Christmas is here, but don’t stress; it is going to be okay

December 15, 2023

By: LaShawn Cliatt

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

If you are like me, you are wondering where the year has gone. It feels like we were celebrating New Year’s just yesterday. Christmas is fast approaching, and the stress and the rush of the season is here. 

During this time of year, it feels like we have so much more to do, and our schedules are packed with Christmas work, friend parties, shopping, Christmas concerts, end-of-year events, family coming into town for the holidays, etc. We may feel like we are overwhelmed and cannot get everything done in time. If you are feeling this way this season, I have some tips and recipes to help release some of these overwhelming feelings:

  1. Make a list – make a list of every invitation and what needs to get done. For me, a list is so helpful because it gives me a sense of accomplishment as I check things off and see what is left to do. 

  2. Cut the list down – review your list and realize that not everything needs to be completed. Cut the list down to what you consider to be a priority. For example, maybe helping your mom make cookies is more important than a Christmas party (even if you don’t like to, it may be more important. Just a thought). 

  3. Remember the reason for the season – Christmas lights are great! Seeing kids open their gifts is amazing! Being with family and friends is awesome! Always remember the reason for the season → Jesus!! His word, His message, and His birth are what we should focus on.

In the world we live in, tip #3 should be #1. I suggest making your list in context of remembering the reason for the season.

I am a baker, and I love making baskets of baked goods to give my friends and family for Christmas every year. Here are a few recipes that I like to use this time of year (all of these recipes can be made Gluten free as well): 

  1. https://www.melissassouthernstylekitchen.com/coconut-cream-pound-cake-with-a-vanilla-cream-glaze/
  2. https://www.ontysplate.com/tys-sweet-potato-sour-cream-pound-cake-with-maple-pecan-praline-sauce/ 
  3. https://www.spatuladesserts.com/easy-basque-burnt-cheesecake-recipe/ 

A couple of my baker’s tips for you to try:

  • Use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour or King Arthur all-in-one gluten free flour for desserts. In my opinion, this is the best flour for great consistency and flavor.
  • In these recipes, instead of milk or water, use heavy whipping cream. It makes the cakes creamier and fluffier.
  • For the coconut cake, I like to add lemon zest and lemon juice and it becomes a coconut lemon cake (yum!).
  • I like to use vanilla or cheesecake jello pudding in my cakes as part of the flour mixture (ie. For 2 1/2 cups of flour, I remove ¼ cup of flour and add the pudding mix).

I hope my tips and recipes are helpful for your holiday season. Also, remember to take a break and recharge yourself. Life goes by extremely fast.
Enjoy the moments. Enjoy the day. Enjoy life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! 

May God bless you and your family this holiday season.




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