Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars

In addition to this delicious recipe, this post contains a compensated review by BlogHer and Intel, as well as a $250 Best Buy Gift Card giveaway!

I hope that you’ve all gone and checked out the BlogHer Review Round-Up and Give-Away Page! You can go on there, read and post about your hectic schedule, and possibly win a laptop like the one I have received with the Intel® Core™ i5 processor! It is so fast that I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. My previous laptop was truly on its last legs. it struggled loading some of the more intensive websites I frequent, and sometimes stuttered when I streamed something like a flash video. Fortunately, my Intel® Core™ i5 processor allows me to do all of that with ease, and so much more. I no longer have to worry about choosing which programs I leave open simultaneously. I can even run Photoshop and browse the Internet at the same time – something that would be a complete impossibility with my previous computer. On top of all of that, with my new WiDi connector I am no longer limited to my tiny 13″ screen. I am able to set up a wireless connection to my TV within minutes and without Kramer’s help (which he is quite happy about)! Now I can stream videos and music directly to my High Definition TV and edit my photos on a much larger scale. Everything that I can do on my laptop is wirelessly displayed on my 42″ TV; it really is incredible.

Now, it’s your turn to win something fun for the holidays! As I announced last week, BlogHer has given me a $250 Best Buy gift card to give away to one lucky reader from The Crepes of Wrath! I am so excited to be able to give someone this right before the busy winter season – I know one of you will be able to put it to good use! It’s really easy to enter and even easier to win! Last week, I asked you what you would buy with the $250 gift card. This week, I want to know about your holiday plans! What is stressful about them and how do you stay sane through it all? I will announce the winner from my random drawing in December, so I will be sure to keep you up to date on that. I wish you all the best of luck! Don’t worry about writing a huge essay about your story – the drawing is random, but I still want to hear about your holiday schedule and hopefully I will be able to pick up some helpful tips on how to keep it together during this hectic season! You can also discuss how to manage this crazy season on my Facebook Page.

Note: This give away is now closed. The recipe, however, is delicious as ever!

I know that almost everyone has been making a Cranberry Upside Down Cake lately, but I had to do it as well, because I love cranberries and it is such a beautifully festive cake. The glistening cranberries, coated in cinnamon-sugar, almost look like jewels, don’t they? I love the overall brightness of the cake. It has a little lemon extract and the zest of an entire orange, making the cake absolutely delicious on its own. I couldn’t help but pick off a corner or two to sample as I cut this cake into bars. Can you blame me? The juicy cranberries pop in your mouth while the velvety cake keeps it all together. I loved the cinnamon-sugar aspect of this, too. It’s not often that you find cranberries and cinnamon together, but it truly works (and the butter that is used to grease the pan doesn’t hurt, either). This is the perfect thing to make in a hurry before a family gathering or to bring into your office to get everyone excited for the holiday season. It only takes a few minutes to put together, and the result is both tasty and impressive. The sticky, gooey cranberries on top of the citrus cake really can’t be beat!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Your ingredients.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Combine your flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Combine your 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Butter your pan with no less than 3 tablespoons of butter (believe me – do this or your cake will not come out of the pan) and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the butter.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Gently shake the pan so that the cinnamon-sugar coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Spread the fresh cranberries out over the sugar mixture.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Beat the remaining 1 cup of sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Beat in the orange zest.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Beat in the eggs and extracts.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Gently add in 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, and finish with 1/3 of the flour. You always want to start and end with the dry ingredients when slowly incorporating them into a batter.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake BarsCranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Gently spread your batter over the cranberries (I made another extra cake to bring into the office). Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Allow to cool for 30-40 minutes before sliding a butter knife around the edges of the cake, flipping over, and tapping until the cake slides out.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Feel free to sample the remaining cranberry and cake bits left in the pan after you’ve removed the cake. It is just too good.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Allow to finish cooling before slicing into bars.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake BarsCranberry Upside Down Cake Bars

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32-36 bars
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus an additional 3 tablespoons, for greasing the pan)
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ bags fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with 3 tablespoons of butter and set aside. I know this seems like an insane amount of butter to grease a pan with, but you want to be sure that the cake comes out of the pan in one piece, and believe me, it takes no less than 3 tablespoons of butter to do this. Feel free to use 4, if you're daring! Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and gently move it around so that it coat the bottom (but not the sides) well. Lay the cranberries on top of the sugar as evenly as you can.
  3. Beat together the remaining ½ cup + 6 tablespoons tablespoons of butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until combined, then add in the zest, then add in the vanilla and lemon extract.
  4. Add ⅓ of the flour to the cake batter, then add ½ of the milk. Add in another ⅓ of the flour, mix to combine, then add in the remaining ½ of the milk. Add in the final ⅓ of the flour and mix until just moistened.
  5. Gently spoon the batter over the cranberries and spread it out as evenly as possible (this is a bit difficult, as the batter is sticky, but it's easier as you keep going and it certainly doesn't need to be perfect - mine wasn't, as evidenced by the photos above). Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 30-40 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges of the cake, place a plate or baking sheet on top of the cake pan, then flip it over and carefully tap the pan until the cake falls out, cranberry side up. Makes 32-36 bars. I served my bars in plain white muffin cups, for easy handling.


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463 Responses

  1. Jane M says:

    I like to shop online and then run to the mall at the very end to tidy things up. Nothing major, that’s just how I shop!

  2. i am fairly organized so i don’t tend to get too freaked out around the holidays, but wine does help take the edge off when i get tooooo frazzled… :)

  3. Katie says:

    The stressful part of my holidays is figuring out time to get everything done and see everyone in the family! I’m still a student, so I don’t get done until the week before Christmas. My dad’s side of the family has to have Christmas the weekend before because it’s too hectic to do it ON Christmas because of my cousins being married. Then, on the actual day, we have 2 other families to get to and see. For a week, it feels like we are running around, cooking, baking, and trying to fit everything (and everyone) in!

  4. Georgia says:

    I’m Australian, so naturally I’ll be engaging in our traditional Xmas time activities of ‘Hit the Chookaroo’, ‘Chase Mummy Round the Billabongadoo’ and ‘Koala vs Kangaroo: Death Match 3000′. S’truth!

  5. Auntie Donna says:

    I am making these today, so festive and I know they will be delicious! I am also making your lemon sugar cookies, Grandma said they were one of the best cookies she has ever had! Do you think they will freeze okay? that is how I like to cope with Holiday stress do a bunch of baking ahead of time. XO

    • Sydney says:

      Auntie Donna: I heard that she liked them, that makes me so happy! :) I wish she had a computer! Oh well. I think that they will definitely freeze okay – I think most cookies do, right? You’ve always been quite the baker!

  6. Alyse says:

    Living the student life and working means that we can’t go home right away for Christmas so we’ll probably spend a day or two skiing in Utah before heading home to the warmer climates of Las Vegas and Southern California. We get to spend Christmas with both our families! I think the hardest thing about Christmas is just trying to not get too carried away. Its best to just keep things simple, decide which things are most important and focus on spending time with the important people in your life.

  7. Mom says:

    I have a problem with keeping secrets. I buy the presents and immediately want to give them to the recipient. I have to wait until the last minute or I will giving gifts in November! Yummmmm again Sydney! What I got you was…….

    • Sydney says:

      Mom: I know you do! I have a problem keeping them too, though. Kramer is really good at it until the very last day, then he can’t take it anymore. I need some of that restraint! At least this year I’m mailing presents, so they will have to wait.

  8. Mami2jcn says:

    Definitely visits from relatives can get stressful. Luckily we don’t have any coming this Christmas!

  9. Mami2jcn says:


  10. Celeste says:

    Haha, I have the same problem as your mom, Sydney! I used to secretly unwrap all of my presents, then wrap them back up. Isn’t that terrible? Now, I get so excited about presents I’ve bought that I tell people what they are!

    I’m a teacher, so luckily Christmas break is the least stressful time of the season. It’s so nice to relax for two weeks. We don’t travel either, which I think cuts down on the stress. The vacation means cooking, crafting, reading, running and spending lots of time with my man and my family! I can’t wait.

  11. Juliana says:

    Holidays are always hectic for me. I work at Disneyland, so my schedule is always work work work! On my days off, if I’m not going to class (finals are in two weeks :() then I’m getting errands and household chores done, and trying to fit in some holiday baking. This year I’m already starting to buy gifts, so I feel a bit more prepared than last Christmas!

  12. adrienne says:

    The most stressful part of the holidays is having to see my boyfriends family and my own with only a week off. Driving 2 hours back and forth puts a real damper on the whole “holiday spirit”, but we’ve finally gotten smart and only fly into one town and fly out of the other so we can be sure to spend equal times with both families.a

  13. Chels says:

    I work through them by enjoying preparing with my sister! She’s such a good organizer and uplifter so it makes holiday planning and decorating so much fun.

  14. Neesha says:

    The most stressful part about the holidays is balancing work with family. Working a part time job means I don’t get holiday pay, so I have to really plan out when I go home and how long I get to stay and do a crazy amount of make up days before and after. Stress aside, though, the plan is always to go home and spend time with my parents and siblings. Every other year my sister gets to come home, so this year we’ll all be together. We’ll eat and do stockings and play games all weekend, and for just a few days we’ll truly relax. It’s wonderful.

  15. Lindsey says:

    My boyfriend and I are both going back to visit our families over Christmas – his live in upstate NY and mine live in Utah though, so we don’t get to spend it together. It will be nice to be back in our respective hometowns but I wish we could spend the holiday together without me giving up family time, haha.

  16. mrsblocko says:

    I do almost all of my shopping online. That eliminates most of the stress. The stressful part for me is all the parties before xmas where you have to bring a dish to pass. I always feel like im being judged.

    Xmas itself is pretty relaxing. we go up to my mom’s and she does all the cooking! (Oh i help with the clean up but it’s not the same stress as planning and doing the actual work!)

  17. ingrid says:

    I love all the cranberry recipes floating around. I’ll definitely be giving this a try. I think though that I’d add orange extract instead of lemon.

    My holiday plans include staying cool and not trying to take on so much. I’ve already started the Christmas shopping so that’s a plus.

