Do you ever think about all the things you have to do to get ready for Christmas and begin to feel overwhelmed? Some years I’m excited and ready to get started with all the holiday fun.
And other years are more of a struggle. Whether it’s because of sickness in the family (mine or a child’s) or some other reason, the holiday season can get overwhelming.
I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
It’s also been called The Law of the Vital Few.
About 20% of the things we do are vital for moving our goal forward. The rest may be important, but 20% of the effort is going to create 80% of the results.
What’s your family’s “vital few” when it comes to Christmas baking? When you think of the memories you’re building in your family, which foods are the most important?
If you find yourself in a place where you just can’t do everything this year, focus on the vital few. For my family, that includes Peanut Butter Balls, Fudge, and Frozen Fruit Cups (I left these out last year and I heard about it!).
Maybe for you it’s your grandma’s Nut Bread recipe. Or the country ham dinner. Or the evening of cookie decorating. Focus on those memory filled dishes and keep everything else simple.
And if you’re just now building traditions for your young family, consider making a couple of them super simple. One of our vital few Christmas breakfast items is canned Grand’s cinnamon rolls. The only time we have these is at Christmas, so they stay special. It doesn’t get easier than popping open a can. On difficult years, we add scrambled eggs and Frozen Fruit Cups. On years with more energy we add something like Western Omelette Casserole and homemade hot cocoa.
I’d love to hear about your vital few recipes in the comments.
And I know we’ve been talking about Christmas baking, since this is a food blog. But you can adapt this line of thinking to any type of holiday tradition. Focus on the vital few and add in other things as time, budget and energy allow.