Christmas cookies are everywhere!  Stop by the grocery store and you can’t avoid the special baking displays lined with brown sugar and cake mixes.  Christmas means “start baking!”  The old Pillsbury advertisement said it well, “Nothing says loving like something from the oven!”

By way of confession, I am no expert baker.  I am definitely using stock footage on today’s post.  But I know many of you love to pull out your mother’s famous Christmas cookie recipe.  So how is it possible to bake delightful treats for your family and friends without gaining ten extra pounds in December?

Bake & Give.  Make a list of the neighbors and friends you’d like to bless and then make up a plate for each household.  Pull out your favorite recipes: sugar cookies, seven layer bars, chocolate peanut butter balls, and go to town!  Have your kids help you bake and decorate your delicious cookies.  By the time you get all your cookies wrapped up, there shouldn’t be too many leftover.  Just enough for you and your family to enjoy as a special treat, instead of a cookie invasion to last for weeks.

Freeze & Save.  Freeze leftover cookies and enjoy them slowly in the New Year.  They will keep perfectly delicious in your freezer for three months.  If you receive lots of treats from different neighbors or co-workers, you can freeze those also.  Just enjoy a few cookies and freeze the rest to enjoy in January, February and March.  You can divvy up the cookies evenly among family members and bet on who can make the cookies last the longest.

Shop & Skip.  When you’re out grocery shopping, skip buying the gingerbread pound cake they’re sampling, the egg nog, and the special holiday M&Ms.  Don’t buy any special treats for yourself or your family.  There will be plenty of opportunities for treats at school Christmas parties, office parties, neighborhood parties…you get the picture.

You don’t need to be a Scrooge and outlaw all cookies in December.  But you can’t say yes at every temptation or else you’ll look like Santa Claus come New Year.  So if you love to bake, make your favorite cookies, share them with your friends and loved ones, and enjoy the tastes of Christmas in moderation.

How do you handle the temptation of freshly baked cookies in your house?

Arlene Pellicane

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