home for the holidays gluten-free style

Giveaways: Home for the Holidays

Welcome to day 12 of Shirley Braden’s blogging event Home for the Holidays Gluten-Free Style! This morning I posted my gluten free Gingerbread Apple Crisp, a recipe for Shirley’s wonderful event which takes place from November 28th to December 23rd. During each day of Home for the Holidays Gluten Free Style, a different blogger has been sharing a gluten-free recipe.

Yesterday, Brittany from Real Sustenance posted her Gluten Free Chocolate & Cinnamon Babka Bread, and tomorrow my friend Kelly from The Spunky Coconut will be sharing one of her special treats. Numerous food bloggers are participating in this event, each with their own unique recipe and a giveaway. You can view more details as well as a full list of bloggers participating on glutenfreeeasily.com –one of my favorite websites.

As promised in this morning’s post, gluten free Gingerbread Apple Crisp, I have some special prizes to be given away in honor of Home for the Holidays Gluten-Free Style. Let’s give a big hand to Shirley who obtained all of the prizes for the event. Thanks Shirley! The following prizes are to be given away on my blog:

cooking with isaiah silvana nardonepaleo comfort foods book cover

But wait! There are more prizes. Shirley is giving away the following grand prizes:

To be entered into both giveaways, leave a comment below and let us know how you will be “simplifying” your holidays this year (or not). The giveaway for all three books will end tonight, December 9th, 2011, at Midnight (MST).

All of the comments you leave on this post and other Home for the Holidays posts by the other bloggers participating in this event will be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway. The grand prize winners will be announced on glutenfreeeasily.com on Christmas Day.

Don’t forget to head on over to Gluten-Free Easily to view all the other bloggers participating along with their recipes and giveaways for Home for the Holidays Gluten-Free Style!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. The winners of the Home for the Holiday giveaway were Mara, Cara Werner and Susan Clark. Thanks to everyone who participated!


  1. robyn elaine says

    we’re spending more time together as immediate family rather than running around to all the events… homemade gifts this year too…kids are loving it!

  2. robyn M says

    well we’ve decided upon only three gifts this year and are doing about 80% “made with love” gifts for all of our friends and families! we’re also focusing more on “giving” this year more than years in past and it’s been quite nice no to be hurrying all around trying to get deals!

  3. Shanygne Gullickson says

    AHHH! I have been waiting for a Vitamix all my life! Seriously, tho, I have saved for it over and over again, only to have had to use that money for something else… my husband lost his job, kids needed glasses, needed tires… you name it, but the Vitamix had to get put on hold several times… it would be amazing to win it!

  4. says

    We decided not to participate in the Christmas choir this year. While we missed out on some great singing, I am not missing the stress of getting to practices and spending 2 weekends traveling to different venues for performances.

  5. Patricia Noll says

    We will simplify our holidays this year by donating money to a local charity to help those truly in need, rather than buying/baking gifts to give to people who, like us, have more than enough.

  6. Mary says

    We will be simply giving “green” gifts to the children. Namely, no gift will be something that is bought randomly and then probably thrown away within the next 1/2 year. But will be something that is needed or can be used over and over again. Also, trying to support locally instead of buying cheap toys that are mass produced in Asia. In addition, our food will be wholesome, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free with no exceptions. I wish everyone the best over the holidays.

  7. Camille says

    We will be focusing on the joys of spending time with loved ones, slowing down for a couple of weeks while the kids are out of school, and handmade/homemade gifts for each other. Also, helping bring some additional joy and a little relief to members of our community who are in need of basic necessities this time of year.
    Thanks Elana for such a wonderful website, we love your recipes!

  8. Susan W. says

    With Christmas just being my husbands parents and us we don’t need to make a lot of food. That will be nice. A simple soup or stew, bread, maybe a salad and dessert. Simple.

  9. Ellen says

    This year I’m on a super strict meat and vegetable diet for health reasons, so I won’t get distracted by sweets.

  10. Marisa says

    I’m definitely not able to practice simplifying this year, but I’m trying to be as proactive as possible! I am second year law student and I have exams up until the 21st! However, I have done a lot of online Christmas shopping during study “breaks” so just about all my presents for loved ones are bought, and I have bookmarked all the recipes I am going to make when I finally get to go home and give lots of love to my big family. I’m out in Michigan and I can’t wait to see them in PA! Happy Holidays! :)

  11. Karen says

    I was gifted with an abundance of several varieties of fruit this summer so I’m simplifying by passing on that gift in the form of fruit butters. They are already made, delicious, and a key ingredient is love as I enjoyed the processing and making. I’m including applesauce for my friends for whom latkes are a integral part of their celebration. Just keeping the focus on relationships and letting people know I am glad they are in my life.

  12. Paige says

    This holiday season, we are keeping focused on family and faith..keeping God, the main thing. Love your blog and recipes Elana. Thank you!

  13. Patrick says

    This year we’re going to be simplifying by having our families properly informed on all the cross-contamination prevention measures necessary so we don’t have to bring and prepare anything we want to eat ourselves!

  14. Maria says

    This year we’ve decided to cut back on the decorating and gift-giving in order to spend more time focusing on family time and charitable giving. It’s making for a less stressful holiday overall – and hopefully, we’re helping our children understand what’s truly important at the same time.

  15. Scout Lappe says

    We’ve stalked up on almond meal and are stealing Elana’s idea about giving her chocolate chip cookie mix. Thanks Elana!

  16. Rachel Raymond says

    My simplification isn’t really simplifying my life…just going back to the basics and making homemade jams and goodies as gifts this year!

  17. Dee Burdeshaw says

    We will limit the number of holiday functions in which we participate enabling us to have more family time. plus reduce the number of gifts and spend that shopping time on a phone call or a visit with your treasured friends and family.

  18. Lorraine says

    I am not normally organised, so this Christmas with family coming and getting over major surgery I am very organised so that I will not only survive Christmas and enjoy it as well.

  19. Susan J says

    Last year at this time we were packing to move to our new home, so this year will seem simpler no matter what we do!

  20. Cari Jenson says

    We are not having any guests on Christmas Day – laid back with the sounds of happy children enjoying new toys and Christmas carols playing in the background.

  21. says

    I’m making SCD-diet-friendly foods in advance to take to family gatherings, like gravy, mashed cauliflower, and cranberry sauce.

  22. Meghan W. says

    How we are simplify the holidays this year, is by not really celebrating the mass consumerism that holidays have now become and taking this time to just enjoy the moment and the holidays and sharing time together with friends and family and still enjoying good food and so forth.

  23. says

    We are going to keep dinner simple; if I can find a honey baked ham, i’ll buy one. We’ll splurge on some wine and I’ll bake some yummies….then it’s favorite foods the kids don’t get often. this looks amazing and I’m thinking I might have to try one of those cinnamon things too. Cinnamon and christmas……Thank you for sharing and being part of this neat series!

  24. Caroline says

    “simple” and ” christmas” don’t usually go together in my family! I’m hosting 2 dinners and want to try and make them as healthy as possible. Thanks to you, this isn’t going to be as challenging as I originally thought!! I really appreciate your website and recipes. Thanks Elana!!

  25. Stacy Kretsinger says

    I’m in the process of going gluten free so your recipes will be helping me to simplify the holidays. I love to bake and am happy that I won’t be missing out on anything.

  26. Jeannie Sims says

    Spending more time reading, cooking, praying, and hanging out at home and less time in less meaningful endeavors

  27. Julie says

    We are simplifying this year by simply staying at home more, doing all shopping online, and staying within a smaller budget. The simpler the better, in my opinion!

  28. says

    this year my husband and I celebrated the birth of our daughter, Avalon, who will be almost four months old at Christmas. With me being off for maternity leave the budget is tight so we’ve decided not to do many gifts this year and just enjoy being together and cherishing our precious baby. She is truly our Christmas angel, even though she came in August! :) I’m also thinking I might surprise my husband for the holidays and legally change my last name to his so we all have the same name, and then wrap up a copy of my driver’s license for him under the tree. I’ve been on the fence about it since we got married but I think it would mean a lot and it sure would “simplify” things for me! :) Happy holidays to you, and thank you for your wonderful site!

  29. says

    Simplifying the holidays this year by eating healthy GF, sugar free and dairy free foods, using your recipes, breathing more deeply, and staying in gratitude for the blessings I have in my life.

  30. Lauren Carr says

    Have been enjoying this blog especially for gluten free baked goods since becoming gluten free for a thyroid disorder 4 months ago. I am trying to make as many Christmas presents and goodies this year as I can. Taking the commercial feel out of the holidays and spending more of it in the kitchen with my kids feels great!

  31. Noel says

    During the holidays I simplify by buying baked goods from our local GF baker. But I will be trying your Apple Crisp very soon b/c it looks so simple. And your Pumpkin Pie Muffins continue to be a breakfast staple around here. : )

  32. Sandra Zimmermann says

    we will be simplifying our Christmas this year with the emphasis on family and sharing time together, and not the presents that so often muddy the day.

  33. Marsha says

    Elana’s recipes are the very epitome of simplicity. I just purchased a copy of the Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook and look forward to using Elana’s recipes to simplify my holidays. I can’t wait to try her Cinnamon Apple Muffins for Breakfast and Holiday Cookies for dessert. Most of all I’m thankful to Elana for providing these tried and true recipes that we can enjoy. I can finally enjoy food and be healthy at the same time. Here’s to a happy and healthy Holiday.

  34. Alison Oyler-Mitsch says

    Cutting out the cookie baking and making bark! It frees up hours to spend with family and friends.
    Making Bark: I melt dark chocolate (I love Ghirardelli’s) over a double boiler when melted spread on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Then I sprinkle with my favorite nuts like pistachio’s (great green color) or pecans and lightly sprinkle with sea salt for the sweet/salty taste. Another version is with white chocolate with crushed peppermint candies or macadamia nuts and dried cranberries. Place the cookie sheet in the frig until hardened and then just break up and place in holiday bags with a special little note! One bag of chips makes about 3 gifts and takes about 30 minutes total!

  35. Emily says

    I’m simplifying by buying more gifts at the thrift store. It sounds a little cheap, but many of my friends and family actually love vintage and hard-to-find items, which my local flea market is chock full of. My best friend is a Star Wars buff, and I was able to find her a great pair of Darth Vader Christmas stockings! I love that I’ll be able to give everyone unique gifts without having to bust my budget, which I seem to do almost every year!

  36. Meredyth says

    I’m simplifying my Christmas this year by focusing on the people, places and experiences I love this time of year instead of getting overwhelmed and distracted by all the stuff.

  37. Claudine Eskonen says

    We are preparing sugar and gluten free treats for the holidays- so delicious! Love the recipe ideas from everyone.

  38. Megan Holder says

    I am simplified my holidays by planning ahead for Christmas gifts. I feel so relieved that I got most of it done early this year.

  39. Kelly D says

    I have created more home-made, personalized gifts this year… it’s less expensive and made with love! :-)

  40. Tasha says

    My whole family (13) will be coming to our house this year for Christmas so its going to be a busy one. Very excited, just need to figure out where everyone is going to sleep!

  41. Dara says

    I will not be traveling in order to simply the holidays. Travel is fun but always adds to the chaos.

  42. Sheila says

    I am going to simplify my holidays by spending more time closer to home and enjoying baking and sitting by the fire. I will also take walks in the woods and enjoy the peace of the quiet snow. I made your chocolate chip cherry cookies and I will be having a cookie trade with friends to give as gifts in place of buying more stuff. Thanks for the inspiration you give me.

  43. Catherine says

    We are shopping on line and avoiding the mall. Recently given up wheat, so finding new favorite holiday cookies will be a challenge.

