Don’t you just love the smell of holiday goodies fresh from the oven? The homey smell of gingerbread and the sweet scent of sugar cookies! I know I do more baking this time of year than any other time. There are so many treats and goodies that my family love and many of our traditions are centered around baking or decorating holiday goodies. I won’t lie though, holiday baking is always a little on the stressful side for me. Having a well thought out plan for my holiday baking helps keep that stress level to a minimum.
Take some of the pressure of and enjoy those holiday goodies with the help of a holiday baking planner.
Last year I had to think ahead for everything I did. Doing something like baking on a whim wasn’t exactly easy. I was determined to tackle as much holiday baking as I possibly could so I sat down and made a whole lot of lists. I brain dumped, mind mapped, and made lists for everything I could think of. What I ended up with was a plan that helped me tackle making our holiday goodies in a way that didn’t overtax me and was a lot of fun.
Holiday Planning Step 3 – Holiday Baking
My baking list last year may have been the bare minimum, but it helped me create the foundation for planning my holiday baking for years to come. I took all the lists and planning notes from last year and turned them into a set of printables designed to help you make planning your holiday baking easy and as stress free as possible. Many of the planner printables you’ll find below are ones you can print and fill out this year and use them year after year. I hope you find them as helpful as I have.
The Holiday Pantry
Every holiday season I find myself stocking up on the same foods. Foods we don’t typical make throughout the year and ingredients we don’t use often. Because these foods and ingredients tend to be holiday staples, I made a list of everything we normally pick up. This not only helps me making up our grocery lists, but it also helps me find the best deals on the items we buy.
The printables below are divided into three categories; non perishable, refrigerate, and freeze. I set them up this way to make it easier to plan when to buy certain things. You can start stocking up on the non-perishables and freezer foods early and save the fresher stuff for closer to when you need it. In addition, each printable has a second page with no categories, so you can tailor them to fit your own planning style and needs.
This is one of those printables that you can fill out this year and reuse year after year for your holiday staples.
Find Your Recipes Easily
Creating a master list of your holiday baking recipes is a great way to make sure you don’t forget any of the goodies you want to make. Like the Holiday Pantry, this is a printable you can fill out this year and use in subsequent years, adding to it as needed. There is room to jot down the name of the recipe and where to find the recipe itself. I like to make note of the cookbook or our family recipe binder and the page number where the recipe is. It makes it so easy to find them when I need them.
What Recipes Matter the Most?
Now that we have our master list of recipes, it’s time to organize them by priority. It may sound like an unnecessary step, but when it comes to managing holiday stress a priority list can help us reduce stress when needed. It helps us to focus on what’s most important to us and in a way, it gives us permission to not get everything done. In fact, one section on the printables is For Next Year, because as much as we want to, we cannot do it all. There are also sections for:
- Family Faves
- We Really Need
- It Would Be Nice to Have
- Only if I Have Time
- Just Going to Buy Pre-made
Again, that last one is on there, because sometimes we cannot do it all and store bought isn’t always an evil thing. I suck at making anything with puff pastry, but there are many holiday recipes that we love that use it. You better believe those go in my to buy section. It’s just not worth stressing over.
This list might change for you year after year, but I bet you’ll find a lot of your holiday baking recipes make it into the same category each year.
What Can You Make Ahead of Time?
One of the best ways to fit in as much baking as possible to make things ahead of time. Now, not all recipes can be frozen. Some can be frozen after they’re baked, others can be frozen in dough form and baked later, and some just can’t be made too far ahead of time. Rather than having to check your recipes and search google for answers every year, I made a Make Ahead Cheat Sheet that you can fill out one year and use every year after. You don’t have to think about it, just check your list.
You’ll find sections for what can be baked and frozen, what can be mixed into dough and frozen, what can made and refrigerated, what can be made and stored in the pantry, and what cannot be made ahead of time. Each section is divided into two columns; one for the name of the recipe and one for noting how long you can store it for.
Planning Your Baking
Last, but certainly not least, plan out what baking you’ll be doing each month. The printables in the sets below contain a page for November and December. Each page has a place to note what recipes you’ll be making, a shopping list to make sure you have the ingredients you will need, and a notes section in case you need it. Taking some time to pre-plan your holiday baking helps reduce holiday stress. It does this because you’ve made all the decisions for your holiday baking ahead of time. All you have to do is follow your plan.
Today assignment is to grab a copy of the printables that you think will work best for you and set aside some time to fill them out and plan your baking.
Put on some holiday music, mix up your favourite holiday drink and have some fun with it. The holidays are meant for enjoying – so bring. a little holiday cheer to your holiday planning.
I’d love to know what some of your favourite holiday goodies are! In our house we love homemade fudge, sugar cookies, ginger snaps, and whipped short breads. Hop on over to the Facebook group and share your answer. If you have any questions or suggestions or just want to hang out I’m in and out all day long. If social media isn’t your jam, no worries, drop me a line in the comments below.
Until next time, I wish you all a happy and healthy day.
Catch Up on the Rest of the Series