It looks as though the baking aisle in every grocery store in Charlotte has exploded onto my kitchen island. I think I have more chocolate chips than Nestle and Hershey’s combined. I have nibs, pieces, chips, sprinkles, icings, and drops. I have flour, flour, and more flour. Sugars and spices and butter and eggs and a 2 quart jar of homemade vanilla extract.

I believe I’m ready.

I also have recipe boxes, recipe accordion files, cookbooks, saved food blog posts, and a holiday Pinterest board.

And containers and bags.

Yes, I believe I’m all set.

Baking at the holidays has always been one of my favorite activities. It’s about Christmas music and Christmas movies, my s’mores apron, and my baking sweatshirt.

All of it is fun. And it’s exhausting. But I love to bake things for people I love and care for.

There’s been a stigma about homemade gifts over the years and yet, I don’t know why. Is it seen as cheap? I hope not, because heaven knows ingredients aren’t cheap. Neither is the time put into the prep, the baking, the packaging, the shipping. So, why is it looked down upon? Are we so materialistic that we can’t see beyond dollar signs, even and especially at the holidays? I love gifts and gift cards as much as the next guy, honest, I do. But my most treasured gifts, have been the ones made for me.

Do you bake for the holidays? What are your thoughts and feelings on homemade gifts?

~lissa