Typically, somewhere about mid-July, I start planning what I’m going to accomplish for the holiday season: Christmas gifts to create, cookies to make, events to attend. I promise myself it won’t be like last year, or the year before. But, somewhere about mid-December, I realize I lost the list I made, whether it was a physical note or a mental checklist.

When I find myself here, I have a go-to plan: Pinterest. I have an entire Pinterest board of Christmas goodie ideas. But, if I’m honest, I will probably never attempt most of them. It’s great to have a stash of ideas; however, my creations don’t always look like what the Pinterest pictures show. I did find a recipe for Avalanche Cookies on Facebook, though, and it is right up my alley — four ingredients, no-bake, literally takes 5 minutes. That’s my speed. (Guess what my colleagues are getting in their office goodie bag this year. Shhhh. Don’t tell!)

Do you ever find yourself in the “best laid plans” boat? Forgetting to make cupcakes for that classroom party? Failing to find the time to bake the cookies for the team banquet? We’ve all been there. No judgement. While it feels like it might be, it’s not cheating to pick up store-bought anything, especially in the case of classroom parties when most treats are required to be store-bought and/or individually wrapped.

In fact, I’m particularly grateful I don’t have to grow or raise all of the products I use to make the holiday treats I do accomplish, or for that matter the ready-made ones I buy. From sugar beets to rice to peanuts, I’m thankful for the farmers that raise those crops so I can make the Avalanche Cookies I mentioned. Instead of spending the growing season tending those crops, I was free to pursue other goals, hobbies and opportunities, clearly none of which related to handmade Christmas items on the list that can’t be found.

So, don’t look at Pinterest, or the crafty person next to you, and beat yourself up. Skip the guilt and buy the cookies if you have to. I don’t know that I’ve ever come close when it comes to accomplishing the kind of Christmas my July list sets forth, but somehow things turn out fine.  Besides, there’s always next year, right? Merry Christmas!