  44. Katie McElhone says

    I will be making the Everyday Paleo stuffed apples. They taste like apple pie. I will also make the gluten free chocolate brownies. Family favorite. Yum.

  45. Kesha says

    My family and I are taking the money we usually spend on each other and donating it to the Ronald McDonald House!!!

  46. jenny says

    This year we’re simplifying by not traveling and having a stay-cation in which we plan to garden and care for our surroundings. Love your site!!! Happy holidays, Jenny

  47. Jody says

    We are simplifying our holidays this year by doing most of our shopping online, preparing part of our Christmas dinner ahead, and drawing names for gift giving with extended family this year. : )

  48. Molly says

    Wow! amazing women you all are – I am so impressed by all of your giving!!!! I will be doing less baking this year, keeping ingredients simple yet satisfying, and just focusing on the people. I’ve been away from my family for too long to worry and fuss about recipes…time to keep it simple!

  49. Kari says

    We are simplifying by purchasing each of our children only one gift each and paying with cash so we don’t have tons of Christmas debt. We are focusing more on Christ being the center of our Christmas rather than what gifts we get!

  50. tanya says

    we will be simplifying our holidays by spending a lot of time together as a family and appreciating all the blessings our Lord has given us!

  51. says

    Elana, I’ve enjoyed your blog and recipes for years now! I love the direction you’re taking with the Paleo diet and the empahsis on lower carb treats.

    We are simplifying in many ways this year. Because I’m a mom of 6 kids the holidays can be a bit of a budget crunch. We like to celebrate the Advent and Winter solstice festivals…mindfully. Simple for me means putting on a holiday CD and dancing with playsilks with the kids, or baking one treat instead of many.

    Thank you for your blog. I share it with anyone I know who has health concerns and would like to learn to eat healthy delicious food (and the recipes always work!!! A++)

  52. Lizzie B says

    We simplify by taking our annual trip to the coast (12 hour drive). He gets fresh crab, his favorite, and I get to set and listen to the ocean and relax. No trees, no lights, no family, no huge feasts, just us and the dogs.

  53. rebecca says

    We simplify by keeping simple menus, simple gift wrapping and a homemade paper chain advent calendar. We focus on the blessing of being together and the joy of Christ bringing hope to the nations.

  54. amy says

    Simplifying by only asking for practical gifts and combining with my sister to give our parents one useful gift each.

  55. Kristen says

    I simplify by trying to find meaningful and useful gifts for friends and family, rather than just adding more “stuff” to their lives.

  56. Jennifer says

    In my family, we focus on good food and lots of laughter. We don’t buy gifts, and it’s so much easier to have a simple holiday full of enjoying each other’s company. It’s my first Paleo Christmas and I’m looking forward to it!

  57. Linda C says

    We are simplifying Christmas by not accepting every invitation we receive and by buying/making fewer gifts. We are focusing on the reason for the season – Christ!

  58. dori says

    We are doing a
    Bahamas family vacation the week before Christmas! So, no tree, no other presents, etc…hope to really focus on the real meaning of Christmas-Christ! Who knows? This might become our new tradition!

  59. says

    I’m simplifying during the holidays by resting and not stressing about gifts. I’m excited to get in the kitchen and make all my favorite and wonderful GF treats to share with friends and family.
    Thanks Elana’s for all the wonderful recipes!

  60. Linda W. says

    It’s always tempting to shop for yourself during the holidays because everything is on sale, but this year we have made it a point to just buy for others and stick to a budget. The Dyson vacuum cleaner, the new front loading washer and dryer and the excessive trips to Costco won’t be happening this year. And no wandering around Whole Foods without a grocery list! Who knows, I may win a Vitamix that I’ve been pining for for years :)

  61. Joan Seliger Sidney says

    We’ll simplify by visiting our children & granddaughters in Madison, WI, & light Hanukkah candles together.

  62. Margaret says

    Since being diagnosed with Celiac just a few weeks ago, I have had to reorganize my cabinets and pantry. Now I am in “clean out the clutter mode” and have donated a ton of stuff in the past month…food, clothes, toys, etc. it has helped me streamline and simplify, and I hope the donations have helped someone else! :)

  63. Phyllis says

    I’ve been gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free since July. This is my first Christmas and since I’m the cook for our family (about 15), I’ll be preparing a completely c,g,s free meal. Hard for one who is Italian and raised on such wonderful, delicious food. Who’d have guessed the very foods I love are the very ones that wass breaking down my body.

    I have a bevy of cookbooks and I think the desserts will be my main challenge. I bake Italian desserts, so it will be a challenge to find substitutions that I’ll be able to enjoy. I’ve yet to find a recipe for Cannoli or Tiramisu, for starters.

  64. Malena says

    It will be a fairly quiet Christmas, so I plan to try to fix some things ahead so I’m not rushed at the last moment. That way I can spend every minute possible with our daughter who’ll be home from college for just a few days!

  65. Gretchen says

    I’m making a point of spending time with the people I love instead of buying them another useless thing.

  66. EntirelyTooPerky says

    We make goodies to give as presents. More fun for us, and happy tummies for the receivers. :)

  67. christi bodell says

    Simply enjoy and be with my ever expanding family. Posole and tamales prepared by everyone while my grand daughter decorates cookies for Santa. A stroll to the light of farolitos, luminarios with carolers, the smell of pinon and hot chocolate. Blessed to be home in New Mexico.

  68. P. Alli says

    We’ll be simply enjoying our family over the holidays…that includes gluten free, dairy free, and egg free yummies!! I’m actually putting together gift sets full of your goodies to give out over the holidays. Thank you for all your recipes!

  69. Heather Gates says

    To be honest…I am trying to figure out how to simplify by reading advice on various blogs and websites. This is the first Christmas season since my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease (just a few months ago and pretty sure our 4 year old son has it, as well).

  70. Lori S. says

    For the holidays, I’m focusing on the the almond bread recipe on this website and other recipes here that are more Paleo. My body is happier with these simple ingredients! So glad Elana has provided these recipes and have shared them with family.

  71. says

    I am so excited to have all these new recipes! This is my first holiday season eating gluten free, grain free and clean! I feel better than ever and love how these recipes keep variety. I have already baked some holiday cookies with my twins and they did not know the difference from our high sugar, gluten-full ones we made last year! I look forward to more yummy recipes to establish as new traditions for them to grow up with :)

  72. Kristina says

    We will be simplifying the holiday this year by not serving quite as many food choices. We tried it at Thanksgiving by taking away baked beans and rolls. No one complained. Less work. Less gluten on the table. Yay! Hope I win the giveaway! Life would be much simpler with a VitaMix!!

  73. Rose says

    We will be simplifying this year at Christmas by preparing fewer dishes for our meal. We are in better health since going to a Wellness Center and are enjoying Elana’s recipes. We are Blessed and enjoy sharing what we have with others. Time is precious :) Helping others is what we were meant to do.

  74. Bettina Chadbourne says

    I am going to keep Christmas and the holidays simple. I will be hand making most of my gifts and giving care packages which will include my homemade jams, applesauce, sweet breads, etc. (all gluten free, of course). I send a few cards, make calls to far away loved ones in addition to cards. My focus is spending time with close friends over dinner and catching local choirs and gatherings. For those few purchases, I plan to buy local and handcrafted when I can. A simple wreath on the door, and one candle light in each window to illuminate the light of the season. (not sure about a tree). C’est tout.

  75. SharonAbraham says

    We are simplifying gifts throughout the family. Most importantly, though, we are all on the same page diet-wise, so no more cooking various things for various people. We are doing so much better now that we are GF!

  76. says

    I will be simplifying this Christmas by making gifts for everyone on my list, so they will all have thought, love, and meaning, rather than just something I picked up from the store :-)

  77. Sharmista says

    We are simplifying all around, with less elaborate decorations and pared down gift-giving. We are trying to add more simple things, like making paper chains and baking together. :)

  78. Anna Marie says

    We are trying to continue our tradition of a homemade gift for each of our little ones and a stress-free Nativity focused morning before we head over to my parents house and the hustle and bustle of being from a family of 11. Happy Holy-Days to all of you out there!

  79. cindy cundiff says

    By being vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, I am just totally at peace during the Holidays. Our bodies are clean and we feel great.

  80. Kristi Johnson says

    This year was particulary stressful for our family (medical issues, job changes, family moving away) so we decided to simplify this year and forgo gifts. We decided to spend the money we would spend on gifts on a big hearty gluten free Christmas feast and invite everyone and anyone we know who are alone for Christmas to join us.

  81. Brenda Gaines says

    I’m only baking from your Almond Flour cook book.
    I ordered some chestnut flour also to see how that works in these recipes.
    I wish you would write a Paleo cook book.

  82. Leta says

    I feel bad about this, but I’m canceling our yearly christmas trip to my moms. My 4th baby is due this march, soi feel like that makes it a little better!

  83. Pam Raymond says

    Simplify is my middle name! This year instead of buying goodies that are overprocessed, overly sweetened, you get the picture, I am baking goodies (Elana’s double chocolate cherry cookies just to name one) and giving packages to our friends and family to compliment bottles of wine. The almond flour recipes I can make in advance and freeze until ready for packaging. They keep really well and everyone so far has raved over the flavor.

    happy holidays from Pam Raymond

  84. Katrina says

    I am simplifying this holiday, by trying to bake less!! Only baking the favorites this year!

  85. Nancy says

    I’m simplifying by slowing down, buying less, making some but not going overboard and spending as many days in the dark and quiet leading up to Solstice as I can- and mostly appreciating the light within the darkness of that day, Chanukah and Christmas, and the light/love in all of our hearts.

  86. Lisa Daniel says

    I’m not sure how this rates against others but almost all my shopping has been done online this year so I certainly saved wear and tear on my car and gas =) I do baking for friends outside the family instead of buying gifts too!

  87. Tamara Zacher says

    We just started our diet last year and are still learning how to make food and begin our own family holiday traditions!!!

  88. Elaina says

    I simplify by staying home for Christmas and buying a modest amount of gifts for my family. I try to get everything on my to-do list checked off before the children are home for Christmas break so we can really enjoy the holiday.

  89. Brenda James says

    I am simplifying my holidays this year by remembering that people are more important than things, and that the perfect gift and card are not always as important as I think. I am sending less cards and getting a few ready each day instead of doing a marathon. I am buying more gift cards at my grocery store so I can earn loyalty points, make fewer trips and stops, and make the wrapping easier too! I am cutting back on the amount of food gifts that I give and making the ones that I do give much healthier.

  90. says

    I’m actually trying to bake LESS cookies than I usually do for the holidays because I end up being stuck with so many and just get fat!

  91. Eri says

    We will be simplifying Christmas this year by just doing a very small dinner for just our family, giving gifts to our children only. No need for stress!

  92. MANDA says

    there will be no ‘simplifying’ for me this year;) im in charge of the big meal (for the first time) so i am sure i will be going all out. however, i am excited about it!!

  93. Marcia Shultis says

    We are staying home this season, decorating less and giving gifts in a jar rather than alot of shopping. Also sending some e-cards rather than sending cards through snail mail. We are focusing on our blessings, what we can do for others and not seeking more stuff.

  94. kathy scott says

    I will be simplifying my holidays by cooking with Elanas recipes. I have both of your books and love them to pieces.

