Buying and wrapping gifts. Planning a meal for 50 of your closest family members. Attending umpteen Christmas parties. Taking in productions of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol on top of your children’s pageants. Who has time for the holidays anymore? Instead of actually celebrating the season, we rush around, madly, readying everything to celebrate. At the end, we’re out of gas, we have no energy left, nothing to give, not even a forced smile.

Baking is also a ubiquitous part of the holiday season. But don’t let the stress and anxiety ruin this task that can be so enjoyable. Baking cookies, cakes, breads and other pastry to give as gifts is a practice as old as the hills, but if you’re too pressed for time to turn on the oven, turn to those who can help. Many local bakeries offer delicious options for any holiday occasion. Take a little help from those who are more than willing to offer it.

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