  18. Laura K says:

    I already have my Christmas shopping done (I always plan to have it done by Dec. 1st) so now I can sit back & enjoy myself over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. :)

  19. Tina from PA says:

    I’m so making these bars today! I have 2 bags of cranberries leftover,these sound perfect! I’m so with Mom,I too cann’t wait to give gifts,I just get so excited!We are going to Pittsburgh Pa to be with my family this Christmas,our biggest challange is fitting everything in the car. I’m the cookie baker in the family,I make at least 20 different kinds, and them take them to Pitts.At least if we get stuck in traffic on our 41/2 hr trip we have lots to eat!

  20. Michelle says:

    I like that you made these into bars you could grab and walk away with, instead of a bigger cake. They look delicious, and really festive.

    This holiday, I just want to hang out w/ my whole family and RELAX. It’s been a stressful autumn and we could use some down time together.

  21. Carmen says:

    Oooh, I’d love a chance to win that. What a great gift.

    Your cranberry bars look good but I’m thinking about making your brownies with pretzels. YUM!

  22. Carmen says:

    My twitter where I posted the link to the giveaway

  23. I will be stuck in freezing Poughkeepsie New York doing school work and last minute papers and finals until December 16th. I have very little time to do any shopping, and very little money to shop with either! My holiday plans will consist of penny pinching and creative thinking to get my friends and family thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank. That’s hard to do when all your boyfriend wants is video game systems! I’m taking it day by day, and plan to figure it all out last minute, as usual…

  24. Lindsay says:

    Living in CA with both of our families in MI means my husband and I have to travel over Christmas (boo!). There are 3 keys to keeping my sanity. 1 – Acknowledge the fact that the airport (hello, LAX!) is going to be insane, so come early early early and bring some awesome books and don’t let it get to you. 2 – Do ALL the shopping online, so there’s no transporting of presents on the airplanes and no waiting in lines in store parking lots to get a space (because there’s never enough parking during NORMAL times of year here, let alone Christmas). 3 – We found an AWESOME pet sitting company that is not cheap but is SOOOO worthwhile for making us feel ok about leaving our little kitten home alone. I love my friends (and LOVE that they help us out sometimes by feeding the cat), but the peace of mind hiring a professional brings is amazing.

  25. Lindsay says:

    Hi, Sydney!

    My husband and I travel to St. Louis every year to see both our families. Scheduling between all the siblings and parents has become so complex that we now use an Excel spreadsheet to keep the hours and days straight and who will be where when. It’s not relaxing, but it is great to see everyone! Also, we don’t bother shipping any gifts there ahead of time because we always need the empty suitcase space for our own gifts on the flight back home!

  26. Laura L. says:

    The most stressful part of the holidays this year will be trying to get all my shopping, wrapping, baking, and mailing of gifts while working two jobs!!! Argh!!! The good thing about this holiday season is that we won’t be moving, like we did the last TWO years in a row!!!

  27. Erin says:

    I already got half of my Christmas shopping done while I was in New York earlier in the month, so I just need to finish that up. I’m just getting back to work after having hand surgery, so money’s tight & I’m getting creative with my gifts this year. I’m also really excited to see my boyfriend when he’s home for a week. He lives in NYC & I live in Ohio, so we don’t get to see each other too often & I think I’m looking forward to that more than anything.

  28. Jennifer says:

    The most stressful part of my holidays is trying to coordinate visits with all of the family & friends I would like to see during the short time I am home!

  29. Tamara says:

    The holidays are a fun kind-of hectic for me. I love planning gifts and just the hustle and bustle of it all. Unfortunately, my family has had an odd past couple of years and it’s been really stressful trying to find a place for get everyone together and ensuring they can all get there. I love getting together and playing games with my family and it’s always worth it in the end. I can’t wait for the day that we all have a place to gather and call home.

  30. We’ll be hanging out with family for the holidays this year. The only thing I really stress out about is getting the perfect gift for members of the family. I know it’st he thought that counts but I just want everyone to be happy. :)

  31. paulke says:

    I only get stressed about what to get others. The other things that might stress the holiday–parties, decorating, etc–I take one at a time so it isn’t so stressful for me. And the main stress? Once I get my shopping done that’s taken care of too. :)

  32. Bailie Marie says:

    I am getting married in January so all my stress is going to that and there is none left for the holidays!!!

  33. Megan says:

    Cake looks delicious!

    I guess the most hectic thing I have to deal with during Christmas holidays is deciding whether to spend it up north w/my bf’s family (i have been for the past 2 yrs) or whether to spend it with my family in LA. I still don’t know what to do! :(

  34. Intisar says:

    The traveling, trying to balance time between both of our families is definitely the most stressful part of the holidays for me.

  35. Lynne says:

    The holidays are crazy and hectic for our family just like everyone else. But I guess that is part of what I look forward to! I love all the get togethers and shopping and holiday parties and all!! So I guess, I keep myself sane by just enjoying each and every moment!

  36. Shanie says:

    DRIVING in CRAZY Canadian winter storms! Last year we drove (what was suppose to be a three hour drive, took us 4 1/2) in a foot and a half of snow!! This year we are only going home if the sky is blue!!!

  37. Margaret says:

    I’m just working until Christmas eve, though that will be a break considering school gets out in two weeks. I cannot wait!

  38. Dara says:

    I am going to relax and try to minimize the work I have to do around the house! this may mean going out to eat.

  39. Rachel says:

    So far, I’ve been stressed out by an upcoming holiday cookie exchange. I’ve decided to de-stress by choosing one of your cookie recipes!

  40. kimberly says:

    My schedule consists of working the midnight shift at a hospital and trying to balance that with finding time to Christmas shop, time to prepare food to take to parties, trying to find time to get to these parties. I will figure it out. I will enjoy my time with my family, but I might be a little sleepy!

  41. nina says:

    I am a newlywed like you, so this year I am flying to the Midwest to be with my hubby’s family. I did host our own thanksgiving day dinner though, and I stayed organized by cooking in advance, listing everything extensively, shopping ahead of time, and staying sane with a pumpkin mojito (or two ;-p). Although I will be out of town for christmas, I am aiming to have my tree up this weekend and bake for everyone, using those aforementioned list ;-p Other than staying organized, working out regularly keeps me sane!

  42. Deb says:

    Right now I’m thinking about decorating with an almost 3 year old underfoot and that is a bit stressful.

    I’m going to try to keep my stress levels down by keeping our finances in check and keeping things simple this year.

  43. Jenn says:

    I try to avoid the Christmas stress by making spreadsheets and a workback schedule–basically, who is getting what from where for how much so I have a budget (no surprises) and shopping list, as well as a general idea of when items should be purchased (this workback also includes my Christmas party(ies) clothing and host gifts, office decoration contests, etc.) I have it as a shared document with my boyfriend so we’re both in the loop.

  44. Jodee Rose says:

    The most stressful part for me is getting out in the snow to send packages to my internet friends around the country.
    This year, I hope to make up for Thanksgiving (for which I was sick and in bed) with a grand feast. =)

  45. Leli Wiggins says:

    Holiday stress come from trying to get everything done on time and with no gliches. I think the only way to beat the stress is to go with the flow. I did this last year, and that was the first year, I actually had a relaxing year. This year, no luck for me, stress is already hitting me :(

  46. marcia says:

    I’ve decided that this year I’ll wait until new years eve to cook the big holiday dinner because I always miss out on the fun of Christmas!

  47. Elaine says:

    I just do the things that matter to me, everything else falls into place…took years to realize this!

  48. Amanda W says:

    I am visiting my family in Florida.

  49. Janice says:

    The most stressful time for me is running around and trying to figure out what to buy everyone. That is the stage I’m at now….once everything is purchased, I’m great. I love to stay home and wrap and bake and bake and bake!!! I am trying to get the stressful part done a little earlier this year to allow myself more time to relax and enjoy the holidays!!

  50. Kim T. says:

    I’m very excited for my holiday plans. I didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with my immediate family because they live far away and airfare was far out of my budget, but I found a steal on tickets for Christmas. So I’ll be spending an entire week down in Kentucky with my family. All of this will be right after moving into a new apartment with my boyfriend. It will be our first place together, no roommates, just us. I’ve been obsessively scouring Apartment Therapy for inspiration. Plus, things are going well at work. So, I’m happy to say this holiday season so far is shaping up to be a very happy one.

  51. Sue says:

    I try to keep organized with lists and a budget on a spreadsheet. When we’ve spent enough, we stop! I don’t want to see huge holiday bills in January. I also have a timetable of what I’m baking when. I find that being organized alleviates all the stress. Congratulations on the new laptop – it sounds wonderful! And this cranberry cake looks wonderful! Will definitely be on my baking list!!

  52. Meryl says:

    I buy everything at off times when the stores are the least busy.

  53. emma says:

    Trying to cook as many of these delicious-looking recipes as I can!

  54. I have learned with age not to let the holiday stresses get to me. I try to hold what’s important in my heart. I try to get my Christmas cards out right after Thanksgiving. I do my cookies and appetizers, a little at a time and freeze them to be pulled out as needed. I make folders of the meals that I want to make and have the recipes right there. I make up grocery lists of the things I need. All of this helps me stay calmer. I love Christmas with my family and friends and never want to not enjoy my time with them because I am too stressed. Happy Holidays to all!

  55. Kristina T says:

    My holidays are hectic because there are so many people involved! Every year everybody from my mom’s family (she has 8 siblings and most of them have at least two kids) reunites in MN and we have about four whole days of family activity time. My poor fi, whose family gatherings are limited to a few hours, probably almost had a heart attack during his first christmas family fest!

  56. GYM says:

    hopefully no stress! i’m going to see my family in new jersey!

  57. Jessie C. says:

    Holiday season is quite stressful with all parties and get together, I try to keep up with schedules by using check list, to do list… all listed so I won’ forget.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  58. Jetrina says:

    The worst part about holidays is finals week at school! other than that, i love baking, giving it to people and eating some too =]

  59. Erin says:

    The most stressful part for me is finals at school. They’re over a week before Christmas. Once that’s done, the rest of the holidays will be easy in comparison.

  60. Josh says:

    having a fun holiday season in wonderful/cold NE PA. I usually deal with the stress by spending time with family/friends and enjoying the baked goods my mother still makes for the holiday times.

  61. NoraB says:

    My holidays are always fairly low key — so hopefully i’ll be able to just relax!!

  62. Nicole says:

    I’m going to spend the holidays with my and my boyfriends’ families, and then hopefully go to Florida!