    Thanks Kathy Scott

  95. dee m. says

    Our 3 grown daughters all live out of state. Three years ago, they decided it would be fun to have homemade Christmas’. Nothing can be bought “new”, if bought only things that can be repurposed from thrift stores and such or made homemade. The energy and creativeness by all is astounding. We love it so much, especially that there are many stories that go with each item made. My husband and I have a barn that recently came down in a storm, we are using some of the wood to make barn wood mirrors, plant stands and a sofa tray. I am sewing aprons, fabric reuseable grocery bags, homemade candies, baked goodies, painting picture gifts, etc. We cherish what we receive so much more, as it is made with such tenderness and love.
    We are amazed each Christmas, such creativeness….. there is no stress, no expectations, etc. Each of our children bring something they love to cook with them for our dinners. This makes each feel extra special. We all look forward to our special time together, our home gets saturated with laughter, Christmas stories, childhood memories, special time spent with my parents, whom both have passed now.
    …this sounds like alot, but its not.. we believe less is more..

  96. Carrie says

    We are definitely simplifying the holiday madness by making less unhealthy treats this year:)

  97. Tabitha says

    This year to simplify things we are going to spread out our family gatherings, with only two on Christmas day and three in January and thanks to your fabulous recipes I will be enjoying healthy and tasty recipes with my husband and two children 4 and 1.:)

  98. briita says

    can’t say that i do much to simplify my holidays. but i love them the same! we cooked home made lefse for hours yesterday! Next we will start with the christmas cookies and caramels!

  99. Jessica says

    Yes, my family has already been simplifying, I’m making a vegan holiday feast! Eating a plant based diet is better for the planet and your health and that’s simplifying!

  100. says

    I usually make holiday gifts but this year I am making VERY simple gifts since I have a 7 month old! Not much time for so much baking or sewing.

  101. Stacy says

    Love the web site – a friend just recommended it! We try and keep our Christmas celebration simple by staying home and inviting family and friends to us!

  102. Kate says

    Home baked gifts are inexpensive and appreciated by all. Every Christmas I make trays of cookies, fudge, brownies, and other goodies which I deliver to co-workers, neighbors, and friends. All of the treats are gluten-free, although no one ever realizes this! They just can’t say thank you enough for the heartfelt and delicious gift!

  103. Cindy says

    I will be simplifying by simply counting my blessings. My husband is having major back surgery on 12/19, so the goal is just to get him home by Christmas and achieving a certain level of comfort.
    Some good steaks have been purchased, we’ll have a simple veg on the side, with some berries and whip cream.
    Declining all request to go out.

  104. Christy K. says

    To simplify our holidays my extended family (20 of us) draw names for a gift exchange and the gifts must be handmade. You can spend money on materials if you must but no more than $10. We encourage reuse, recycling, etc. to make our gifts. We have had some amazing gifts over the years–bracelets made out of silverware, a bowl made out of chopsticks, gluten free baked goods, sock monkeys and more!

  105. joy moriguchi says

    Hi Elana,
    I can’t thank you enough for all the money you have saved my family!!
    Trying new recipes and ending up with door stops and science experiements gone wild was so expensive. Thanks to your beautiful photos and concise recipes, we now have many favorites that look and taste great.

  106. says

    Over the past few years I have been making draw-string gift bags from left-over material or scraps that I have found at garage sales, thrift stores or flea markets. My gifts to relatives have all been in cloth bags so they now have enough to cycle them through all the relatives. To simplify I didn’t take the name labels off the bags we use at home and when we cleaned up after last Christmas I sorted the bags by name and have them ready to just pop the present in – labeled and signed.
    This year everyone is getting books(of their interests), food or practical stuff they need (shampoo, razors, groceries, baking supplies) or second-hand recycled so that was 3 stores and the local thrift shop. Done! (I bought a lot from the local craft fairs too.) Plus, Canada put out a new $100.00 bill this year so I will give each of my sons one of those too.
    It was quite amazing to read what everyone else is doing. Looks like a lot of love, care and attention happening. Nice.

  107. Patricia says

    This year I have gone “almost” paleo and plan to dive in all the way next year in order to SIMPLFY my life further. Just found out I’m allergic to cane sugar and almonds so I’m going to try a bunch of substitutions to your recipes, Elana. I’ve subbed coconut oil and stevia or coconut nectar with much success so far. Thanks for your great ideas!

  108. Jenny Nicholson says

    This will be my first year going through the holidays gluten & sugar free (and now it seems that corn needs to be added to that list as well). One of the things I’m doing to simplify is making homemade gifts, including lip balm inspired by a recipe on Elana’s Pantry. I started the GF diet a little over 2 months ago (blood test positive for Celiac) and your blog has helped me keep my sanity during this transition! Thanks!

  109. Tamra says

    Thank you for your info on Paleo and gluten free cooking! You were a lifesafer for me when I discovered your first cookbook.

    This year my family and friends are receiving homemade blackberry jam and raspberry jelly. This weekend I am making blueberry syrup for Christmas Breakfast with my family.

  110. Eva says

    We have been simplifying since we got robbed earlier this year. It was a horrible feeling, but was glad we were not home(especially me and my sepcial needs daughter). The few item we had of value were all taking and the 4 or 5 item that ment more to us only because they were personal and had been with the family for many years(100), Gone. So since than item don’t mean much to us any more, you work so hard for so many years and can’t wait and hope that you can retire and be able to enjoy the rest of your life and it get taking away in a split second. As long as we have family gathering we are happy, so we have paid for my brother & his wife to come home and be with my mom and dad for Christmas this year (which they don’t know yet). So we will be very happy. And that will be our simply Christmas this year Lots of Love and Memories to remember.
    As for the give aways I would love to win the Vitamix because at my age now there is no way I would spend the money to get one. We (my daughter and I found out we were Gluten Intolerance in 2009 and I have been working very hard at learning how to cook the right way now, My only wish for Christmas would be for my husband to join us, but since he has no problem he can eat anything so I have to cook two different meals, which is ok since we have been married for 43 and are friends as well as partner and I love me so much that I don’t know what I’d do without him.
    Anyway I could go on for day about us, I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and hope the New year brings the world to Pease and to Better Eating habits.

  111. says

    I am simplifying this year by only doing the bare minimum of Christmas decorating. Thanks for the great giveaway and yummy recipes!

  112. Laurel says

    We will be simplifying Christmas just like we did at Thanksgiving with less sugar and some new gluten free recipes.

  113. Patricia says

    I bake lots of different breads, cookies, bars, cake, granola muffins, etc for 4 families who all have celiac disease. I don’t think it makes my holiday easier but it does make it easier for the other families who do not have the time to bake as I do. But, I do enjoy doing it for them. Thanks for the give-a-way.

  114. says

    We are travelling to be with ailing elders this year so we cut back on decorations and baking and will spend the time with the important people in our lives.

  115. Lorri McCallum says

    We are simplifying by giving fewer gifts, less baking (gasp) and I may not even do Christmas cards this year (oh my!)


  116. Holly Ellerton says

    This year we have agreed to give only the children gifts. The adults are all going to enjoy each others company and bring wishes for good health and a happy new year. I have recently battled cancer and we just need some quiet down time. Happy holidays and the best of health to everyone.

  117. Susan says

    I was able to simplify some of my shopping/wrapping/shipping by having gifts shipped directly to my grandchildren and asking their mothers to wrap them! OK, it’s more work for the moms, but I also suffer from debilitating fatigue (from MS). I can no longer do all the shopping/wrapping/shipping that a healthy person is able to do.

  118. Ruth J Hirsch says


    this may sound funny/different, however here is my response:

    I appreciate doing community work. It really renews me, refreshes and revives me. I know it is considered giving back, and still, I do feel so good while planning and doing my pro bono work.

    It’s a sort of simple way I have of celebrating these holidays. I receive much more than I give.

    Elana, I cannot thank you enough for your generosity, creativity and hard work. I send you thanks often,


  119. Carol Robinson says

    I will be trying to simplify our life by making ALL of our gluten free cookies and treats insted of looking at the hundreds of boxed gluten fee mixes that are still not good for us. Healthier Christmas for my house and also some nice Christmas gifts to hand out!

  120. Elise says

    We’ve simplified our holidays a LOT over the last few years to where it’s fun instead of stressful! I LOVE the spirit of the holidays, the giving, the carolling, and all that. This year we’re focussing on finding fun things to do with the family in our new home city of Boise, Idaho (a surprisingly GREAT town for gluten – free restaraunts).

    Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  121. says

    We’ss keep things simple by staying home and enjoying a few of our favorite holiday dishes, which just happen to be naturally gluten free, seasonal, and incredibly simple. Roasted butternut squash, brussel sprouts with carmelized onions and garlic, and probably a dessert of baked apples and/or pears. Simple sweet memories at home with good food and the ones you love, that’s all I need!

  122. Stephanie says

    We are simplifying by slowing down and “simply” spending time together as a family and enjoying each other.

  123. Christie says

    I have simplified (a bit) this year by not doing the advent calendar with the boys. It is a nice advent calendar, that allows me to put my own surprises (food or not) in each day. But it takes a lot of my time and creativity, and sometimes it causes arguments between the boys (as hard as I try not do anything that would cause that). So, I chose not to do that this year.

  124. Raysa contreras says

    This holiday I am simplifying my holidays by going to Florida to visit my family. That means no cooking for me! Except for my all time favorite: apple crumble delicious! Thank you Elana for sharing!! Happy Holidays!!!!

  125. vera says

    We are simplifying by ordering almost all of our Christmas presents online. No lines, traffic, or mad rush! :-)

  126. Debbie says

    This year I simplified by drawing names. Each family member picked a name and you only buy for that person. I am making dinners for my friends and giving that as their gift. Tonight, I made gingersnap cookies.

  127. MoniCue says

    Oh, my…I was just eyeing Vitamix blenders online, wishes to drink more clean greens in this sugar season! We simplify by staying home on the first holiday–and doing family nesting the week before the new year.

  128. Sarah Josey says

    I am simplifying my holidays by hand-making most of my gifts for family members. I learned how to make lotion and soap earlier this year just so I could make them as gifts for the holidays (although, come to think of it, it’s not really simpler, but it is alot more fun!)

  129. Heather H says

    We like to keep Christmas simple by focusing on the reason we celebrate – Jesus. Spend time with family and friends, and bring treats to our neighbors.

  130. Bev says

    I’mgoing to simplify by using some of these easy ,few ingredient ,healthy recipes I found on your site and others you’ve introduced me to! Thanks so much! Working on the gluten free and am so happy to be researching and hopefully starting paleo.

  131. says

    We’re simplifying this year by staying home and not exchanging gifts. We have a few decorations up but we’re focusing on our family rather than things.

  132. Kimsage says

    Love your blog. We have been simplifying for several years by using the holidays to clean out spaces and give things we don’t use away. Excess pantry items to food bank, outgrown kid clothes to local used depot, long forgotten books to library’s resale table. The whole idea to accumulate less and be free of “stuff”. Then keeping the gift exchange to a minimum.

  133. says

    we are simplifying by not really shopping.. people are going to get animal rescue cards and some home made vegan cookie mixes! which they have to make and eat even if they dont like it :D

  134. Louise says

    I am just starting out on this Gluten Free journey. So far the recipes that I have tasted are absoluately awesome!I am trying this journey not only for myself but for my son who has Autism. The cookies that I have tryed so far my son has not noticed the difference and to me that is a major leap forward. Thank you!! Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to each one of you!! Please keep on with the awesome receipes!!!

  135. Tammy Bybee says

    I would love to win this book. I am really getting into cooking as never before, and having fun with it

  136. Daniela Tanner says

    Yay, Shirley!

    To simplify, we put together a list for whmo we are getting presents, and we write up a budget. We have an envelope of cash equaling our total budget with which we use to buy presents. It makes overspending very difficult!

  137. P Roland says

    We have simplified our holidays more and more each year. This year we have a few small decorations, each person will get a small gift and we will have quiet time together as a family and a bit of special food. It fits our family well.

