more time truly being present and that is what is going to matter in the end. What traditions are you trying to fit in this year? In what ways can you simplify in order to be able to say yes to making memories?
If you need a few ideas for Thanksgiving or Christmas be sure to check out:
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