  63. Emily says:

    Honestly, I stay sane by baking. It’s one of the few things I really enjoy about all of this craziness. And it’s usually what I gift to most people because I am a poor college student.

  64. laura lok says:

    STRESS AT THE HOLIDAY!!!! I try to avoide stress by doing as much as possible early on. I would much rather enjoy my family then deal with stress

    yummy stuff by the way almost forgot to post somethign I became so hungry

  65. patrice says:

    Getting everything done is stressful, as well as the price of things these days. I’m just going to take it slow and steady , and remember what Christmas is really about.

  66. Kasia says:

    No stress, just making the best out of my time with the kids.

  67. Sarah Bryner says:

    The holidays are always so much fun. I love the excitement in my children. We enjoy driving through town looking at lights, sledding, and hot cocoa by the fire!

  68. Mac says:

    My holiday plans include lots of family time! The most stressful part of the holidays is squeezing in all the extra “details” that happen at this time of year. The best way I know how to stay sane is to stay organized and plan ahead as much as possible, but when all is said and done…I’m stay flexible because it just seems like some plans always need adjusting at the last minute.

  69. Chelsea says:

    I’ve never made cranberry cake- these look really yummy!
    My mom’s annual cookie exchange is this weekend, so that’s first on my list. Then early Christmas at my grandma’s, Christmas Eve at my aunt’s, Christmas at my other aunt’s, and back to work! Whew! Oh, the Ducks may be going to the Championship Game on January 10th… that’ll be a holiday in my book! :)

  70. Sunshyn V says:

    I usually am so fed up with non-stop work and dealing with rude, impatient people that by the time the holiday gets here, I just want to shutdown. We try to keep things simple and relaxed on the holiday itself and have a big gathering and feast a couple weeks later.
    chainmail(at) iwon(dot) com

  71. Ali F. says:

    The holidays always end up being a stressful time, but this year my family has agreed that we want to keep it… well… about family! With my dad passing away, we want to focus on how lucky we are to have each other. And since this will be my last holiday in Tucson before moving to the east coast, that’s the perfect plan!

  72. gabrielle says:

    My holiday plans consist of spending quality time with my family and my fiance’s family. I like to make baked goods with my mom and just catch up and share stories. Nothing too stressful.

  73. Serena says:

    This year my best friends and I aren’t spending money on gifts for each other, instead, we’re having a fabulous dinner party! We’re each going to bring our favorite bottle of wine to share and everyone is in charge of a different dish. In my opinion, the best gift possible is being in the company of good friends (with a good bottle of wine!) Cheers! :)

  74. Andrea says:

    I’m hoping to just have some laid back holiday plans. See my boyfriends family on Christmas Eve and my family on Christmas day. We’re scaling back a bit on presents so that eliminates a lot of the stress! But a Best Buy giftcard definitely wouldn’t hurt 😉

  75. Erin says:

    I’ve never really understood why people get so stressed out by the holidays. It’s a chance to enjoy good company and food – revel in it!

  76. Phil says:

    I’ll be working during the holidays more this year than I ever have. As a result, I’m hoping to just find time to be organized and enjoy it without losing my head. When I was a kid I always went to my great aunt’s house every Christmas Eve to have dinner with family. My grandma always used it as an opportunity to give my sister and I each one gift – always a new set of jammies. And no matter how old we get, she still keeps up with the tradition.

  77. Janie says:

    I love shopping for my family and picture them opening something that will be a nice surprise.

  78. Monica says:

    Christmas isn’t too terrible this year, it’s just our normal managing of the two separate families. It’s a bit more complicated because the Hubby’s brother now has a lady friend – so he has to manage too and we had to switch things around a bit.

    So the schedule:
    Thursday – My husband’s immediate family
    Friday – My husband’s extended family (we’re talking super-marathon 12 hour day here. I get SO tired)
    Saturday – My immediate family
    and my extended family will be in there somewhere too.

    Right now I’m more worried about getting through the end of the semester so I can get to Christmas!

  79. Stefs says:

    Making sure I got all my ducks in a row is the most stressful to me, so basically the days prior to the actual holiday. Once the holiday and all the family is here, I love it!

    Also, that recipe looks delicious!

  80. Marnie says:

    My family is travelling (9 hours!) to the northeast–having fun movies for the kiddos definitely makes for a less stressful trip! It’s important to make sure everyone sleeps and exercises, too–both help beat crankiness. We’ll have cookie decorating Christmas Eve, and a fabulous Christmas dinner with carols around the piano afterwards!

  81. Elizabeth Doyle says:

    I don’t really know what’s going on for the holiday season in my family. Ideally, my partner and I would like to take our son on a mini-vacation to Ruidoso, New Mexico, but since we’re realistic (and broke) we’re probably going to follow tradition and hang out at my parents’ house Christmas Day. Not that I mind, my son gets showered with affection from Grandma and we all get thoroughly kissed and snorfed by their miniature Schnauzers.

  82. B Smith says:

    Holiday stress is brought on by our selves. We need to slow it down.

  83. twelve30 says:

    I would love to edit photos faster & also surf the web faster. Thanks for the giveaway.

  84. Inbar says:

    I’m in law school, which more or less means I’ll be working straight through all of December. I’m missing Hannukah because of finals (woe!) and I’m working straight through Christmas and New Years’ on a project due Jan 10. That being said, I still plan to celebrate by baking and cooking a huge mound of food for family and friends whenever I can get a break from studying!

  85. Rebecca says:

    your Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars are amazing. and i’m enjoying the photography at your blog, too. i just happened by via blogher. my holiday plans are tolerable, but include 3 or 4 separate households coming together, so coordination of schedules for who gets what time slot between the 24th and 25th creates a lot of stress in my holidays.

  86. Uyen says:

    I’m going to Ames, IA to visit my sister!!

  87. Serena says:

    I have no tips for you, unfortunately. I get overwhelmed being around a lot of people (and I have a big family), so I have to escape to quiet corners and not talk to anyone every so often. As for plans, we have SO much going on! Birthdays, family parties–so much. We’re booked until July, which is the only month our family doesn’t have birthdays in. 😉

  88. Laurel says:

    The holidays are stressful this year because Im getting my wisdom teeth out and getting my cats teeth cleaned in my parents city. It should be funny to see how he reacts to my parents cats……

  89. Lauren B says:

    This holiday season is a bit more hectic than most. I’m getting to see more of my family over the holidays this year, which is really exciting to me. I hardly ever get to see my cousins, uncles and grandparents. I haven’t seen my cousins in 5 years! I just got back from seeing them last week for thanksgiving. Now, I have three weeks left of school, I must get through finals and my last group projects. Then, the day after my last final I will hop on a plane to visit my uncle and little cousin. My little cousin’s birthday is in December and all she wanted for her birthday was for me to visit (how sweet, right?), so I’m going to be there for her 11th birthday. After that, I get home on the 23 and leave the 24th to go see the rest of my family for Christmas. Somewhere in there I’ll hopefully be able to shop for presents lol!

  90. Lauren B says:

    Ohhh… I was going to add. I also made a sour cream coffee cake from your recipe posted here and it was a huge hit with my family! Everyone loved it!

  91. Jocelyn says:

    The holidays can definitely be stressful. This year my husband and I have made the plan to run our holiday-related errands early weekend mornings, and only give ourselves up until a certain time (lunch time). Then after lunch time, it’s all about relaxing and having fun with the kids. Then during the week, I set aside 30 minutes a day to go over my to-do list and to prepare for the upcoming weekend.

  92. Jennifer D says:

    I stay sane by leaving a night or two a week to do nothing but sit at home and watch cheesy christmas shows.

  93. Saarah says:

    I have two sets of family that I have to see over the Holidays so its always a bit of a rush and ridiculous trying to plan. This year, I’m 14 weeks pregnant and so I have THREE families I have to visit all during the same week. I’m spending the weekend before Christmas (17-20th with my Mom) because she seems to be the most understanding the actual “date” doesn’t so much matter to her. So we’ll be doing a lot of fun girly stuff and opening presents, and there will be lots of cooking going on. The morning of the 20th I’m flying out to to spend a few days with the father of our soon-to-be-babys family. That was a mouthful! They all live in MN and I’ve never been there so I’m excited about that, but nervous because I’ve never met his family, so that will be exciting! Friday afternoon (24th) I’m flying to my dads house and spending the last few days of the holiday with my dad, my stepmom, my two brothers/sister in laws, and my two nieces.

    I don’t honestly know how I plan to stay sane, much less not stressed out but I’ll do my best 😛 I plan to eat a lot of food, which I’m doing anyway being pregnant, but I just plan to try to make the best of it and focus on what matters, which is family and being together, regardless of the stress.

  94. BakerGirl says:

    Our holiday plans will be quiet this year, we aren’t headed home to be with our families but we’ll have fun watching the boys enjoy Christmas day. We’re hoping to deliver Meals On Wheels on Christmas to bring a smile to someone who might need one and to show the boys that Christmas is more than receiving presents. Merry Christmas!

  95. Chelsea Leming says:

    I’m just trying to do things early and not overthink things!!

  96. Anne says:

    Our holiday schedule is going to be pretty quiet. We will have some family over, but I don’t stress about much.

  97. Melissa says:

    Your cranberry cake looks awesome!

    My whole family is visiting for Christmas, and we’re going to make a massive meal, probably with turkey and ham and lots of pies and banana pudding, because we weren’t with the family for Thanksgiving, so my mom wants to make up for it.

  98. jr911 says:

    Christmas cards used to stress me out so I just decided to stop doing them altogether.

  99. Kris says:

    My holiday plans include a dim sum breakfast with a friends family, working, and then going to see a movie. My brother works retail, so my family doesn’t get together until after the holidays, and we always go to our parents house! It makes things much less stressful. :)

  100. Sarah says:

    For the holidays, I plan to kick back and just have as many good times as I can with my friends, and hopefully make new ones! I’ve learned that you make friends more easily when you’re light-hearted and free of stress. Best way to avoid stress is with friends and family!

  101. Erin says:

    Even though I just hosted Thanksgiving, my family *kindly* volunteered me to host Christmas too. With two little kids, I’m going to have my work cut out for me. Too bad my husband won’t even be here to enjoy all the hard work and good food – he has to travel for work :(

  102. Benita says:

    Oh, yes, this is definitely coming to work! By the way, Sydney, your Mom’s stuffing was stupendous–there were more 2nd and 3rd helpings of that than anything else! My family thanks both you and your Mom.