  138. says

    We simplify Christmas by having a potluck dinner and regift things we have but can’t use anymore. It’s fun and always good for a lot of laughs. We also have a very quiet Christmas Eve with time for reflection, nice music and sweetness.

  139. Nichole says

    I come from a family of extremely ambitious women, who all go a tad crazy in the kitchen. As a result we are overwhelmed by food, and often too exhausted to enjoy it. This year I am opting out of the cookie marathon and focusing on a just a few simple dishes with an emphasis on clean and natural foods. I am still trying to convince these lovely ladies that gluten-free can taste even better than our traditional recipes from holidays past.

  140. Brit Star says

    We simplify Christmas by doing everything- cooking, decorating, wrapping- as a family. Seeing how there are six siblings (I’m the oldest) that is alot of extra hands!

  141. Brandi B says

    I’ve simplified my life by not always looking for the best bargain or deal and to think about meaning in my gifts. Also, I AM ready for Christmas (Christ’s birth)!

  142. Bekah says

    I’m simplifying my gift giving my giving my husband’s family “cookie care packages” instead of wading through malls and stressing over what gift to get them. Of course, that means extra baking for me, but I love it.

    The gluten-free diet is fairly new to me and this will be my first holiday season sticking to a gluten-free diet while my family eats decidedly “gluten-full” foods. It should be interesting, but definitely easier now that I have discovered your chocolate chip recipe!

  143. Karol says

    We will be simplifying by staying home for the holidays, not traveling. We’ll just be with family and keeping it cozy and small.

  144. Joyce Booth says

    Gratitude!!! When one thinks of all the blessings in ones life, then one is able to focus on that which is most important. Thank YOU for sharing your knowledge with all of us, and the wonderful receipes that taste good and keep us on the road to better health!

  145. says

    We are visiting my folks for Christmas, and I am planning to simplify this holiday season by preparing all of our healthy, gluten free, allergen free food ahead of time and bringing it with us. That way, I can spend the holiday relaxing and catching up rather than worrying about whether some flour (or soy, or peanuts) will sneak into anything we’ll be eating!

  146. says

    I have been cooking ahead in bulk and freezing so I am not overwhelmed with daily cooking in addition to the demands of entertaining.

  147. Susan Clark says

    We simplify by slowing down and making time for everyone we love! We avoid shopping, unless it is for baking ingredients.
    Happy Holidays to you all!

  148. Loni says

    We’re simply going to Glenwood to soak in the pool and do some snowshoeing. No presents, no shopping, no cooking!

  149. Erron says

    Our family is commited to simplify everything these days. For the holidays we will have small get togethers, cook what we will eat instead of enough for an army, and share home baked goodies and less expensive gifts. Our energy will be focused on family, friends and good times! One benifit of the economic mess these times are is we are more focused on important things in life and less on stuff. The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy “less is more”.

  150. says

    I’m giving all my family member’s homemade food gifts, think Christmas cookies, jars of white chocolate Ritz peanut butter, and pretzels dipped in chocolate and covered in crushed macadamia nuts, and rolled in coconut! Merry Christmas and Mangia!!!

  151. Kate says

    My husband and I are simplifying our holidays by celebrating “Buy Nothing Christmas.” We’ll be eating a lot, and visiting, and spending time with our loved ones – and completely opting out of the spend-fest.

    And we’re making the slow transition to eating more paleo-style, which is not simple, but worth it :-).

  152. Erron says

    Our family is commited to simplify everything these days. For the holiday we will have get togethers, cook what we will eat instead of enough for an army, and share home baked goodies and less expensive gifts. Our energy will be focused on family, friends and good times!

  153. Janice says

    We are using the decorations we have along with pinecones and greenery gathered from our area rather than spending more money on decorations.

  154. says

    We simplify by focusing on the reason for the season: Jesus’ birth. After that, everything else takes on true meaning.


  155. says

    We are going very simple this year in every aspect. Money is tight (as it is for most of us) so baked goods are going to be presents for everyone. It has been a rough year as both of my dad’s parents have passed away so we will be spending both Christmas Eve and Christmas day with him in his new house making him feel at home, just the three of us hanging out, cooking, and enjoying each others company.

  156. Roximomma says

    I have limited my cookbooks to only gluten free for the Holidays and beyond. Since I will stick to my commitment to stay gluten free I have been able to rid myself of a ton of cookbooks, temptation and pain.

  157. Erica Dinner says

    Been PAleo for 2 yrs and went off for 3 months this fall – what happened, my body got angry and all arthritis pain came back as did my vertigo. Today I said enough and bought Robb Wolfs book and starting my 30 day eating tomorrow – the give away books would be a tremendous help with getting back on track and my training for ironman NYC in August!

  158. Elizabeth Richardson says

    After 80 years I have finally found a way to eat AND feel good! It is the Paleo way – and I am so happy that I found it! Gluten free did help a little but grain free is the way I have to go and no suggar either or dairy. This book would be a welcome addition to my small collection of recipes! Thank you for your generosity!

  159. Christie says

    We will just do stockings, and will try to incorporate more spirituality into the holiday :).

  160. Stacey LoSacco says

    I am simplifying by not baking as much as I usually do…just everyone’s favs and a few new ones. Would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win the giveaway:) thank you so much-Stacey

  161. connie says

    I thought things were going to be simple this year and then I find myself having the family over Christmas Eve. With all the great ideas I am getting, it will be fine. They will be eating Ygm and may not know it. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  162. Janis says

    I always keep my holidays simple. I either make things ahead of time, so there is less to do the day of the get together OR make it a potluck and everyone brings something to share.

  163. TJ says

    I am only cooking one meal for the holiday this year. Christmas Eve will be simple soup and sandwiches

  164. domestic diva says

    Thanks for the chance! These look great. We simplify by making all gifts instead of purchasing things.

  165. Gina says

    We will be going away this year so someone else will have to worry about the cooking and cleaning.

  166. Jami Fynboh says

    Taking the Paleo plunge in 2011 will add to the simplification of Christmas at my house this year. Somehow my life has become simplified all the way around so why wouldn’t the holiday’s follow? It’s amazing how when your health is restored, everything becomes clear cut!
    As the old saying goes, “If I only knew then what I know now…”

  167. Shawna says

    Instead of gifts this year, my friends and I have decided to follow the advice of a local campaign and “Create Memories and Not Garbage”

  168. Kate says

    simplifying…well–coconut flour is my latest easy-to-bake with and thus, simplifies my life!

  169. says

    We are simplifying this year by sending simple greeting cards instead of gifts. Unfortunately we moved far away and can’t easily send tons and tons of gifts, so we’re limiting it to our young nieces. For the rest of our loved ones we’re sending holiday cards, a photo of our family and a gluten-free dairy free dessert recipe! :-)

  170. Mary says

    I am simplifying by staying out of the malls and continuing to practice yoga to keep my stress in check. We buy fewer gifts each year and try to consciously not get caught up in all the chaos that is all around us. Remember to breathe.

  171. says

    We simplified our Christmas holiday season several years ago, so this year we will, once again enjoy family and friends with only the minimal attention to shopping.

  172. Karen says

    Simplifying by no commercial type purchses for gifts……..straight from the kitchen – (passing on the goodness of gluten-free), the needles, the heart.

  173. says

    I am excited to make the holidays as complicated as possible (with food at least). For the past 5 years, while I have been in school, I have not been able to be apart of the making food process because I have been too stressed out or have major projects due. Now that I have been free of that for one year I am fully ready to go all out!

  174. Alice Schuster says

    I will be serving more simple nutritious foods, no white flour or sugar in this house anymore. Also, we exchange names at Thanksgiving and only buy 1 present for that person at Christmas, which is a secret until Christmas Eve. We focus on the reason for the season. We also spend more time with each other this time of year playing games. Your Thanksgiving turkey receipe was exceptional! Thanks you all you do, so we can have healthier lives.

  175. Abigail says

    I’m not worrying about presents as much this year and focusing more on spending quality time with my Mom. Even though we live in the same city we are often so busy that we don’t get to spend much relaxed time together. So we are focusing on spending time together doing Holiday house tours and Christmas concerts at our local library. And I am doing some baking, mostly so that I have GF cookies to take to a few friends houses when I visit.

  176. says

    I’m sort of new(6 months)of gluten free. Got gluten last week(my fault)for not paying attention. Not a lot of fun.

    We are not traveling this year. For our Christmas Diner, we are planning a meal of 1 hour or less in the kitchen for cooking & prep. No more 3 hrs or more. We are having a Ham, Brussle Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Cranberry sauce(un-cooked), Green Iced Tea and fresh Fruit for dessert. How’s that for simple & stress free?

    Thanks Elana & Shirley for your lovely give-ways!
    Have a wonderful HOLIDAY Season to all.

  177. donna says

    hi! we are simplifying by trying to give handmade/ homemade food gifts- all allergen (dairy, egg and gluten free) since there are SO many food sensitive people that we know…
    . not only does this give them treats they don’t usually enjoy but also the knowledge that they TOO can make enjoyable foods they can eat and share with others…we have come to like the concept of giving consumable items for the holidays- since foods are so expensive and..well…how many shirts or sweaters or cd’s can you give to someone? all they do is clutter up their lives after awhile..and we find that so many people really appreciate the special treats they hardly ever buy for themselves…i just got finished making gluten free kitty cat cake pops….we will also be giving the hummus we make and sell at farmer’s markets and next week i will be making chocolate truffle mice to give….we enjoy making things for the people we cherish ;-)

  178. susan says

    To simplify:
    1. I am cutting way back on sugar.
    2. I have combined three different events into one.
    3. I am making more food so that we can enjoy leftovers.
    4. Most of the dinner will be paleo.
    5. I am making lists and checking them twice.

    Here’s to Happy Holidays! I am excited!

  179. Carla says

    I love this website and your book….thank you! I am personally cutting back on meat and dairy, and incorporating more whole foods into my diet. Going hard-core after the holidays!

  180. Terry says

    I will be helping others simplify their holidays by baking gluten free Christmas cookies for them. There are a lot of people in my area recently diagnosed as being gluten sensitive.

  181. Sarah says

    I look forward to your email everyday….I am learning so much about gluten/sugar alternative’s that I can incorporate in my everyday meal planning. Thanks!

  182. Jessie says

    we just started the SCD (grain/sugar/lactose-free diet), so our Christmas menu will be quite simple (yet yummy) this year!

  183. Lorraine says

    We are making the Gingerbread Apple Crisp this weekend as a test-run for the Christmas menu. My husband loves his role as guinea pig! We are also exploring a Paleo diet. It feels like a good fit for both of us. Thanks for giving everyone a chance with your Giveaway –

  184. Heather says

    I love Christmastime, but we are not simplifying this year. We are still in the midst of trying to replace all of our favorite foods. This next week will be our trial run for several baked goods and chocolate candies from your website. This website has been a blessing to our family!

  185. Martha Edmundson says

    We will be celebrating Christmas at my daughter’s house, who is already gluten-free and sugar free. We both love Elana’s cookbooks and blog. Thanks for making it so much easier!

  186. Margaret says

    I’m simplifying my diet, gluten free, organic, fesh and natural as possible. Same for foods I bring to pot-lucks and office parties. Simplifying and cutting back on gift giving, lots of homemade, well thought out and personalized gifts this year. No decorating in my home because we will be traveling over the holidays. Keeping the packing simple as well. Trying to keep the spirit of the season alive, love and peace to ALL the world regardless of religion, ethnicity, nationality or race. Expressing gratitude for all the blessings we have.

  187. Erin says

    Less buying, more DIY-ing, and things people will use! (Quite a lot of GF-friendly kitchen gifts coming their way!)
    Spending more time with family, and doing things as a family, rather than multi-tasking and stressing about getting everything done, THEN seeing the family.

