Vacation Time and Christmas Recipes!

Christmas Tree

I am taking a holiday.

This is a big statement.

Well, maybe not for a lot of people but it is for this chickybird.

I’ve been freelancing full time for three years now – a decision I don’t ever regret making.  Except for one thing… no vacation.

Every year I say I will pack up the dog in the truck and treat myself to a week of complete solitude at Long Beach during storm season – no phones, no internet, no nothing.  Just me and Sammy boy, lonesome beaches and the Pacific ocean.  It never seems to happen.  There’s always a client waiting, or the bank balance isn’t healthy enough.

Well, this year isn’t the year either for that either.  But I did make the decision to close up shop for the last two weeks of December.

I’m so excited!

I’m so excited and it’s not even a vacation!

Christmas bowls and candy canes

Nope it really isn’t.  I have a list of projects to work on.  This blog is getting a makeover.  I spend my days making over other people’s websites.  Now it’s my turn.  Can’t have the shoemaker’s kids going barefoot, right?

And I have 2 new projects I want to work on for my business that I’m super excited about. But I need client-free time to do it!

Plus, it will just be nice that if I want to do something Christmas-y in the middle of the day or week, I can just get up and do it :)

So, it’s a client-free holiday but not a work-free holiday.  Maybe I’ll have one of those next year!

In the meantime, after a really horrible Nanaimo Bar experience in a coffee shop this week, and after going through some photo archives, I thought I would “re-share” a couple of my very best Christmas recipes that I make every year no matter what… including Nanaimo Bars.  Most of the photos are all new ones though (I think!)… they’re just old.  Old new ones!  Lol.  I’m always amazed at what I find when I go through the archives!

Nanaimo Bars

naniamo bars

These are a classic in my house and with my friends.  I add mint to mine which helps make the sweetness a little more palatable.  They’re pretty easy to make, they freeze really well (and taste great as a frozen treat) and the pan disappears in no time flat.  Nanaimo Bars.

Jingle Bars

Jingle Bars

I made these for the first time with one of my bestest friends, Laura.  The recipe came from her and they are so sinfully good that they’re worth the little extra effort it takes to make them.  Another one that freezes well and that gets devoured faster than you can say “Merry Christmas”.  And every time I make them I think about our annual Christmas baking dates we used to have before she moved away!  Jingle Bars.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

double chocolate cookies

I’ve been making these since I was a teenager.  They’re one of my dad’s favourites (he thinks it’s impossible to have too much chocolate in a cookie).  I used to have them with a tall glass of milk but now I just have them with tea.

Another cookie that freezes beautifully and the batch can be easily doubled or tripled.  They are a chocolate lovers dream – crispy edges and chewy insides.  Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

There’s lots more favourites including my Chocolate Nutella Thumbprints and Raspberry Coconut Cheesecake Bars (I’ve been asked to ship those but they’re not good for that!)

I’ll still be posting for the rest of December but I’m looking forward to giving this space a new look for January!


  1. Laura says

    Congrats on the You Break! I am going to squeak in a couple weeks for us too … or at least no customer design work. New competition dresses to be designed and sewn for my Russian bound skater. Miss the baking days :(

    • Melissa says

      I’m glad you’re getting a break too! I will email you soon – sorry… just been so busy wrapping things up this week. And I love when you comment – always makes my day :)

    • Melissa says

      Haha… I figured by announcing it I would force myself to get ‘er done! Hope you get some holiday time from school too!

  2. says

    Enjoy your break – I’m taking some sweet time off too. Can’t wait :)
    Also can’t wait to see the changes around here – it’s sure to look awesome.

  3. says

    Melissa! I think it is wonderful that you are taking a break. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas for you and Sammy :)

    Your photographs in this post are so beautiful. Love the one of the red mixing bowls. All your cookies and bars look absolutely scrumptious.

  4. says

    I hear you. This year was a little insane. Working on our business fell to the wayside to complete a few large, all-encompassing projects. Luckily we do make sure to take a couple vacations a year but we’ve got plans for the new year to make more time for working on our own projects. Hooray for time, but make sure you squeeze in time at Long Beach too :) Breaks do wonders! Oh and can we make 2013 the year we meet up for a drink?

  5. Cristina says

    Dearest Melissa: I hope you’re enjoying some well deserved time off. :) Happy Holidays to you…looking forward to the New Year and all the good things it has in store for us!

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