    My holiday “thing” is baking and decorating cookies–about 40 dozen cookies go out in various tins. Wish I owned stock in the dairy that Trader Joe’s uses for unsalted butter. :)

  103. Clarelle says:

    “I want to know about your holiday plans!”

    Make lots of sweets with my sister- nice sister bonding time :) then celebrate at my cousins house…. And hope that I don’t gain weight 😡

  104. Clarelle says:

    Also, 2 entries still allowed? If so, I tweeted again :)!/nyumimi

  105. Carol says:

    I reduce stress over the holidays by letting my mom do all the work! Is that bad? Hey, I don’t live with her and if she wants to decorate her house to the nines that’s her business. My sweet girl and I get to enjoy her tree without any cleanup.

    Yes, I help with the cooking…

  106. Scott Martin says:

    I am a total multi-tasker. You have to be when you are a single dad. It has been hard and somewhat restrictive, but totally worth it. You also need to schedule time for play otherwise we all go insane.


    Scott Martin

  107. Melody says:

    This Christmas is going to be both stressful and exciting because it is my first Christmas as a wife and as a step-mother! I want to make sure that my new 6 year old still feels that sense of comfort and belonging that goes along with her past traditions, but I also want to begin to incorporate new things that will become OUR traditions.

    I plan to stay sane by making sure that I stop to enjoy all of the precious, goofy and crazy moments we have together, and to continually turn us away from the consumerism that can come with Christmas, and instead point us to our faith and family as our reasons to celebrate!

  108. Chris M. says:

    Plans are christmas parties with both sides of the family. Thanks for the giveaway

  109. Stan says:

    The holidays sure can be hectic between juggling presents, work, family get togethers and staying relaxed. That’s why I like to take a vacation every December to just unwind.

  110. Meg says:

    To stay sane during the holiday season I plan a vacation to someplace warm, so it gives me a chance to relax and then come back and enjoy a white Christmas! It also makes me get everything done before I leave :)

  111. My holiday plans are to be home in Oklahoma with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, my sister and her boyfriend. I’m stressed about affording gifts for everyone and about being the only single one in the group this year. I stay sane by remembering that you don’t have to spend a lot to give a thoughtful gift and maybe Santa’s got a membership for me under the tree…haha.

  112. Anna says:

    I’m a teacher and so even though the holidays are super stressful, I get to look forward to 2 weeks off. I also get to see 25 eight-year olds super excited about Santa and help them make a sweet and thoughtful gift for their family.

  113. Chris says:

    I *LOVE* the holidays. My mom and dad got divorced a couple years ago. Being 28, I am my Mom’s replacement in the extended family for the holidays. As my mom and dad used to pretty much do everything, I now *get* to do pretty much everything with my dad. It’s a good thing that I *LOVE* to cook, as 40 is a big number of people at supper. :-)

    What I do to stay sane and de-stress is take some really deep breaths when I start to get overwhelmed. I imagine that I breath bright, light, positive, clean energy in, and exhale all the tiredness and negativity and stress out. A few big deep breaths like that and I’m ready to keep right on truckin’, I mean, cookin’. :-)

    So, does that count me in on the contest? I’m going to have to blog about this AND the lap top!! :-)

  114. Judith says:

    I did thanksgiving. Now its up to the kids. I am on a fixed income so present buying is easy. Almost done with that only 1 present left, 6 yr old grandson

  115. Daniel Sutherland says:

    Love the recipes. Always a good read. I am stressed by the growing number of Christmas cookies I have to send out every year. It seems like the number of recipients gets doubled each year. I try to stay sane with the help of my son. He may be small……and 5, but he does his best and makes me laugh even when it seems like a hopeless proposition. Merry Christmas to all.

  116. Meg says:

    My husband and I drive around to all of our families… and barely stay sane :^)

  117. Dena C says:

    Enjoying my time with family! I have a job that I work weekends and holidays, and this is the first time in 4 years that I have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, so I am very thankful for that!

  118. Jo Chu says:

    I’m spending this Christmas in South Dakota with my boyfriend and his family. My boyfriend and I have to endure a 14 hour flight from HNL to O’Hare and then another flight to Sioux Falls. I’m going to rely on books and alcohol to handle the tedium and stress of flying

  119. Cassie says:

    I’m moving on the 18th of December. My holiday is probably going to be spent panicking and yelling about boxes.

  120. Melitacita says:

    I would love to win!

  121. Beth F says:

    Sadly, I am mostly just ignoring it. I am still in school and neck deep with things to get done, so until the semester is over, I am just not doing much holiday stuff. However, after that, I am going home to spend the break with family.

  122. Taylor Leming says:

    OK, first off these looks SO delicious! I will have to bookmark this recipe to make for Christmas!
    Thanksgiving is always wild for us, we spend it every year with my family of 6, and family friends who have 9 children! We invite others to come usually, so it is a wild and fun time! (And WAS this year) :)
    My continued holiday plans consist of spending Christmas with my family and my fiance!! We just recently got engaged so naturally we are super excited about the holiday season!
    New years will be fun with friends!
    Happy Holidays!

  123. Sandra Brower says:

    I like things simple anytime and the holidays are no different. I cook what we have here, though I do keep a pretty full pantry and freezer. I cook big amounts of food on a regular basis to freeze or to make last in the refrigerator so I am used to cooking big turkeys and big hams to use the meat in whatever sounds good and freezes well at the time. I always cook in advance anything that will stay fresh so I don’t have the bulk of oven cooking before the meal. I have homemade frozen pies ready in the freezer to defrost and pop in the oven that I made ahead for Thanksgiving. I have promised a cheesecake to the kids so that will be on Christmas Eve to serve when we open our one present and have hot cider. We usually end up on the back porch with a pit fire going to keep us warm while we open presents. I don’t stress the holidays. My children, friends and family are happy to have whatever comes out of my doesn’t even have to go together for them to love it. I do fall victim to cooking intended for the freezer being eaten before it’s time though. We also are not big spenders when it comes to the holidays. We get what we need throughout the year and the most planned shopping we will do is if something we want comes on sale during the holiday specials. This year my best friends family will be spending Christmas with us so we have decided to decorate a little more for the little ones since we will have a bunch running round the house. I have a well stocked basement too with decorations for several different types of trees, so this year it is stuffed bears and toys to make the living room look like a toy shop. Everyone’s favorite bear will be on display or for cuddling on the couch. :)

  124. Maria says:

    No stress, no in-laws, and just 3 kids.(youngest is 17)

  125. Sarah says:

    Cranberry Upside down cake! Why haven’t I heard of this before now!?
    Maybe I will make some and take them for Christmas in Maryland this year. I did Thanksgiving with my maternal family, and now I’ll be doing Christmas with the paternal side. Happy Holidays!

  126. OneGirl says:

    My holiday plans include sleep, sleep, and more sleep.

  127. dee says:

    can’t wait to try this recipe! i love anything cranberry!!

    the holidays are crazy, my nephew was just born the day before thanksgiving, my dad’s birthday is the 12th, my brother’s birthday is christmas day and then my wedding anniversary is the 30th! I pretty much plan on baking all month long, and i am very, very excited about that!

  128. Gayle Erwin says:

    I am so wishing for a new fast computer. Wow it would be cool to be able to see it all on the TV.

  129. Daniel says:

    I eat through the stress! My girlfriend and I live about a half an hour apart so we have Christmas with one crazy family and then go to the others. Its a pain in the butt but at least theres tons of good food to make you forget about it all!!!

  130. Song says:

    I handle the hectic holiday schedule with hot tea at night to destress. (Especially loving Trader Joe’s Peppermint Tea and The Republic of Tea’s Apple Cider Tea)

  131. Jill says:

    Cranberries are so festive and the recipe looks tasty! Thanks for a recipe that uses such a healthy fruit!

  132. Jessica says:

    We have to work around 3 immediate family & 2 extended family visits. There aren’t enough days in December!…so we usually end up visiting some family in January. :)

  133. Jessica says:

    To stay sane, I cling to Jesus. I don’t get all stressed about presents and making sure everything is perfect. It’s not about that… and my husband and I get lots of quiet time together since we live in a college town and all the students are gone. It’s a good time of year. :)

  134. We have two family weddings, work parties, holiday parties, birthdays, SO much going on in December. The way we’re staying sane is saying no to a lot of invitations. It’s tough because some people’s feelings do get hurt, but if we have something every night of the week it’s just too much.

  135. sandra says:

    we will be spending time with the family, minus my mom and a sister. i don’t really do anything special to stay sane though i do impose the hosting duty on my older sister

  136. Jenni says:

    Count me in for the sweepstakes. Those bars look amazing!

  137. T says:

    My plans for the holidays this year is to continue the ritual me and my sister started a few years ago. We stay up all night watching movies and loading up on coffee. Then once the sun starts to come up we start to cook a huge breakfast. We make tons of pancakes, along with homefries, eggs, grits, and we bake our own bread. When we’re finished we go and force everyone to wake up and we all enjoy a huge feast while enjoying each others company.

  138. Georgia says:

    Love Blogher giveaways. How cool is this $250 gift card for Best Buy. How cool it would be to win it. Bless you and Blogher!

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  139. Georgia says:

    Tweeted here too:

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  140. daniela p says:

    Buying gifts is always the most stressful aspect! I never know what to get my family members, and I hate getting them the same type of thing over and over again (My stepmom LOVES soaps and lotions…but it gets old after a while, I would think!). And as a student money is always tight, which just adds to the stress. But I love the Christmas season regardless. It’s always so cheerful and fun!

  141. Ria says:

    Baking holiday cookies with the kids
    rmartinclarke at gmail dot com

  142. iiiiitsgg says:

    i’ll be spending the holidays in virginia back home with my parents and brother! it’ll be nice to visit!

    these bars look yummy!

  143. Lynne says:

    Every Christmas, I go to Longwood Gardens to see the displays. It is unbelievably beautiful every year. It is wonderful to be surrounded by beauty during the stress of holidays and the end of the semester.
    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

  144. ANGEL JACKLYN says:


  145. Courtney says:

    This is a great giveaway. We try to remember it’s not about business and stress but the true reason for Christmas is Jesus. If we have that we can relax.

  146. Steph says:

    I’ll be spending Christmas with my inlaws!