  188. Barbara says

    At Thanksgiving I finally, FINALLY, got through to my guys that I need help with the dishes! They like to eat so I’m not exactly cutting back on the cooking, but help with the cleanup is awesome!

  189. Mari says

    I’m a recent paleo “convert”, so the holidays for me will be simplified in terms of what I eat, but a bit messy when it comes to finding a way to turn down relatives’ baked goods without seeming rude. But I am planning to bring my own baked goods (your pumpkin bread was a hit at Thanksgiving!) to make it easier. ;)

  190. Amy in Austin says

    I had a voucher from Southwest for volunteering to be bumped off a flight earlier this year, so I went ahead and splurged on their automatic check in process and I am packing light to avoid checking a bag. While not exactly simplifying, I think his will make a big difference in my stress level flying home on Christmas Eve!

  191. Ellen Smith says

    We are a small family and our holiday observances are usually simple. Sharing a meal with those we love is celebration enough.

  192. Susan Ruffalo says

    This year, I’ve tried to keep our Christmas simpler- instead of baking nearly a dozen different varieties of cookies, we’ve each picked our favorites and we’re making a batch of each of those.

  193. Jamee S. says

    I’m simplifying my holidays by only buying 3 gifts for my kids: 1 from the parents, 1 from Santa and 1 stocking stuffer. That’s it!

  194. Kathy says

    Your recipe looks amazing! Apple Crisp has always been a favorite of mine. Thank you for the oppotunity to enter and for the great dessert recipe (although, you might find me eating it for breakfast!)

  195. Lisa says

    I always keep it pretty simple. One thing I’m trying not to do this year is drag my two boys (6 and 4) to things that only interest me.

  196. Sally says

    I’ve decided to simplify our holidays and improve our health by not making any treats that are unhealthy this year. It will be the best gift I can give my family.

  197. KSmith says

    I’m striving to refine our menus with one goal: to find 1 or 2 recipes that work for the whole family at each meal (GF, vegetarian, low sodium, beige-food-atarian). That may mean it’s a veggie soup with chicken on the side or a pasta bar. Often it’s a very basic or “paleo” meal. Thanks for your great recipes.

  198. Lisa says

    I am simplifying this year by getting out only my most favorite Christmas decorations, buying gifts that are really needed or wanted, and making a healthy Christmas feast that has twists on old favorites for gluten- and sugar-free diets.

  199. Amy Stafford says

    I would like to try some paleo-friendly (and, of course, gluten-friendly) cookie recipes. I would also like to start the tradition of a gluten-free holiday breakfast with my significant other.

    Holy cow, I would love any of the prizes!

  200. Julie says

    We are not really simplifying this year. Last year was our first year observing Hanukkah so we are looking for more ways to make it meaningful for the kids this year. This is our second gluten-free holiday, Thanksgiving was the first. We did travel for that one but it went extremely well. This time we’ll be staying home. I may make the Star of David stained glass cookies that I made last year again, but I need to adapt them to make them gluten free.

  201. Sarah P says

    We are simplifying by getting a lot of the small treats and books at thrift stores and making some gifts as well as giving experience gifts.

  202. Debbie Pettigrew says

    I will be simplyfying by not baking all those sugar laden cookies and only making gluten-free cookies that we will consume rather than end up throwing them away!

  203. Vickie says

    We are simplifying by participating in “One Less Gift” at our church. Everyone is getting one less gift so that we can donate to those in need through our congregation.

  204. Denise B says

    This year we are not traveling anywhere over 45 miles away so no overnight stays! Also, we are doing minimal gift giving for adults so that makes Christmas better in many ways. This year we are focusing on just spending time with family.

  205. Stephanie says

    After Thanksgiving, I’m wiped out! I’ll be sticking to the basics for Christmas and cooking meals that are naturally GF/DF and require minimal substitutions.

  206. Laura says

    We’re simplifying this year by cutting back on the presents (and being more thoughtful with those we get) and focusing on time spent with the family.

  207. Julie says

    To simplify our holidays, we will not be exchanging gifts between extended family members but will greatly enjoy the beautiful gift of spending time together. We are thankful to be able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you so much for your wonderful gift to all of us in sharing your lovely recipes. I am so grateful for what you do!!! Your recipes have made my life so much simpler and more pleasant. God bless you!

  208. Sharlene S says

    I’m ordering more on line and cooking less. Letting my children do more to help me out in the kitchen.

  209. kim c says

    we’re simplifying by doing only a few gifts and not spending much but we are not simplifying because we now have to make all our own treats and snacks. its a good thing I enjoy testing new recipes and your blog has been a lifesaver.

  210. Valerie says

    I thought I was simplifying my holidays by crafting gifts for my family, but that has turned into my biggest stress!

  211. Darlene says

    I just spend Christmas at home with my two cats and the tree. Already have the Paleo stuffing made for the turkey (organic free range)and have bought nearly all veggies. Only need to buy two gifts and small simple ones at that- both are thank yous as these people have helped me through a difficult time in my life.

    My family does not buy gifts for one another (the adults in the family that is). They only buy for the small children (two). We call each other on Christmas day and chat for hours. I live 800 miles away from my family so travel in winter is difficult and expensive (flying). To me, that’s what Christmas is about anyway – family, not presents!

  212. Carrie Gort says

    this season I will be simplifying by embracing the motto that I will do what I can, when I can, as I’m able. Perfection does not equal happiness, so I will do what I can well and enjoy!

  213. Joelle says

    When I think of being simple for the holidays, to me it means buying stuff, and I would much rather make things! This year is definitely not going to be simple, I have been making rice packs. I am going to create a new comforter out of an old one, make a light-up snowmman from items at the dollar store, make GF cupcakes for a friend and so on, make corn-free/GF birthday cake for a friend’s little boy, make up a GF flour pack for my sister, and the list goes on…Not to mention I still have to feed my family on a regular basis, and travel to shop!! I wish I had more time for sanity or didn’t need to sleep!

  214. says

    we’ll be spending christmas here at home with our kids rather than traveling. and we’re making as many presents this year as possible!

  215. Laura Harmasch says

    I am hoping to do some cooking and freezing so that I can sit back and enjoy a little more of the holiday.

  216. Meg says

    Recently I discovered my intollerance for gluten and dairy products, so this year will be my first Christmas as Gluten Free. I have been GF for 6 months now and I have been amazed by how much better I feel. Every year I bake cookies for my friends & family and this year, I will be including GF treats from the Almond Flour Cookbook. The gluten free, grain free cookies from Elana’s pantry are amazingly good and no one can ever detect that they are GF.
    Simplifying this stressful season by hosting a cookie exchange where in lieu of gifts, we share cookies!

  217. Louise says

    It’s just going to be my husband and I, with our new baby girl. I plan to make a simple Christmas dinner with one of the gluten-free desserts. Usually I prepare loads of food, but not doing that this year.

  218. Beth says

    Your recipe looks really good. I eat an apple most days but I am trying to vary it up with eating it in different ways. We have a small family so our holidays are usually not very chaotic. We do give gifts to each other but I try to be practical and buy or ask for things that I know we will acutally need or use.

  219. says

    We will simplify be only eating one big meal on Christmas Day. Both sides of my family live in the same city, so we usually do holidays separately. But this year we are staying put and eating lunch together!

  220. Erica S. says

    Buying gifts online and refusing to step into the mall or big box retail stores…less stress and more time to enjoy with friends and family!

  221. heather says

    We are staying simple by staying close to home. Lots of home cooked meals and cookies after playing in the snow

  222. Meghan says

    We will be simplifying by cutting back on gifts and just spending more time together laughing, cooking, playing games. My Mom and I always bake cookies together and this year we will be trying some gluten free cookies. I also simplify by making more of my gifts for people. I think that a homemade gift means so much more and I really enjoy making them. Over the summer I made a classic marinara sauce using a use batch of Farmer’s Market tomatoes. We canned the sauce and everyone will get a jar in their goodies basket :)

    -Meghan Trudell

  223. Lorna A. Murphy says

    So glad you posed this question – it made me think about the value of simplifying – to help remain stress-free, to enjoy the holiday more, and to be healthier with what we eat. I am starting early (for me) to decorate a little, using attic items from past years and greens on the property. I will limit my baking to one non gf coffeecake, and mostly make healthy carrot-coconut flour muffins (gf) for my granddaughter and myself. Our son and granddaughter are coming from Europe for only one week, and we will mostly just enjoy them while doing things a preschooler will enjoy. I also plan to take naps with her!


  224. Rachel says

    I am cutting WAY back on the amount of baking I usually do for Christmas, and have done most of my shopping online this year. Trying to spend more time with friends and family and less on “things”.

  225. Nancy B. says

    My daughter will be home from college for only two weeks. I’m stockpiling healthy delicious holiday meals for them. I love the paleo comfort foods cookbook and hope to make meals some from that. I love your website and will be making some desserts from yours, Elana.

  226. Erica says

    This looks wonderful! I will be simplifying by hiring a friend to do most of the baking I’d like to have done. Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

  227. Kymber says

    I LOVE following your blog. Since I’ve gone GF/Paleo…its been a life saver.
    I’m simplifying Christmas this year by cutting back, remembering the true meaning of the season and spending the time with family. The malls can stay busy with other people while I enjoy my family more.

  228. Deb Pacheco says

    We are going to be less overindulgent in the areas of food, decorations, and gifts. Rather, we will spend more time celebrating Jesus’ birthday, which my boys will love! Who doesn’t like a birthday party? Thank you for your time and effort that you put into your receipes. They are fabulous!

  229. Jennifer Shadle says

    This holiday season I will be taking baking lessons from a friend who is very talented in regular and gf baking! Hopefully this will simplify my life because I am not the best baker!

  230. says

    oh my goodness this is the best giveaway ever!!!

    To simplify this year I am focusing on making a few very good and well-loved recipes instead of trying to have a ton of different options. Quality over quantity. I have just transitioned to a Paleo diet but have been gluten free for 7 years. I love perfecting recipes that taste like the not-so-healthy versions and feeling good that I am giving my family the good nutrition I give to myself everyday and them not knowing the difference in taste! This website and your cookbook are the basis for most of my treats this year!

    Happy Holidays to all!!

  231. says

    Hi Elana! I’m a ‘gluten-free newbie cook’ and love your site! it’s been incredibly helpful, from recipes to sourcing, and has helped my whole family as we eat gluten-free! I even made some of your desserts for an office gathering and these items went faster than the regular stuff!! I had to tell everyone where i got the recipes and they were surprised…and soon were checking out your site for themselves!
    For this Christmas, our family is opening up our dinner to more friends, with the thought of sharing the holidays over delicious food and conversation. Not a lot of emphasis on presents, but being ‘present’ instead! Lovely!
    Thanks again for your terrific site – we all love it! Deb

  232. Denise M says

    I just had surgery and am not allowed to do anything for four weeks, that is definitely going to make my holiday chores a lot easier one me. :)

  233. Kathleen Benner says

    I have three very young children so this year my husband and I decided to order Omaha Steaks for our family members and have it delivered right before Christmas. This way, we do not have to tote all the gifts to every house we take the kids too on Christmas Day on top of all the diaper bags and baby necessities!!

  234. Michelle Crooker says

    This sounds sooooo yummy! Would have never thought of it. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  235. Danielle H. says

    Your giveaways are always the best! My husband and I are simplifying this year by not giving gifts. We are simplifying our spending. We will keep our tradition of giving each other an ornament (so we can build up our own stock of them!) that means something about the past year. Its a fun tradition and we really dont have a need for more “stuff.” Since going paleo these giveaway items would be AWESOME!

  236. marta zulauf says

    We have simplified by focusing on Jesus and that fact that it is His birthday and we are giving Him presents by giving to the poor and needy.

