Monday, November 30, 2015

Preparing to prepare for Christmas

From a vintage calendar my girls loved
I know -- that's kind of a funny title.  But it's the best one I could come up with for what I'm doing!

I've been preparing for Christmas baking.  When I was young, I always knew Christmas was coming when this little cookbook below made an appearance on our kitchen table alongside my mother's coffee cup.  It meant she was planning what foods to bake for kitchen gifts for neighbors and relatives.  As an adult, I was thrilled to find one of these cookbooks at a book sale!

If you have not visited my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen, you will find that I posted there concerning my preparations for Christmas baking. And honestly, I think you'll enjoy visiting if you haven't.  Loads of ideas for baking, decorating, crafting and handmade gifts -- and more!

Briefly, so far I've stocked up on Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour,

 a magical item which will help you make your favorite Christmas cookies gluten-free without ever needing to adjust a recipe.  I also bought a new nut chopper,

badly needed, and stocked up parchment paper at the Dollar Tree.  I've added all-purpose flour, sugar and flavorings to my shopping list.  I'm considering a re-organization and decluttering of the drawer where I keep items like measuring cups, sprinkles, extracts, etc.  And soon, probably tomorrow, I'll make a 2015 baking list.  Last year's is below.

I've been preparing for Christmas crafting.  I've firmed up my remaining "handmade gifts" list and purchased nearly all the materials I need.  Just a couple of small items to buy in Walmart.  Necessary fabrics are in the process of being washed and dried.  I also cleared off my little crafting desk and placed some favorite Christmas cards beneath the glass to cheer and inspire me while I work.

I've been preparing to send out Christmas cards.  I've bought all the cards I need except for special "family" ones.  Bought some new Christmas stickers, too.  And I'm preparing some "tuck-ins" for a Christmas card swap I'm taking part in.

And I've also been pondering the true meaning of the words "Let every heart prepare Him room."  I don't want my heart to be so crowded with Christmas preparations that there is no room for the reason we celebrate.  In addition to crafting, cooking, and card-writing preparations, I want my heart to be prepared and ready to celebrate the Savior's birth!

Today I am linking up with Sandi's No Place Like Home at Rose Chintz Cottage.  You will want to head on over and see what others have linked up!


  1. Hello Mrs. T,
    You are very organized! I like to be organized myself as it really helps to get things done and done properly. I have to get my cards ready too. Pity so many don't send them any more. It's sad to see the list getting shorter too because loved ones have passed on. I'm baking my Sultana fruit cake in the morning and then I will try to finish decorating the tree. I'm really slow this year.
    We must be careful to make sure our hearts are not over crowded with preparations which is easy to do. A good cup of tea or coffee and sitting to reflect upon it all really makes such a difference. As always, it's a pleasure to have you join me for my little party. Have a wonderful week.


  2. Sandi, I am really not as organized as it sounds! It's just that I have such a heavy load of eldercare and other things on my plate, that if I don't at least try to be organized and plan ahead, things just don't happen. I was talking with my hubby about that just tonight -- that I just don't really believe the Lord would have me give up the creative pursuits that are such a blessing to me. I just have to plan for them more carefully.

    Thank you for the good advice of a good cup of coffee or tea and taking time to reflect upon the true meaning of the season. I will take your advice to heart!

  3. I am having a small Christmas get together for some church ladies on Thursday afternoon. I need to get busy with my snacks. I am trying a new recipe and if it is good, I will post it on my blog. Preparing for Christmas is one of the fun things of the season for me.

  4. Oh it is comforting to have a plan. Sounds as if you do! My plans need to get more solidified.

  5. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Just wanted to ask you if the Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 flour works to bake loaves of bread? Any suggestions? I am rather new at this. I did take advantage of the sale they are having right now.

    I enjoy your blog.
    Susan B

  6. Ladies, so very nice to see you all here around my kitchen table!

    Arlene, I will look forward to seeing your snack recipe! I rely on your Easy Fudge recipe every year.

    Vee -- I couldn't function without a plan. Not at Christmas time or any other time. So much to juggle and very often I am dropping one ball or another. Can't always stick to the plan, but I have to have one.

    Susan B. (Anonymous) -- About the 1-to-1 flour -- In my experience, it doesn't work well at all for yeast breads. I only tried it once, in my regular focaccia bread recipe, and was extremely disappointed. I tried to post a link for you to my favorite gluten free blog:, but the link wouldn't work in this comment. So I will try to post it separately for you. Jeanine, at Faithfully Gluten Free, is in my opinion the best gluten free recipe developer out there. Her recipes always work out and they are delicious! I've made a number of her yeast breads and rolls with great success.


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.