  147. Sarah Hirsch says:

    I don’t celebrate Christmas so the holiday season is pretty low-key for me. I do have some gifts to buy, but no cookies to bake, trees to trim, or the like.

  148. Kimberly Busby says:

    I try to make meaningful gifts for each of the people on my list. In the face of consumerism, I sometimes stress that my little gifts might seem inadequate.

  149. Allie says:

    We are blessed to have our family nearby. Christmas Eve is spent at my sister’s house where she makes a dinner that would cause Martha to be jealous. Christmas morning we head to my mom’s house where we have a potluck breakfast (and mimosas!) while we open presents. We then head home so my daughter can take a nap and then have a casual pot luck meal at our house that evening. A Round the World Christmas!

  150. LeAnn says:

    We are heading 6 hours away to visit family. We moved away a year ago and I still debate whether it’s fair to the kids to be away from their own home for the holidays. It makes decorating sort of sad when you can’t have a real tree.

  151. addrienne mertens says:

    were going to spend the weekend with my sons father and visit his mother. nothing super fantastic. my grandbaby leaves for her fathers early on thursday before christmas so we’ll be celebrating with her on wed night. then off for the long weekend. no stress no fuss. i like it.
    o by the way..great recipe, i printed it out to try. mmm looks good. and great detailed pictures too.

  152. addrienne mertens says:

    follow and tweeted
    gonna see if you have anymore recipes on ur twitter page

  153. Corrie says:

    Yes, please! :)

  154. Kate says:

    Looks delicious!

  155. Amber says:

    Oooh those look amazingly yummy! Thanks for the recipe :) I’d love to win also

  156. Katherine says:

    My three kids will be home fro Christmas Yes, SIL from OK and BIL from PA, it will be busy and lost of fun

  157. kate says:

    Love the look of those cranberry bars and would love to win the prize!

  158. meredith says:

    im thankful to not have a hectic holiday schedule this year! i dont have to work so i can relax a bit!!!
    btw i love the recipe – cranberries are awesome

  159. Benny Williams says:

    Our holiday plans are to spend time with family! It can be stressful being so close with so many people and little time to one self. I try to get away for short periods of time. Thanks for the giveaway!

  160. Carisa Harris says:

    My holiday plans laid back this year. Visiting family in town and relaxing in front of the fireplace with good food. Yes!!

  161. Oni says:

    Since my grandmother passed on, Christmas has been fairly quiet, just the immediate family. She was maybe the most Christmas-oriented person I’ve ever known, and ran a successful store selling Christmas items for forty years.

    I continue to love Christmas in her place, and last year got to introduce my fiancé’ to her very first one (She is from Indonesia, so yeah, not big there). She doesn’t get to this year, but I’d use the giftcard to buy a much better webcam and pair of headphones for Skype (My 2MP internal cam is on the fritz >> )

    Sorry to ramble on your blog. I’m going to try out the cake bars, actually. My family loves cranberry.

  162. Margaret Smith says:

    Your recipe sounds so delicious…and to top it off what a great prize.
    I’m going to give this recipe a try.
    Thanks so much.

  163. Cynthia says:

    I try to keep things simple.

  164. Ursula says:

    The recipe looks delicious. A $250 Best Buy Giftcard would go great with it:)

  165. Scott Martin says:

    Buying gifts is always the most stressful.

    Scott Martin

  166. Roxanne Ellis Raymond says:

    We have a very sick family member and are not sure from day to day if she will be here for Christmas, so that is of course stressful. We are going to take one day at a time and make the best of it for her

  167. Cindy says:

    Those Cranberry bars look delicious. I will be spending Christmas at my daughter’s home.

    Dove056 at aol dot com

  168. Nadine L says:

    OMG! Your site is so saved in my favorites , these recipes are to die for. I am going to gain 10 lbs just reading them. Love the giveaway too of course.

  169. Gaurav Rajaekar says:

    Going back home from college, that’s my big plan for these holidays. And the most stressful part is making time for all my not-so-close family members (I mean apart from my mum and dad) when I’m trying to get some rest back home.

  170. sandy says:

    looks yummy

  171. Rebecca Graham says:

    The stressful part is not having enough time to cook, wrap presents, shop, visit family, and etc.

  172. Adrienne Gordon says:

    No stress, we travel to MD to be with my family and have fun.

  173. Becky says:

    Our plans are simple — eating, playing games by the fire, making gingerbread houses with the neighbors. Especially with two young children, it’s important to us not to overschedule, but leave lots of time to relax and enjoy things like making cookies or making homemade presents for each other. Limiting storebought gifts really helps keep us sane! (if we really, really want to buy something, there are always stores open in January).

  174. Laura says:

    This year the most stressful part of the holidays is all the driving. It’s worth it to see family, but it’s also very tiring.

  175. Bacallsmom says:

    Yummy looking recipe. Thanks for the chance to win!

  176. Anna S says:

    i am going to spend xmas with family and then with friends :)

  177. Anna S says:

    i would spend my holidays with family and then visit my friends

  178. Dennis Pointer says:

    I am spending Christmas at home with my family

  179. Karen says:

    I will be spending time with family and friends at home.
    Thanks, Karen
    lemontart5kb at gmail dot com

  180. clara says:

    volunteering during the holidays keeps me sane.

    i usually serve foods at the senior center. it helps curb the weight gain during the holidays; serving food away instead of eating them. it also gives you a feel-good feeling that money can’t buy.

  181. Heather S says:

    I am spending Christmas at home with my family

  182. valerie mabrey says:

    spending time with my own kids and my son in law

  183. Kathy Bruner says:

    We will spend Christmas Eve at our house with family and friends doing a White Elephant Christmas, where everyone brings a wrapped gift they don’t want and we draw numbers and exchange presents. We enjoy a good time and good food with about 15 of us! On Christmas Day, we travel 3-1/2 hours to my husband’s family and have Christmas with them.

    kathy.bruner at hotmail dot com

  184. Debbie Bellows says:

    my daughter is coming home from college and we are spending Christmas at home with family

  185. Stephanie V. says:

    luckily will be out of isolation in time for Christmas but fighting cancer, had treatment last week so not the best holiday plans for me this year
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  186. Rean says:

    I love the Holidays! I’m going to be spending it with family and friends. I don’t think there’s much for me to stress about at the moment… I love the shopping and cooking this time of the year!

  187. Kristi C says:

    The stressful part for me is finding the perfect gift for everyone. I stay sane by making lists and sticking to them. Plus, I put my husband in charge of wrapping all the gifts.

  188. Cynthia C says:

    I host Christmas dinner and I try to do as much as I can ahead of time to make it easier.

  189. kristin geiger says:

    driving to see family in 2 different states! wowzers!

  190. Suzanne K says:

    I normally spend Christmas with my daughter and my parents at their house since they don’t drive far anymore. This year, plans are up in the air and I may well end up taking the day just for me and running away to somewhere *I* want to go (no phones is first criteria!)

  191. Kelly says:

    The most stressful part to me is figuring out what to buy everyone and where to acquire it. But I’m DONE shopping, so now I can just sit back and enjoy the season! I do have to make a 6-hour drive home for the holidays, but it’s not so bad when I know that presents and family and fun await me!

  192. ohkeeka says:

    We plan on traveling out of state to visit family this Christmas. I guess the most stressful part is dealing with in-laws, although we’ve figured out a way to alleviate that by staying at a hotel rather than with them!

  193. Tabathia B says:

    It’s stressful when you have to visit family and still make sure that the kids enjoy their Christmas at home by playing with their gifts (because really isn’t it about the kids) so we usually leave around 2 pm to visit family and try to stay at least 2 hours each place and be back home by 8-9 so we can chill out and eat
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  194. Pamela says:

    We are traveling to Cali, our plan is just to get through the 10 hr drive without killing each other or the kids.

  195. Wendy Huelsman says:

    The holiday will be a small family gathering as we just returned from a Thanksgiving trip through 7 states, at 2600 miles in 10 days to see rest of family! Thanks for the fabulous giveaway!

  196. Courtney says:

    This Christmas holiday we are travelling to Florida to spend a week. Though we’re driving and that may be stressful (we live in PA), we’re not entertaining a bunch of family this year (so thats alot less stressful on my house!

  197. Christine says:

    My husband is deployed right now and I will be spending Christmas with his family so besides buying presents and making something for dinner, I’m not doing a lot of the things I normally do, decorating, getting a tree. It’s stressful because he’s not here but a lot of the other stress is gone. Thank you!

  198. Thuong Pham says:

    I always spend Christmas with my family. In the morning the kids open presents, take pictures, and in the afternoon we just hang out and have family lunch and dinner.

  199. Thuong Pham says:

    I tweeted! The tweet provided was too long for my twitter so I had to removed the word Bars.

  200. Becky Horn says:

    I will be staying home and watching the kiddos opening gifts, then on Monday going to family to celebrate with them

  201. Norma says:

    Cleaning and decorating the house is fairly stressful – playing holiday music helps :)

  202. LAMusing says:

    Two nights in a row I’m hosting a holiday dinner. They are both for just a few friends, but I don’t have enough seating. No sure what I’m going to do! EEK

  203. Suziee A. says:

    No stress this year. Our daughter is going out of town and won’t be back until a few days after Christmas, so we will have our family Christmas then. We’ll have a nice quite dinner at home and spend the evening driving around looking at the Christmas lights.

  204. Elaine Boden says:

    My family live in England so its hard to be so far away from them at Christmas. We skype to try and see them as best we can.

  205. Annalisa Kraft-Linder says:

    Spending Christmas at home cooking for the family. I think I’ll hsave to try the cranberry bars.

  206. Linda Lansford says:

    We will spend time with family

  207. joni says:

    We will be staying at home this year.


  208. Kathy says:

    Gift card is a great idea! There’s so many things I could get at Best Buy, but they’d probably be just for me, for once!

  209. Jeremy says:

    I will be spending time with friends and family!

  210. coralin bloye says:

    i don;t know

  211. Joan Pratt says:

    Christmas parties galore! Staying home but visting a lot of family & friends!