  237. Kim says

    My holidays, and life, have gotten simpler since I went gluten free. My meals, although just as good, are much more simply prepared. I am using fresher ingredients and I let the natural flavors shine. Our meals now, which I prepare from scratch everyday, consist of grilled meats, roasted or sauteed veggies, and maybe a salad of some description. We are much healthier and are enjoying our food much more these days. Our Christmas meal will be Prime Rib with fresh horseradish, mashed cauliflower, brussel sprouts, a salad of fresh fennel and oranges, and probably a Paleo chocolate pudding. What more do you need?

    Happy Holidays!

  238. Michele says

    I am currently enrolled in graduate school so simplifying the holidays is a necessity. No big parties, no fancy dinners and not too many gifts for the kids. Hoping to do some baking and sharing your amazing recipes with some very helpful friends.

  239. Deborah B. says

    I am simplifying by taking time each day to take care of myself. I am trying to “nourish” myself through exercise, diet and fun activities in order to restore my energy and health after a long journey of healing from ovarian cancer treatment. Cooking healthy foods for myself and my family is at the core of this healing path.

  240. Shelby says

    We try to simplify by focusing on the things that matter; the true meaning of Christmas and family. We do some decorating, but don’t go over the top- just simple and pretty. We don’t create a lot of hype around Santa Claus with our kids. We always try to do some type of Christmas craft together, to enjoy the holiday spirit together. And, we try to teach our kids that it is better to give to others in need than to receive.
    This will be our first holiday eating completely “clean,” and I think that making delicious, nourishing, and healthy food will make this season simpler and more enjoyable as well! (I can’t wait to try your gingerbread apple crisp- especially since I have a box of Braeburns in my garage from our own orchard to use up! YUM!)

  241. Kristin says

    Hi! Thanks for the giveaways.

    I’m simplifying by trying to be present. Trying to not live in what’s next, but rather in really being present with my kids and enjoying the holiday season by doing simple things together: baking gluten-free, reading books to my kids, ice skating, etc.

  242. Laura says

    I’m simplifying my holidays by getting my shopping done early! For wrapping paper, I’m using all recycled products. I’m preparing some gluten free treats to bring to Christmas, so I can eat some sweet treats for Christmas too!

  243. Monifah says

    This year will be the first x mas with 3 kids instead of two and we are going to be just us for a change. Enjoying the children ánd eachother and making a whole bunch of GF snacks, together!

  244. Judith says

    We are trying to simplify the holidays this year. Not so much running around and party going, more eating healthy food at home and having fun with the family.

  245. says

    Hmmm. I don’t think I am simplifying anything. Though, shopping is easier this year, as I am just giving gift cards to my brother and parents. Sounds cold, but my brother has been out of work for most of this year, and my parents are trying to down-size. So, the gift cards just make more sense.

  246. Erin Brost says

    This Christmas, we will be simplifying by focussing on Jesus and giving to those in need.

  247. julie says

    My partner and I have been simplifying our lives in total for the past 18 months, since he has retired. We sold all our household items except the absolute necessities and a few treasures from the past and have been living in a travel trailer.

    We are creating a habit of wintering in Mississippi along the Gulf Coast in one of the poorest counties in the U.S., the one that was hardest hit by Katrina and still struggles to rebuild after losing 65 to 75% of their population after Katrina.

    The campers in our park decided that we will do a gift certificate exchange and the certificates must come from the local businesses. We also join to eat as a group several times a month sporting tees that say, “Supporting local businesses one bite at a time.”

    Thus we are engaging in normal daily actitivities in a mindful, community sustaining manner, while not accumulating more “stuff.”

    It is a wonderful lifestyle where one learns something new each and every day.

  248. Cara says

    I have been following a diet similar to the Paleo diet for quite a while, so I will be making the holidays simple by cooking lots of delicious veggies! This Christmas I will be spending a lot of time with my family making crafts. I am also thinking up all kinds of ways that I can use a Vitamix 5200! Thank you so much to Shirley for having such a cool give away!

  249. Clare Garcia-Gentry says

    I am so grateful my extended family embraced gluten-free cooking this year for Thanksgiving. We had an elegant, simplified meal. Christmas promises to be the same.

  250. Lucinda says

    I have to simplify this year for health reasons. The biggest one is simply giving doing fewer things. Instead of racing all over the place, we are focusing on the few activities that have real meaning. We also spend a lot of time in our kitchen and we invite people to join us as we make tasty, healthy food and treats for the holidays. Less travel (for us anyway) but still lots of fun!

  251. Dorie DePuy says

    I have already sat down and have gone through your website for recipes that I can have. I have recently found out I have many foods I need to avoid. So your recipes are truly helping me. This Christmas I will be making only foods that I can legally eat and not making extra dishes.

  252. PAT says

    I would be delighted to receive the vitamix blender. I have read many excellent reviews on the blender.

  253. Chris says

    Food will be simple and paleo and just spent enjoying family and friends. Simplicity is peaceful. :)

  254. Lauren says

    We too will be cutting down on gifts, just one per kid this year, and trying to focus more on the traditions that involve showing our love through time together…like baking gluten free treats!!

  255. Kristin W. says

    Simplifying by just not over packing out schedule! I would love to win either of these books!

  256. says

    We are a Neo-Pagan household with Jewish and Christian roots. So we celebrate Solstice, Hannukah, and Christmas. I am totally making grain-free potato pancakes again this year!

  257. Ginger Carroll says

    Simplifying Christmas has been my number one goal for years. There’s no magic answer but I know I’ve got to keep trying. It’s a daily choice I have to make, and it begins with me, the Mom. We set the tone of the home. So today I choose to remember this is a time to dwell on the best gift God gave, His Son and then my family. That helps me keep it simple.

  258. Megan says

    I am only buying gifts for my immediate family and significant other and am buying more local and/or handmade goods. I’m also spending my large holiday meal with other people who are remaining grain-free for the holidays. Not going home this year is making me sad, but at least it helps me stick to my diet!

  259. ange says

    I am simplifying for the holidays by reducing and reusing. I am reducing the amount of things in my home and finding new homes for them. I am reusing by increasing my use of non-disposable, non-plastic drinking, eating and other useable items. Less and more.

  260. Lisa says

    I’m simplifying buy making gifts my sisters’ whole families rather than buying individual gifts for everyone!

  261. Adriana Skura says

    This year we will be simplifying the holidays by focusing on gratitude, connection and community. We will be creating gifts together from recycled items, and hosting a gluten-free potluck to gather around the fire, share stories and honor the magic of this season for its beauty and simplicity rather than stress.

  262. says

    Holidays? Simple? I don’t think that’ll be me, hahaha. I think I’ll just make some cookies and your almond joy bars if it allows

  263. Diane says

    We simplify by focusing on the light of the season: how can we bring more light into the world as a result of our actions? Helps keep the focus on giving and being grateful for what we receive.

  264. Lee Boyer says

    I am simplifying this Christmas by not stressing over cards and whether or not I missed someone on the “list”…also we have been Grain/Gluten-Free for 2 mths. now and after going off on Thanksgiving for just a taste and having a horrific belly ache I will NOT be cheating for Christmas! I have said “Goodbye” to my Perfectionistic Personality and am enjoying every single moment of the Season celebrating our Saviors birth with my husband and son!!!

  265. Hedy Harris says

    I have gotten down to soup or salad for 1st course, one protein, one starch (which will be latkes) and 2-3 veggie sides. A flourless chocolate cake with raspberries and or fruit for dessert with some of Elana’s cookies. My daughters and grandkids will be joing us.
    Happy Holidays to all of you out there.

  266. Marjorie says

    I’ve simplified by cooking the same (lo-carb/GF) food for everyone; makes life easier. Thanks, Elana

  267. Rhonda says

    Simplifying the holidays for me, started in 2009 by going gluten free. I found that I had a lot less “troubles”. Now, when the holidays comes around, I send out shortbread cookies made with sorghum and nutflours. Elana’s pantry was the first website that I found where every recipe that I tried worked as it should. Personally, I found that my body didn’t care for agave nector, so many times I use honey in its place. Thank you for the care and testing of your recipes, so that those of us who didn’t know the new rules could gain confidence while learning them.

    Many Blessings,

  268. says

    I’ll simplify by cooking more and shopping less. Cooking is grounding and relaxing in my otherwise busy life. I’ll remember to be more thankful as we have survived what many have not in the current economic times.

  269. Judy says

    Any simplifying that I do comes from the fact that Christmastime makes me very happy. :) Performing my regular work and life activities plus any additional holiday celebrations or preparations is just much more fun seeing all the Christmas lights and holiday decorations and the snow and our family and friends. :)

  270. Rachel Williams says

    We keep the Holiday simple by spending it with family and keeping our focus of Christmas about Jesus.

  271. Ingrid says

    It’s been a bit of a complicated holiday with the potential merging of families, but my fiance and I are spending Chrismas weekend with my family and then New Year’s with his. However, we decided we needed a last minute getaway from familes in general so we just bought tix to Tahoe the week before Xmas and New Years and are looking forward to the trip. Btw, I found out I was allergic to gluten/dairy/eggs this past summer so I made my first GDE-free Thanksgiving dinner with some of your recipes and other sites you recommended. Thank you so much!!!

  272. Collanne says

    Since this is my husband and I’s first year to host Christmas, I am sure nothing will be simple! But, I am trying to convert my parents to Paleo, so I will be cooking and baking many of your Paleo friendly recipes to show them they can eat delicious AND healthy food!

  273. Robin Fortin says

    I find the best way to simplify my big family C’mas Eve dinner is by beginning preparations as early as a week in advance with setting the table, selecting serving ware, chopping vegetables and so when the actual day comes around all I’m doing is popping things in and out of the oven. I don’t feel rushed and enjoy the process much more!

  274. says

    I was attempting to simplify this season by making a lot of the gifts I’m giving, but now that I’m working on all of them it’s definitely not simple!

  275. Kieran says

    We simplify by not going crazy with food/presents focusing on the spiritual and family aspects of the holidays

  276. says

    I’m trying to skip shopping stress & save money by making my own gifts– I’m not sure if this will be simple or not! Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  277. Lisa says

    We are staying home and enjoying each other. Yes, there will be gifts, but not as many as usual. I feel we all need to appreciate what we have and each other more than additional “stuff”.

  278. AnnMarie Deis says

    Rather than in years past, I will only be preparing gluten-free foods/treats/drinks and not trying to appease all of my guests. I find that most guests are fine with my “alternative” foods, so I am not focusing on gluten-laden foods.

    Happy holidays!

  279. Charee says

    I simplify the holidays by offering small gifts that can be used up such as foods, hand cream, etc. Something to say – I appreciate your presence in my life. For nieces and nephews, a couple of dollars they can save or combine with other gifts to purchase what they really want. Very little time spent in stores. More time spent at home with carols and a fire. More time in the kitchen nourishing myself and others. More time offering gratitude for this life.

  280. Rebecca Montgomery says

    The way I keep it simple is focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and that is Jesus. Food is simple and simply delicious organic produce in season and healthy protein. Try not to think about all the material stuff, time with family is precious.

  281. Cristin says

    I am simplifying by buying fewer gifts and focusing on spreading joy to my family an friends!

  282. says

    I’m asking loved ones what they want that would be essential to them, support their beingness. No frivolous gifts right now. Very few cards in the mail, and what I do send has personal messages of gratitude and love. I’m making my own wrapping paper out of decorated brown paper or white news paper. I’m trying to do the things I actually enjoy and have personal meaning, and nothing out of obligation. Now I’m looking forward to it all as opposed to dreading all the effort.

