For some odd reason, I’m more excited about Christmas this year.
I can’t figure out why. I’m as busy as I usually am running frazzled from one thing to the next.
Most years, I find myself wishing the holidays were over and wanting my life back to normal.
In the past, I have to do these a little pep talks with myself, saying “It’s almost over and you can do this. And, Christmas is fun!”
This year, I’m caught off guard when I happen to hear Christmas carols in stores or when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or tells me to have a Happy New Year. My heart swells and I’m filled with gratitude.
Maybe, I was a Grinch or a Scrooge without even knowing it? I hope no one noticed.
Maybe I’m getting old?
Day to day living and trying to raise a family and/or work is hard enough. Then, add all the extra added pressure of finding the perfect gift for everyone you love, entertaining with the relatives, and baking massive amounts of “stress” puts us over the edge. Make life easy on yourself and simplify.
This year I’ve been baking for other people and selling cookies. I guess it’s my way of giving back for all the years I didn’t have the energy myself. There is nothing wrong with buying premade treats and goodies for the holidays or letting someone else do the baking for you.
There are some easy ways to take store bought things and make them feel more like they are homemade. Cheeseboards and dessert trays are easy to make, and everyone likes them.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or tired this year, be kind to yourself. It will get better. And, maybe some year, you’ll even enjoy it.
There are at least a thousand different ways to make a cheeseboard. I like the Koldtbord Scandinavian tradition. It’s basically a smorgasbord of only cold things. They are put on a table and guests serve themselves. cheeseboards or Koldtbords also work well for family gatherings. Ask everyone to bring something. That makes it fun for everyone and simple for yourself.
How to make a Scandinavian Koldtbord:
Cheese:Choose your favorite cheeses. Have a variety of hard and soft and sharp and mild. Buying locally made cheese will give you something interesting to tell you family about.
Meat: Summer sausage or a spreadable meat like Braunschweiger pair well with cheese and bread, but don’t stop there. Most traditional Koldtbords also have smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs.
Breads: Make a basket of crackers and breads. Have an assortment of various grains. Rye bread and crunchy crackers are traditional options, but lefsa and dinner rolls work well, too.
Vegetables: Pickled veggies are the perfect addition to the heavier meats and cheeses. The vinegar helps cut through the fats and cleanse your mouth getting you ready for the next bite. Spicey radishes and sauerkraut are also interesting additions.
Condiments: Mustards and horseradish add a little zip. Cranberry chutney or apple butter are an easy way to balance out the saltiness. Plain and simple butter is also a nice spread to include.