  212. Rachael says:

    Awesome giveaway! We have two traditions: one for Christmas Eve and one for Christmas.
    On Christmas Eve my family has a fondue party =D I think this dates back to when fondue parties were initially en vogue in America (sixties/early 70s?) and just continued on ’til today.
    The second tradition is on Christmas morning – a breakfast consisting of Eggs Benedict, appetizers all day as we watch holiday movies – our standard being “We’re No Angels” – and dinner, which has been rotating its main course for about a decade now. I think we’re going to try prime rib this year. 😉

  213. Crystal F says:

    The most stressful part of the holidays for me is the money. You want to get your kids the best gifts possible but money makes that so hard to do. I just worry about making them happy on Christmas morning but I shouldn’t. They are happy with anything they get. It’s just me though. lol Thank you!

  214. Sara says:

    Holidays? What holidays? If it’s too cold to even look outside I spend lots of time with the family inside bundled, crafting and baking.

  215. Peggy Gorman says:

    I love cooking and enjoying my family!! Its the best and no matter how old they get I will still say Santa was here!! Well he was!!

  216. M.A. says:

    Think we’ll have a quiet day of movies at home.

  217. beth shepherd says:

    I would love to win this for my 3 children
    Thank you

  218. Karin says:

    No stress. I vow to just view Christmas with the same wonder as my three young children. Christmas at home, all bundled up, will be wonderful.

  219. steve d. says:

    family squabbles, re: meat vs. vegetarian, make the Holidays stressful. small amounts of wine and deep breaths help…

  220. Natalie J. Vandenberghe says:

    oh my goodness! I can’t even think of something regarding the sweepstakes post–all I can think about is how much I’d like to bake (and eat) that cranberry cake! It looks delicious! of course, I’d also love to win this contest–but food is my first love. Thanks for the giveaway.

  221. Meredith says:

    I’m not sure if I can still enter but the hectic part of my holidays is trying to find a way to spend time with everyone with the limited amount of time I have off from work. Me, my boyfriend, and my family all live in Maryland, and my boyfriend’s family is in Vermont, who we obviously don’t see very often. It’s hard to plan time accordingly to see everyone and keep everyone from feeling left out.

    Also, I work in retail, which is insane.

  222. momgateway says:

    I have deadlines right after the holidays so it is so stressful to get everything done while spending quality time with family and friends.


  223. mistysunrise says:

    Oh you have made me hungry now! That looks good. I would really like to win the $250 GC

    I stay sane through it all, by listening to relaxing music before bed, so I am fresh in the morning
    itsjustme62613 at

  224. George Comstock says:

    I’m not stressing over the holidays (let’s call job search “a vacation” ok) but I’m drooling over your cranberry upside down cake photos. I’m going to try it (2 lbs of cranberries came home with me tonight!). Thanks.

  225. George Comstock says:

    I tweeted your recipe and contest linkee here:

  226. Amber gi says:

    the hectic part of our holidays is centered on my doggies.
    they do NOT like a few people in our families and locking them in the back bathroom just doesn’t work, they will cry forever!
    so it is all about deciding who,what,when and where.
    tattgiff at centurytel dot net

  227. Julie Lipp says:

    Hoildays plans are always spent with other family members but staying sane through it all? Lists! lots of lists.

  228. Rox says:

    Wow I’d put that gift card to good use! Those bars look amazing!

  229. Kathy Scott says:

    We live with snow 5 months of the year. We decided to escape to San Diego for a little warm weather. Hopefully the weather will not cause us trouble on our drive south.

  230. Autumn says:

    I think the most stressful part of the holidays is juggling school. I ALWAYS have exams before break and because of this, I have little time to plan what I am going to do with my family and friends for the holidays. This always stresses me out because last minute plans are just not my thing- they always are messy!

    Thankfully my husband’s personality is the opposite of mine, he never gets stressed out! He keeps me sane during this time and keeps everything working smoothly. :)

  231. Diane says:

    I find it helpful to spend some time and money on myself. Get a facial, a mani or pedi (or both!)

  232. Paige says:

    There is always so much to be done during the holiday season it is easy to get overwhelmed. There’s shopping, baking, decorating, sending cards, spreading cheer…it can all just be too much!
    In order to stay sane I surround myself with people I love. The presence of these people often reminds me that even if I don’t do everything which I think is “required” of me, the holidays will still remain intact. So a cookie doesn’t get iced, a string of garland doesn’t get hung, and a present doesn’t get wrapped. Christmas morning will still arrive, my family will still shower me with love, and laughter will continue to fill the air.
    paigewiley16 AT gmail DOT com

  233. Jeff says:

    Trying to get everyone together for the holiday can be challenging.

  234. Lori says:

    I’m gonna try this recipe!
    It would be great if I could win the $250 gift card,I could buy a laptop so I can have a computer to take with me in the kitchen while I’m trying to make it.

  235. sherri70 says:

    the way i stay sane with everything to be done is to get things done as early as i can like baking a few days before christmas and hiding the desserts in the fridge.

  236. Sarita Rogers says:

    This would so help me with my multi-tasking!

  237. Susan C says:

    It is so hectic. Christmas Eve my daughter and her children come to our house for dinner. Christmas day (which is my birthday) we go to my mom’s for dinner in the morning, then in the afternoon we go to my boyfriend’s sons house. The 26th my boyfriend’s brother and his wife come over for dinner. I barely have time to breathe!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  238. wanda says:

    The challenge for me is regarding wise shopping. This year has been a bummer financially. Our tree is still bare underneath. The gift budget is my biggest stressor.
    It’s nada!

    The cake looks amazing! And the giftcard? Wow! I could totally put it to good use.

  239. Donna B. says:

    My holidays this year won’t be stressful at all – the shopping is mostly done, I’m not planning a big meal (even if I were, I’ve got enough food to feed a small army!), we’re not going all-out. Just time at home, with family :)

  240. Susan E. says:

    Our holiday plans include spending Christmas Day with family and friends. We no longer have the stress we used to because, over the last several years, we have gradually streamlined and downsized. We’re more discriminating about the events we attend and I do a lot less decorating and baking (unless I just really want to do it and have the time). As a result, holidays have been much less stressful and so much more enjoyable.

    dogsrock at insightbb dot com

  241. Diane Z. says:

    Trying to do it all is stressful. This year I’m going to lower my expectations about what “needs” to get done and just enjoy my family.

  242. Kate says:

    so behind, been ill the last few weeks so I’m relying on for gifts. I get free 2-day shipping. k8sterQe3 at gmail dot com

  243. Happi Shopr says:

    The most hectic for me is trying to get the whole family together.

  244. I’ve kept my sanity through the holiday season because I have not yet found a job. Thankfully it has given me more time to prepare!

  245. jolene says:

    the hectic part of my holidays is getting everything done with little help from my boyfriend and not killing him!

  246. Sunnymay says:

    Things only get hectic when I try to do something and find I’ve forgotten my original schedule. I think actually writing in the little block on my calendar might help if I bring it with me. I did use the calendar on my cell phone once, but it took me 5 minutes to delete before the alarm went off.

  247. Janelle says:

    Barely got around to making this cake and it is to freaking die for!! I love it!

  248. Courtney S says:

    I just try and make some down-time for myself. Without it I would go insane.

  249. JulieD says:

    I’m having my family over for Christmas Eve and I’m looking forward to cooking. My husband helps me stay sane, he is a huge help!

  250. Haven says:

    Hectic part for me is definitely all the cooking!

    an_original_username at comcast dot net

  251. Leslie says:

    old laptop died… need new one!

  252. Jeanette Huston says:

    This is super fast and great for multitask! I need some new technology for my lifestyle. This will help with so many projects.

    Jeanette Huston

  253. Patricia says:

    The Cake looks delicious. The best part of the Holidays is shopping with Gift Cards! I keep sane by getting enough sleep.

  254. Kima says:

    The most stressful part of the holidays for me is the travel. I am working until the 23rd and traveling that night after work. I have to be back on Monday morning. I miss my family way too much to spend the holiday away from them though. It will be a quick trip, but well worth it.

  255. Nancy Meyer says:

    I actually don’t stay sane during the holidays, so I don’t have any advice. I’m neurotic and high strung, so I freak out. I’m so thankful come Jan 1.

    nancymeyer1 at gmail dot com

  256. Ivy says:

    My holidays will be filled with kids. My husband’s older kids (all teenagers) are spending the holidays with us in our little 3 bedroom condo. Did I mention they’ll be here for 2 weeks? Hope no one is claustrophobic…

  257. Rajee says:

    Love ur recipe The faster processor would help me to work faster.
    Another feature that I love Unrivaled smart features

  258. The hectic time of the holidays for me the shopping, I love to shop in general, but hate not being able to enjoy it because of the crowds & rude people. Its like people forgot that it is suppose to be a good time. Enjoy it. I try to get my shopping done before the holidays because of that.

  259. Heather H. says:

    Well I have to work on Christmas so I don’t know if that means more or less stress-I don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning (hosting) so that relieves some stress.
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  260. Erica Best says:

    wow that cake look good and it very different i would love to try it one day soon.

  261. Jennifer gersch says:

    i would buy an ipad…. I love cooking snickerdoodles

  262. Since my laptop is 6 years old, and business is growing quickly the past two years, I need a laptop that can keep up! Angie M.
    hobbesnc (at) carolina (dot) rr (dot) com

  263. sl says:

    We are a one computer family. I would love a laptop and one that is fast!

  264. kathy says:

    My holiday plans include travel and more travel. The traffic is always hectic this time of year but I try not to let it get to me and I listen to lots of holiday music.

  265. Brett Emerson says:

    I need to buy me some movies!

  266. Mary M says:

    Really love the recipe and might have to give that a try. Would love to win the best buy card too because I would put it towards a faster computer.

    marybug2 at yahoo dot com

  267. Natalie says:

    this would be the best christmas present ever, i need a new laptop soooo badly you have no idea! and that cake looks scrumptous!

  268. Emily N. says:

    My holiday plans are to go eat and do family gift exchange at relatives house on Christmas Eve. The rest of the time, just hang out with family.

  269. Jean D. says:

    When my expectations of what I “should” accomplish are too high, I’m usually overwhelmed by stress. I’m getting better now at taking care of “first things first,” and keeping my expectations more realistic. Playing carols and singing at the piano are a wonderful relaxing tradition for me, and my kids love it, too.

    Thanks for this generous giveaway!