  283. Heather says

    I’m making things less stressful by not traveling. The thought of packing for long trips nearly makes me sick!

  284. JeanMarie Breslin says

    Hi, I am simply make one give away. My Puff corn. Instead of making numerous items to give to friends & neighbors. I am only making the puff corn, which is a corn like cheetos, but without the cheese. Then I make a carmel sauce to put on it. It is not very healthy, but friends & neighbors love it. Love the healthy suggestions you have offered.

    Hope to win a book or something.
    Merry Christmas

  285. Sherri says

    My husband and I will be staying home for the holidays. Most of our family lives 1,800 miles away (we live near SF and they live in the Midwest). We plan on being very simple this year: no tree or decorations. To be honest, I haven’t even thought about the meal yet. I’m sure hubby and I will cook a turkey, fix a vegetable we both like (easy for me because I like them, but not so much for him…lol) and some sort or GF pie or cake. I have muliple sclerosis, so it has to be easy and quick because of my condiion.

  286. Casie says

    I will be simplifying by making lots of recipes from your website! I’m not a 100% gluten free eater but I still love all your recipes.

  287. Irene says

    My family and I will be simplifying by making less cookies and buying less gifts. Instead we will focus on what the season is all about -Jesus Christ. Elena -Thank you for great blog and great recipes.

  288. Katie says

    I am simplifying Christmas by making fish for dinner, easy peasy. Love your recipes they’ve changed our lives!

  289. Elaine says

    We love the Lord Jesus Christ and are so thankful that He came to earth to die on the cross for our sins. If we repent of our sins and trust in Him, we will be saved to spend eternity with Him! This is the simple gospel truth for celebrating Christmas. Merry Christmas!

  290. rachel says

    I love Christmas time with the lights, the baked goods and the coziness of a warm house, but Jesus is the real reason for the season! Plain and simple. :)

  291. Christina says

    I am not traveling this year! With three very small kids that makes things MUCH simpler! ;)

  292. Becka says

    WOW i’m the 238th comment… guess this is a pretty popular give away! Thank you for the recipe and all you’ve done for gluten-freeers!

  293. Alison says

    I will be making some of your recipes to go along with the “traditional” versions my family eats. That way, I can feel a part of things (from a food-perspective) but still eat in the way that works best for me!

  294. says

    Let’s see…we are heading home from Sweden for the Holidays and will be hitting 3-4 states from NJ-FL in a two week period…that’s not so simple. Oh but wait! I did email my Mom in Florida the link to your blog, and told her she could bake anything she wants from it, and it would be safe for my little gf allergic crew. So that is 5 days I don’t have to cook, or worry. Now that’s a gift. Ah Simplicity. Thanks Mom, and Thank you Elana!

  295. Nicole says

    We work really hard not to overschedule and keep our time for family time. I get all my shopping done before Thanksgiving as well and that helps a ton. These both help us focus on our beliefs around the holidays.

  296. Becki says

    I am simplifying this year by crocheting most of my gifts. It beats going out in the crowded malls fighting for the sales. I also received so many great recipes with sites like yours to help me with holiday treats to give away as gifts :)

  297. Sara says

    To simplify this year, I have decided to host family dinner. After years of running around to different homes (my parents are divorced and I also need to include my partner’s parents and my grandparents), I have decided it would be simpler if we could all get together and enjoy each other’s company all at once. While this seems more complicating, hosting will be a pleasure for me and I’ll get to spend Christmas with the most important people in my life.

  298. dawn says

    I love the simple things of Christmas… no rushing out to buy gifts for people out of obligation… just simple gifts that close family will enjoy.

  299. Michelle Duhl says

    I am making the holidays a little easier by buying a couple items from local vendors that make wonderful food, and thus allowing me to make what I do make extra special and spend time with friends.

  300. says

    We will be doing a lot less baking this year…especially of the sweet stuff! Healthier and who needs all that holiday weight gain from too many cookies! ;)

  301. Elaine Van Volkingburgh says

    I echo the words of a reader’s comment, in that, our family too will be focusing on the birth of Christ and the reason for His coming found in the Bible verse, John 3:16.
    Also, for the past two years our family has decided to forgo gift giving (with the exception of s stocking) and buy much needed practical items for 3rd world needy families. This year we are buying beds for the family of a little girl in Guatemala that our oldest son sponsors. We are enjoying these simpler Christmases and find joy in giving to others.

  302. Darlene says

    We are keeping our Christmas meal simple by everyone in our family being responsible for one dish only.

  303. Susan says

    I’m simplifying the holidays by reading Simplicity Parenting and selling off more toys than any my children could possibly get for Christmas.

  304. Karen Varinecz says

    We will be visiting family and will be teaching them about how to be gluten-free. Hopefully, that will simplify their lives!

  305. Maggie Drake says

    Gifting ceramics and other homemade items made by myself or my very, very talented friends. Looking forward to spending time with family; that’s always the best part.

  306. Jackie Korevec says

    This Christmas we will be simplifying our holidays by only eating meals that are grain-free. Many of the blogs that are participating in, Home for the Holidays, have provided us many ideas so we can eat healthy this holiday season.

    Thank you,

    Jackie Korevec

  307. Andrea says

    Several years ago my family decided that instead of giving gifts, we would pick a charity or someone in need and give them money instead. Less hassle of buying gifts and others benefit that need it more than we do!

  308. MaryK says

    What a great giveaway…thanks Shirley for the prizes and Elana for participating. I simplify by shopping on-line.

  309. michelle says

    I will be simplyfying my holiday by making only the foods my family can eat(gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and yeast free) and serving it to my exteneded family. In years past i have accomadated by serving 2 types of most foods and im sure cross contaminating “our” food and this year I am showing them how good gluten free tastes :)

  310. Nicole Rudder says

    We are staying home for Christmas, no cross-country travel. I’m also staying organized by planning meals and making some simple gifts this year.

  311. says

    We simplify by making things with as few ingredients as possible! That way, anyone can enjoy the food, no matter what their sensitivity or allergy is!

  312. Linda Wilson says

    All of you are such a Blessing…what labors of Love you do. Would have loved to have had these resourses when my family was younger. Blessing

  313. Susan says

    I’m preparing some of your gluten free recipes to take to a friends house for dinner. This year I am staying in town and not flying to where my sisters live. I am giving only gifts from small local businesses, and not doing a tree. I am donating more to local charities instead. Have lovely peaceful holidays everyone! Thanks Elana.

  314. lexi says

    Usually I make two different/separate baking treats..my fitness friends get all the healthy goodies and my family who are not into the healthy life style (yet) get the regular treats! so I will be cooking ALL my holiday treats clean/healthy this year for everyone and not tell my family about the healthy alternatives until they have eatin them all!!…teeeheee!!!

  315. says

    I will be simplifying by sticking to wholesome foods…ones that are simple to prepare but taste so wondeful because they have only a few fresh, organic ingredients.

  316. Christina says

    There will be less gifts, smaller tree, and more appreciation for each others company and the spirit of giving! Happy Holidays!

  317. Kathy K. says

    When all this information is pulled together into one place, I am AMAZED at the number of paleo sites, and the quality of work being posted. I have only been an ‘Elana’s Pantry’ follower until now.

  318. Audrey J says

    Minimal decorating this year. Doing my shopping for gifts early, so I am less stressed. My husband & I are not giving gifts for each other. We are getting a joint gift for the house!

  319. Clairerose C says

    I’m only buying presents for my nieces this year. for the adults, I am making donations in their names:-D

  320. BubbyMC says

    Every year we have a big family Chanuka party with a gift exchange. This year we’ve asked everyone to NOT buy anything, but to either find something they already have and re-gift it, or to give something that they make themselves.

  321. Kassi says

    We are simplifying our holidays by attending fewer events that leave us exhausted. We are trying to spend more time together as a family. Foodwise, however, I will spare no effort for our Christmas Dinner which will be Paleo friendly.

  322. Jillian says

    Hi Elana,
    I will NOT give into being in socializing this season and getting sick from over-processed & sugar-laden offerings. No more bagels, cakes or the dreaded cookie-swap!

    Everywhere we (my husband Brent and I) go we are sharing delicious & nutricious, gluten-free treats. So, far (the different gatherings) everyone has loved what we bring to share and are asking for the recipes. It’s like a ripple effect.

    People do not know what they are missing until they try it recipes without all those ‘traditional’ ingredients.


  323. Amanda says

    simplifying with homemade gifts and just spending time together (instead of spending the big bucks!)

  324. Marikay says

    We will be simplifying our holidays by being organized! I am already done with shopping and now enjoying each day with family and friends. Have been cooking and eating very plain. Very nutritious but simple foods. Thanks to your site, we have been eating a few “sweets” along with our simple eating plan. This giveaway is awesome.

  325. Chris Staatz says

    We will be spending Christmas at our condo in Colorado, keeping it low key. Simple meal after a day of skiing. I have been spending the last couple of weeks making presents for my family, so no hectic shopping.

  326. Cheryl says

    This year, we ordered our Christmas cards online instead of creating them and printing them ourselves. MUCH less stressful!!

  327. deana says

    i have been trying a nutritional lifestyle change for 6 weeks now. After being released from hospital with digestve system issues and no clear answers I am trying to eat better. I will be adding desserts from your website this holiday season as well as cooking simple nonprocessed foods.

  328. Susan M. says

    I’m simplifying my holidays by making more of my gifts (thank you for the great recipes!) and by getting a lot of rest and relaxation while I am off from work :) I’ll be making me cookie doughs and freezing them ahead of time, too, so as to not get stressed out.

  329. Kathy Kilbourne says

    We are simplifying by staying home and not baking all the sugary treats, but just a few that are from you….one of my favorites is the Pumpkin Spice Bars…..everyone loves them!!!! We also cut back on the gift giving to just a few. It is more important to spend time with each other.

  330. says

    My family and I will be simplifying the holidays this year by helping my mom bake! Since she’s such a great baker, she usually gets stuck with all the work. But my siblings–or at least my sister–and I will be making a conscious effort to help her out and make the process a little easier for her. It makes for a much happier household! :)

  331. Dominika says

    I will be simplifying by taking the focus off of Christmas presents, and putting focus on spending quality time with loved ones.

  332. Tracey says

    I just cannot wait to try the cinnamon & chocolate babka! It has been the tradition for our family to make babka for Christmas and Easter, but because of various health issues ailing different family members, I wasn’t going to make it this year. Well, I am extremely excited to make this new version. It is quite different than our traditional fruited variety, but at least I’ll get to keep our family tradition alive :) THANK YOU!!!!!
    Keeping the holidays simple with little children doesn’t seem possible, but so far so good!

  333. Katrina says

    To simplify this year, I got all the gift shopping done early. My little ones and I have also been testing a handful of recipes. Every year we also try to find someone less fortunate and do something for them. Thank you for your website and cookbooks! They have been a blessing to our family. Merry Christmas!

  334. says

    This is one of my favorite websites. My husband and I are in fulltime ministry and travel a lot. When our children and grandchildren come home, we play the “Chinese Gift Exchange” with gifts and take lots of pictures to build memories. Blessings!

  335. Linda says

    Finishing school and moving home brings about creativity! More baking adventures have begun, and bonding again with my old sewing machine. (No crowds out shopping for this girl!) :) Enjoying the new recipes you’re trying out. Thank you! :)

  336. Sheila says

    We are trying to keep everything simple and remember the reason to celebrate. There are no presents exchanged for the adults. Time is spent on family, food, and games. The week before Christmas we are taking the time to bake together and choosing healthier choices.

    I wish you all a wonderful and joyful Christmas holiday season.


  337. says


    I will be simplifying the holidays by doing more homemade gifts including granola, baking cookies, and trail mixes instead of store bought gifts. I love seeing the reactions of gifts made from the heart.