  270. Avo says:

    I’d like more processing power for my computer science projects so I can get back to maths and checking blogs!

    parthgalen (at) gmail (dot) com

  271. Eileen says:

    We are lucky our plans are spread out this year…and no work party for my hubby, too many cuts this year. We skipped one family event due to weather…(whew!) and plan to catch up at a later date…we had Hubby’s side yesterday, will have Christmas here with younger 3 kids on Christmas, again with the older 3 combined on New Years Eve and MY extended family New Years Day. We have learned to COMPROMISE and that keeps us sane. Christmas (and life in general) is about PEACE… not PRESENTS or PERFECTION or PRETENSE…I have learned that the hard way and the effects can destroy your health.

  272. Elaine says:

    I would love a new computer!

  273. gina says:

    I have to work alot, but will spend some time with family!

  274. Lorrie says:

    The hyper-thread technology would really help me do things much faster.

  275. ashley says:

    these cranberry upside down cake bars look delicious! my mouth is watering just looking at them

  276. jennifer says:

    oh my goodness, that looks too good. the only thing cranberry related in my house is a martini mix, but that won’t help the craving you have created.

    thank you for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!

  277. Melissa says:

    LOVING this laptop! Color inspires me so way to go, Intel!

  278. Chakolate says:

    Hello, random number generator! Please pick me. :-)

  279. Heidi McMahon says:

    I keep sane by sticking to my planned activities and saying no to all of the extras people always ask me to do.
    Fun giveaway – thank you for the chance to win!

  280. Kirsten says:

    What is stressful? I just wish everyone would pick up after themselves for TWO weeks. Two weeks when all my special Christmas things are up and everything can or should look pretty and nice and magical..and yeah..just that. I keep sane by talking to friends on Facebook.

  281. Melissa D says:

    This recipe sounds perfect for the holidays!
    If I win the gift card, I’m putting it towards a new laptop.

  282. Jenn says:

    My holiday plans: open Christmas gifts at home, have an early dinner with my husband’s aunt and her family, then have Christmas dinner here at home with my family. Hopefully I won’t drown in all of the people and wrapping paper!

    If I should be lucky enough to win that gift card, I’d use it to buy my husband a new surround sound system!

  283. J says:

    awesome giveaway!!

  284. roshni says:

    I need a laptop so badly! I would love to blog, work on other projects and catch up on my shows online. But mostly, I would like to use this to skype with my family and friends who live abroad. I love the speed and look of this computer!

  285. thanks for the review!

    More creative time!! If I had a non-employer provided laptop – I could work on my creative projects anywhere, anytime!

  286. Danion says:

    I could really use a new laptop. Mine was ruined by a guy who was stalking me and put a nasty little thing on it to track everything I did (including passwords)

  287. nanjhall says:

    Our holiday plans are you to stay home this year. We just moved last month and decided that we did not need the stress of going away for Christmas.

  288. amy says:

    Your cake looks divine! It would be lovely to use the gift card to get a digital camera that I needed! :)

  289. Blanche says:

    I plan to go snowboarding and baking my way through the holidays. :)

  290. Jill says:

    What an awesome Christmas present to me :)

  291. MelissaO says:

    Friends’ house and Secret Santa on Xmas Eve…and then my family’s house on Xmas Day…and some lazing around on our days off. What’s stressful? Listening to my husband freak out about presents. How do I stay sane? Sangria.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  292. Zera says:

    WWWOOOWWWEEE!!Yes I am that excited about the Intel® Core™ i5 processor!!!! The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology feature seems great to me. That means I would be able to go from simple tasks like producing documents in word to watching my favorite shows on the computer and probably not even notice speed was increased to handle the job! Whoo hoo!!

  293. Daniel M says:

    very low-key this year, everyone’s broke so just immediate family

  294. Gena says:

    We actually don’t have a lot going on this season; we’re staying at our own place instead of traveling (easier for everyone) so we’re just looking forward to a nice, relaxing break together as a family!

  295. Jearv says:

    My holiday plans for this year is actually going to California with my family! We’re visiting old friends and relatives, and I’m hoping it’s fun. I’ve gotten my shopping done early so not rushing to the mall has definitely kept me sane!

    jmalk87 at yahoo dot com

  296. Debbie C says:

    Our holiday plans are to go to my Mom’s because she isn’t well enough to come to us. We will cook almost all the Christmas dinner and take it to her house. For once, it won’t be stressful because I am off for a four day weekend so I have time to do everything without rushing.


  297. Jill H says:

    A faster processor would save me so much time because I wouldn’t have to sit and wait for pages to load

  298. Jill H says:



  299. Marie says:

    This year I have to work on Christmas. I don’t have big plans this year. Have done most of my shopping online this year.

  300. Selene says:

    We go to Alabama and Kentucky over the holidays, so getting everything ready is the biggest source of stress for me. Once the items on my lists are checked off, and we hit the road, I can totally relax and enjoy the time to come.

  301. Selene says:

    I read the rules.

  302. Barbara says:

    Best Buy has some great digital cameras, that’s what I’d buy if I won.

  303. Claire says:

    We go to my grandmother’s house for a Christmas meal. I kept that less stressful by doing all of my shopping far ahead of time!

  304. latisha depoortere says:

    What a great giveaway Bestbuy is a great store so many great things.
    Thank you for the great giveaway Happy Holidays To You!

  305. latisha depoortere says:

    Tweeted too!/latishajean/status/17311718069764096

  306. angie says:

    we actually recently dropped our computer while bringing it to the parents house for a few days (strap of bag suddenly gave out!) so now we’re really in need of a new computer/laptop. thanks!

  307. Jennifer M says:

    Those look delicious. If I had a new laptop I could either bookmark this page or copy your recipe into a document.

  308. Bryanna P. says:

    Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
    Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
    Happy holidays!

  309. sue v says:

    We have Christmas at my mother-in-laws house, this means I don’t have to worry about a clean house etc… I try and do things ahead of time – but hasn’t worked out like that this year :)

  310. Milissa says:

    My holiday plans are always hectic. I spend Christmas Eve with my husband’s family. Then Christmas day, I end up spending time at 4 different homes. First, it is opening gifts/stockings at my own house. Then we go to my mother’s house to eat breakfast and open gifts there. Then we drive an hour and a half to my dad’s side of the family for dinner and gifts. Then drive a half hour to my mom’s side of the family for another dinner. Then we finally get to go home….exhausted!

  311. Ron Miller says:

    Need an Mp3 player from Best Buy!

  312. Tesa S. says:

    It’s usually stressful shopping, but this year I don’t have that much money, so that makes it easier. Also, I usually do all the cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but my daughter and mom have decided to do the Christmas cooking and give me the day off, so I’ll be on the couch with my feet up, probably watching Christmas shows. AWESOME!!!

  313. anita says:

    imnotarunner {at} {gmail} {com}
    blogged about it

  314. Geoff K says:

    My only plan is to drive to my parents’ house and spend a relaxing and fun week there with them and my sister. It’s been a long year, and I am keeping things simple this year. We’ll do the regular family things – cooking and baking together, playing games, watching movies, talking, eating, etc. – and exchange a ton of gifts on the 25th. I will also look up some hometown friends and get together for dinner while I’m home. My parents also throw a big party for friends and family a couple nights after Christmas, so I’ll help plan and get ready for that as well. Thanks!

  315. Erica C. says:

    The holidays are stressful because everyone seems to want to pull me in different directions. I can’t do everything!

  316. Shawnna says:

    This would nice to win. I could use it towards a new tv!

  317. Cindy says:

    I would love a digital video camera! We moved recently and it would give me the opportunity to video some neat things to share with friends and family back home.

  318. Magi says:

    My husband and I are both teachers, so we’re enjoying our two week break. Our extended families are very far away, so it will just be the two of us and our 4 year old daughter. A nice, quiet, holiday.

    If I were to win this giftcard, it would go towards a new laptop. Mine has been a workhorse, but it’s getting tired.

    Love your blog!

  319. julieh says:

    This recipe is fabulous, and I’m going to make it myself!

  320. Ginny says:

    We used to have stressful holidays when we had to visit my inlaws, etc. Now we spend time with just a few family members, so it is so much easier.

  321. dorothy says:

    no real holiday plans for me

  322. Vicki Andrew says:

    We are done with our holiday, Hanukkah came early this year, now it’s resting and giving the apartment a good cleaning

    singermagic1 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  323. Breanne says:

    I have no holiday plans. I’m in Hawaii thousands of miles away from my friends and family and my husband is underway. So this really stinks!

  324. Charity S. says:

    We’re staying close to home, but I have so much food to cook.

  325. Brandy Byrne says:

    With 5 kids to buy for – and 3 of them have b-days in Dec. right before Christmas- it gets very crazy and quick. I have to plan months in advance and be very organized. A laptop like this would definitely help things go tons smoother as I could take it with me and multi task outside of the home.

  326. Brandy Byrne says:



  327. Lisa Taylor says:

    We will be going to my grandmother’s house for Christmas. Not exactly stressful because it is only across town. My holiday stress comes from everything leading up to that Thanks for the chance

  328. Jill L says:

    I would love to get myself the Zune – HD 32GB* MP3 Player – Platinum Silver. My husband seems to have taken mine over.

  329. Chrysa says:

    The holidays are stressful for me because it’s also the busiest time of my work year since I do online retail. I hate not being able to devote as much time to Christmas preparations and sometimes feel like the season is passing me by!

  330. charline says:

    We have so many plans that is what makes it stressful, go to my moms and his mom and don’t forget the grandparents . lol. I stay sane through it all just by going with the flow, no sense in upseting everyone.

  331. Deb says:

    Great recipe. I’d love a computer that could pull a recipe up really fast!

  332. Milehimama says:

    We stay sane by not having holiday plans. Christmas vacation is just that- the kids hang out, play, etc. We purposely don’t pack each night with some event – we just opt out. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day we’ll get together with family. We go look at lights one night. We stay home and make popcorn and watch Rudolph on TV. Very low key.

  333. Kathleen S. says:

    My folks are coming to stay with me this Christmas since they live out of state and then we will spend Christmas with the rest of our relatives that live locally which will be nice. I got all my shopping done early to keep me sane, so now I’m just cleaning up the house extra nice for company. Thanks!

  334. Katie R. says:

    My holidays are stressful because I have a lot of family members and friends to buy presents for. I’m a college student so I don’t have a lot of money or time but I try to stay sane by buying online or making my own gifts.

  335. trisha dowling says:

    looks yummy!@ i would love to buy a new lappy!!

  336. Darcy B says:

    I don’t stay sane–I go crazy overboard –I have to get everyone exactly what they want for Christmas –I put tons of effort and time into shopping–I shop all year.
    The problem is so much effort and then it’s all over in a matter of minutes–I get really blue when it’s over.

  337. rebecca says:

    I plan to go see my son for the Holidays. I like to nest and stay nested, travel is very stressful for me. I am in the grin and bear it mode, telling myself this will be good for them, and feeling it is terrible for me.

  338. rebecca says:

    I will go to my son’s for Christmas. Travel is very stressful for me. I am trying to keep in mind that this is good for him, and Christmas is about loving those we are given.

  339. Liz says:

    My holiday schedule isn’t too bad. We don’t travel, and we don’t have that many people to shop for. We’re pretty casual although getting the Christmas meal together is quite stressful!

  340. Betty C says:

    My schedule this year is pretty quiet. Opening packages with the grandchildren on Christmas morning then later in the evening we’ll have dinner at my daughter’s house. A 10 minute drive at most and that’s good during these winter months.

  341. janet says:

    I have lots to do but not getting much accomplished. I will probally get some done before my crowd arrives fri evening.
    My mom, twin sis, kids and grandkids will be here for a dinner sat night.

  342. janet says:

    The cranberry recipe sounds good:)
    tweeted this awesome giveaway

  343. Danyell says:

    I have never heard of cranberry upside down cake but it’s so pretty and it looks so good. I bet it is the perfect combo of tart and sweet.
    Glad I found your blog
    This new computer is amazing, I love the turbo boost feature

  344. Danyell says:

    I tweeted

    Not sure if I entered this comment, I only see one?????

  345. amy h says:

    We are crazy busy with the holidays – 3 different families to see takes a lot out of you. We try to spread our time out. So we have one family on xmas eve and two xmas day. Thanks for the giveaway.

  346. Sarah says:

    Best giveaway ever! Thanks!

  347. Patrice says:

    I could really use a new tv, and I see that Best Buy has 32″ tvs that start at $249, so that’s what I would use the card for. Thanks for the giveaway. Those Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars look wonderful!

  348. Marilyn says:

    I’m not a cook but golly that looks delicious

    jdmimi at

  349. Wilma says:

    The entire family is gathering for the weekend at my parents house. I’m not doing very well at staying organized the last few weeks, so I guess I’ll have to wing it!

  350. Aisling says:

    I was so on track this year to have everything done in a stressfree manner (did a lot of shopping early, had Christmas cards ready to address, made a list of baking plans and needs) and then I got an intestinal infection that knocked me off my feet for 10 days. I ended up scratching some baking I’d planned on, but thanks to having a lot done up front, I’m back on schedule now.

    And I love your recipe for Cranberry Upside Down Cake Bars – they look and sound delicious!

  351. You dessert looks so fabulous that I can almost smell the cranberries!
    Thanks for the chance to win ’cause I totally need a new laptop!

  352. Pauline M says:

    My entire family meets at my mother’s house on christmas eve. We all bring one gift and play a christmas bingo game my mom made up to get one of these gifts! We all have a great time!

  353. susanmeep says:

    I would love a laptop suelee1998 @

  354. Leslie S. says:

    This year is actually not stressful.I am going to a wonderful friends house and do not have to do anything.My mother did not even invite us over this year so I do not have to worry about family arguments.Thanks!

  355. I am a multi-tasking maven, so any way I can get more done in more places FASTER is made of awesome! I woul love to check out the turbo feature :)

    Thanks for the Giveaway!

    PS – I LOVE anything cranberry! These look alot like PW’s Nantucket Cranberry Pie turned upside down :)

  356. oona b says:

    I love the holidays but often get stressed out trying to find the perfect presents for my husband’s family members. I feel like I’m sprinting toward the final mile and usually get to relax right around Christmas Eve! Phew!
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  357. angie says:

    One thing that is actually great about the holidays in my house, is that they are NOT stressful. Since we don’t celebrate Christmas, there is no traveling or family stress or anything like that. I guess that’s not good advice for those who do celebrate, but maybe thinking about staying home one year would be something that would help you.

  358. Becky says:

    Our holiday plans were last week: 2 parties sat night, 1 sunday out of school on wens. and now it’s all good until new years eve.

  359. patrick says:

    our family tradition is to open a few presents (which would always be nice clothes) which we would then use to look sharp for dinner at grandmas house on christmas eve.

  360. Rosey says:

    Waiting until the last minute to wrap presents is a thing of Christmases-past. It used to totally stress me out during the holidays (it’s boring after the first, oh-ten-pkgs. or so, no one wants to help, it’s time-consuming), so now to stay sane during the holiday, I wrap, tag, and bow as the presents come into the house. Piece of cake!

  361. scott says:

    The most stressful part of the holidays for me is figuring out what to get my wife for gifts. She isn’t hard to shop for or picky, but there are always SO many things I want to get her and I have to just pick a few. HA! But, I just keep a list all year of things she says she likes or wants and then pick what I can afford!

  362. Melinda says:

    those look delicious. I am a baking fanatic, so I may have to try these

  363. Joy says:

    I’m not sure what the prompt is, but I like the fast processor and it would save me so much time

  364. sean says:

    I could watch netflix so much faster on this laptop!

    seanm1999 at hotmail dot com

  365. Linda says:

    With the time I am saving, I could use my spare time to play piano or read

  366. Baking Girl says:

    If I won this, i would buy a GPS or netbook!

  367. faster processor – has to be faster than the 6 year old desk top I am using. Will make my internet time a lot enjoyable.

    frugalmdmom (at)comcast (DOT)net

  368. CATHARINE R says:

    Over the years, I’ve learned to simplify my holiday routine to keep times from being too stressful. For instance, my daughter has taken over most of the baking while I do the cooking.

    ceriehl at gmail dot com

  369. carol lewis says:

    Wonderful giveaway!
    Oh I see your Chocolate sheetcake-oh man, that looks so yummy-and the cranberry!

  370. Roblyn Honeysucker says:

    My holiday plans actually aren’t stressful. I make my kids give me their wishlists well before Halloween. I buy online when I see a good sale. No malls for me! I cook most of my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners a few days ahead and only cook the turkey or ham the day of the holiday. Stress free!

    roblyn66 at yahoo dot com

  371. PauleyD says:

    That looks delicious. I am not much of a cook, but I do like to bake.

  372. Rita M says:

    Holiday plans are on hold this year… awaiting word from my daughter (300 miles away) who is expecting our 1st grandchild at any time. My granddaughter does not seem to be in any big hurry to get here!

  373. dddiva says:

    We do Christmas eve brunch with extended family then each family can make their own plans it helps a LOT.

  374. Janice Whitaker says:

    Going to my sisters for a holiday dinner and then not leaving the house again till Monday :)

  375. tallcapp says:

    We get together at my daughter’s house on Christmas Day for a low key gift exchange and dinner.

  376. debra says:

    Would love to win :)

  377. Lisa G. says:

    We have 3 Christmas parties this weekend. I stay sane by making a million lists so I don’t forget anything.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  378. Lisa G. says:

    I Tweeted this giveaway.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  379. April says:

    My holiday schedule is not stressful at all. The economy hit all of my family pretty hard and three out of five are out of work – which means we’ve all collectively decided to be casual and low stress and extremely light on the gift giving. We’ll concentrate on enjoying each other’s company and just being happy we are still holding hearth and home together.

  380. Amy Delong says:

    staying home all weekend and loving it

  381. Sand says:

    The recipe sounds delightful! I love cranberries!

  382. Jamez D says:

    Stress.. I believe these last years for most of us in the World has the added stress of the 9/11 Recession. My uncle who lives with me was hit while driving his mom down the street luckily unscathed on Black Friday, as well as I was hit the next day with him in my passenger seat and the only bruises were to our souls. Problematic however is the many not uninsured drivers like the couple who hit me has made a problem. I have been laid off work for 6 months now, apply for multiple a day, and now my Uncle was laid off yesterday.

    My Girlfriend, well she is the only one supporting us in the house now and with Christmas here, her surprise is a Beautiful Engagement ring that she has been hoping I would someday astonish the butterflies in her belly with, and Christmas Eve is what keeps my Head from not going insane! I’m Excited!!

  383. Shawna OBrien says:

    What is stressfull about the Holidays is all the extra running around and things to do such as the Christmas Shopping, wrapping presents, having a Christmas party and so forth. I stay sane by asking my husband for help and by planning ahead as much as I’m able to.

  384. R Hicks says:

    What a great recipe! Might try it myself ! thanks for the giveaway!

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  385. dawn says:

    If I won this I would buy a new camera for our family.

  386. Christina says:

    Staying sane by keeping everything as low key as possible!

  387. Diane Baum says:

    Stress , what’s that???? Trying to work, get ready for the holidays and our cruise (I’m not complaining ) in january.

  388. Shannon says:

    the stressful part is getting everything done, I stay sane by shopping online

  389. simone says:

    I stay sane by only buying presents for kids under 18 and not worrying about when my holiday cards will go out. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

  390. heatherzilla says:

    Holiday Plans: On Christmas Eve, I am hosting a dinner for some (military) friends who are not able to go home for the holidays. Then on Christmas day, we will go to my brother’s house to spend Christmas with my new nephew, who is almost four months old.

    I try to stay organized with to-do lists.

  391. Joseph says:

    Having already bought and wrapped all my holiday presents I just have to spend my time going to holiday parties. First is at my younger Brothers and his girlfriend on Christmas Eve, then midnight mass. Then wake up for Christmas day morning breakfast at the parents house, go see a movie at the theater with all the family, back to the parents house for Christmas dinner and open presents from everyone. With are large family we would go broke buying gifts so each persons name is put in a bowl and is chosen for the following year. It has worked out for the past 20 years.

  392. Pamela says:

    Stressful: listening to other people’s To Do Lists!
    How I Cope: lalalalala with my fingers in my ears!

  393. Karen says:

    Low stress holiday this year. Spending the weekend in the mountains with my husband.

    sparkledazey at gmail dot com

  394. Cathy W says:

    I find that shopping on line greatly reduces stress.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  395. Wow this recipe sounds very good and the way you wrote it I almost feel I can make it too.

  396. Tracy says:

    I am spending the holiday with my mother (stress) and my fabulous husband (stress relief)! Try to find someone to lean on.

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