  338. GG Johnston says

    For the first time, we going all gluten and casein free for the holidays. Tomorrow is cookie baking with the cousins, who aren’t gluten free, so they will get try some new recipes. Elana–your blog and cookbook have made an enormous difference in our health. Without almond flour, I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to let go of grains. Thank you!

  339. Francie says

    Newly retired, and an amateur photographer, I am simplifying by using my images to make a year calendar for most of my family gifts. In addition, my 91 year old mother-in-law loves jigsaw puzzles, so I took one of my images of her favorite wildlife refuge and had a custom puzzle made.

    Not new this year, but my sisters and I are blessed with everything we need. Years ago we began to give to a needy cause in each other’s honor, instead of giving each other gifts. We are now up to 22 loans at Kiva.com (a wonderful way to keep on giving), in addition to giving to local and regional charities; plus funding for health and education – particularly for women and children – in the Middle East.

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog, I found it when I switched to low carb & low gluten for health reasons, it is a great resource!

  340. julie says

    I don’t get whipped up and wound up by the holiday “must do’s”. I decorate the house the week before Christmas with fresh-cut greens and old family ornaments. I cook what feels like fun (GF of course). I buy /make/find a few small token gifts for closest family and friends and send a check to an orphanage in Guinea in honor of those I know and love. We all have more than we need and everything we want, those kids do not.

  341. Susan Plocher says

    I feel even more strongly this Christmas than ever to focus on celebrating CHRIST and to get away from all the frantic buying, the hype of Santa and the getting getting getting. It’s about Jesus and his love for us coming down as a small child. It’s about family and sharing and showing love to each other. It’s about TIME. Blessings to you and yours this CHRISTmas season. Thanks for all you do.

  342. patty says

    We are baking and eating recipes that all can eat, GF, SCD.. there are great ones that meet all our requirements.

  343. says

    I will be baking with almond flour which I find to be simpler and tastier than GF mixes for most things–and I am decorating a small tree instead of a monolith!

  344. JennM says

    We won’t be traveling this year for the holidays, which makes everything so simple! We moved back to my hometown, where my family lives, so instead of figuring out how to be everywhere at once (with a three-year-old in tow!), we get to stay home and relax!

  345. says

    We try to simplify the holidays by indulging in healthier recipes instead of those loaded with sugar. I have altered some of my favorite holiday recipes using stevia and a little coconut palm sugar and actually find them yummier than the extremely “loaded” versions ;o)

  346. Jonathan says

    To simplify this Christmas season, I plan to concentrate on the important things: God, family, and friends.

  347. nicole mulroney says

    I’m simplifying by making most of my Christmas gifts, or personalizing them in some way. Also, as a very recent gluten-free girl and avid baker, I am cleaning out my pantry and giving away everything that I can’t use so that some of my friends and loved ones can. Out with old, in with the new!

  348. says

    We are actually traveling this holiday to Ohio which is something we don’t normally do. So, not much simplification (even though that’s my motto in life) going on here, except that I love being able to ride in the car while my husband drives (the whole 13 hours) while I read and relax. So it will actually be quite relaxing.

  349. says

    This year instead of having to cook for everyone, I’m asking family members to bring a dish for Christmas luncheon at my place. I work full time so this will definitely simply things for me on Christmas day. More time to be with the family :)

  350. Lisa says

    Simplicity at its best – not big production meals, over-the-top shopping extravaganzas, or miles-long to-do lists. Just spending quality time with people I care about, good (simple food),l a few indulgences. ahhhhhh

  351. Linda W. says

    It will just be my sister and me for Christmas this year. To simplify our Christmas dinner we will make some of our Mother’s favorite recipes…but not too many.

    I love your nearly sugar-free desserts and will be making one of them also.

  352. says

    We’re simplifying by making more of what few gifts will be given or anything purchased helps add value to the other person’s life like books for the grand-kids. Less time decorating and lighter meals.

  353. Kim Poletti says

    We are simplifying things this year by giving gifts of charity in the name of our children (in addition to their usual two presents–one from us, one from Santa).

    We are also focusing on gifts of experience rather than “things” or “stuff.”

    I hope your holiday is simply peaceful.

  354. SANDRA says

    i am planning to simplify my holidays by requesting gifts to me be of regifted or recycled status. i will also be baking healthy treats for my co-workers, as opposed to buying unhealthy goodies to share with them.

    happy holidays to all!!

  355. says

    To simplify the holidays, we do not exchange gifts anymore. It allows us to focus on quality time with family, enjoying good company, good, food, and fun stuff we like to do together.

  356. Steven says

    Merry Christmas everyone. We are simplifying our holidays by staying close to home this year and focusing on Christ and our family.

  357. Maggie says

    We are trying to simplify by not focusing on getting/giving so many gifts or going to tons of functions but rather spending more quality time together as a family and focusing on celebrating Jesus’ birth and loving each other. Of course I always get in over my head with cooking :).

  358. mary says

    After a Thanksgiving of 30 people at our house we will be having a nice small group for Christmas. I look forward to the small group this time.

  359. Vera says

    Not travelling this year. No major Shopping. Token gifts & Baking only & some beginner watercolors for close friends with a sense of humor.
    Happy Holidays all!!!

  360. Joy says

    We are simplifying everything this year. I’ve only been gluten-free for 2 months and have felt a little overwhelmed with the diet changes (until I found your blog!). The last thing I want to do is to feel even more overwhelmed during the Christmas holiday. Our family (my husband, myself and our 3yr old, 4yr. old and 7 yr. old) are trying to focus on what’s really important this season – celebrating Christ’s birth and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

  361. says

    I will definitely be simplifying my holidays this season, not only to create a less-hectic environment, but to enjoy being around my family instead of being in the kitchen.

    This year I will only be using whole food ingredients for the meal, such as turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans and plenty of raw fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Only one or two desserts this time around, focusing on using only ingredients provided by nature. Perhaps a raw cake or pie instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing and baking an elaborate dessert.


  362. Liz Clement says

    We’re simplifying this year by intentionally doing our best to create good family memories with, and for, our young son. For us, this means skipping some of the parties (with thanks for thinking of us), spending time in the kitchen trying some new recipes, and just giving ourselves space and time to enjoy doing things as a family without the stress of overcommittment. Also teaching our son a memorable song from my childhood, hoping he will live it throughout his life: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me…”

    Happy Holidays, All!

  363. Jen Beck says

    I’m simplifying this year by splitting the work with my mom. This is my first grain-free Christmas and Mom has decided to “give it a try”.

  364. says

    Yay for giveaways! Thanks for letting us have this opportunity! Baking is so beautiful and simple that I love to practice it daily and the holidays just mean a greater chance to practice simplicity!

  365. Deanna says

    I’m simplifying our Christmas celebration this year by making gifts from repurposed “old” items. Great-grandpa’s cigar box has become the home for a repurposed puzzle, great-grandma’s pink chenille bedspread is the back of a quilting project.

  366. Arleen says

    Simplify? Don’t know if this qualifies, but I had DH bring home a fake pre-lit tree so there would be no cursing and gnashing of teeth while the lights were being put up. And it worked!

    I have Sesame Crackers in the oven now, the smell is heavenly. Thank you, Elana!

  367. Gina says

    Hello. I have been trying to get myself and my family on the right track for a few years now. I need all the help I can get. Going gluten free has been a challenge for me. The only thing helping is the yummy food I make from your recipies!!! Thank you so much for all the inspiration!!!

  368. Sue says

    Thanks to you Elana I will be celebrating the holidays with the wonderful Paleo diet. The Paleo plan has begun to restore my health as I suffer from an auto immune disease and severe hypoglycemia. It’s wonderful to know that I don’t have to give up scrumptious eating to be healthy. The foods are comforting, healthy and delicious.

  369. says

    We will be simplifying this season by having a multi-family yard sale to clear the clutter, such as dishes I’ve owned since my college years that our family doesn’t use. We won’t be decorating or celebrating until all the clutter is gone. We will continue the simplification by not re-introducing more unwanted clutter.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway and happy holidays!

  370. says

    We’ll be definitely doing a gluten-free Christmas! That’s a given. Otherwise, we’ll be using more veggies, not as many canned goods, and use in-season ingredients as snacks- like roasted chestnuts, or peeled oranges or yummy mandarines. :) Thanks for the giveaway Elana!

  371. Heather SD says

    We try to simplify by giving our kids 3 gifts, each with a focus –

    1) Fun
    2) Practical
    3) Developmental

    “Stocking gifts” are usually things they need, with a few little treats thrown in.

  372. says

    Thanks so much for always sharing delicious and easy recipes. This year I have been working with my mother-in-law to come up with our own versions of her family favorites. For me, making our own foods instead of buying lots of prepackaged goods is completely simplifying.

  373. says

    This year, more than ever, we are thinking of sustainability and the holydays are no different. We are re-purposing, recycling and making efforts to minimize waste (about 95% e cards and non-physical gifts, except for physical items with longevity such as new lace edged Irish linen squares for my daughters to save for their future weddings) and sharing our hearts and homes and good home-baked gluten free foods and love instead of material things. We haven’t gone to a single department store and have no plans to. We also are very conscious that every purchase of an item that isn’t local or US sourced is harmful to our struggling economy. Charity starts are home and, happily, home is where the heart is and the simple things — homemade things are treasures. Ps. Love your blog, products and work. Xo

  374. Nicole Wells says

    I am simplifying the holidays on a few different levels and shifting priorities to help focus and protect what truly matters to me; 1. Helping our planet by not buying any presents. I am making a humanitarian donation through UNICEF to help buy children birth certificates, and am making a donation to a marine conservation site to help prevent sharks from becoming extinct. 2. Promoting health in my own and my families lives. Will be making wholesome nutritious sugar-free and grain-free meals and treats. 3. Last but not least; taking more time to spend quality time with friends and family and focusing on sharing love and not ‘stuff’ :)

  375. Elana Postnikoff says

    Our family, instead of the usual gift exchange this year, decided to do something different. We pooled our money together and donated it to our local foodbank – they will use it towards a food hamper for a large family. This is how we simplified our Christmas.

  376. Christiana says

    We are simplifying the festive season by concentrating on family and friends rather than gifts and food. Spending time and energy in that way is so wonderfully fulfilling. Best seasons greetings to Elana and all readers of her inspirational blog. Thanks for all the scrumptious recipes and advice on healthy eating.

  377. Pogen1 says

    My daughter needs to be dairy free and has other food sensitivities. This book would be fantastic!

  378. Karen says

    To simplify the holidays: family, friends, simple gluten-free food like Elana’s recipes,acceptance of others, and of course the reason people celebrate all these special holidays, God.

  379. Jackie says

    I am simplifying my holidays this year by not making ANY foods that contain gluten. My husband has celiac disease, diagnosed two years ago. Last year I made mostly gluten free food but there were some items for which I had not yet worked out GF substitutions for the gluten eaters. We have also had some issues with cross-contamination. This year—less work, all GF, and healthier! :)

  380. Rebekah says

    We are simplifying by simply saying “NO” to things. We can’t do it all, especially with three young kiddos. Love the recipes. They are certainly helpful in simplying in the food department, and they are really yummy.

  381. Erin says

    Trying to cut back on the #of gifts. Every year there are just to many. Also looking for opportunities to give away some things to those who would be blessed by them. (Recycle – repurpose.)

  382. Daisy Hoeft says

    Making gifts for girl friends, co-workers and neighbors – love pinterest for that! Sticking to our budget and staying out of the stores helps keep things simple! Sharing experiences (like dinner or free park district events) with friends, instead of buying gifts for each other really helps save $ too! Love your site and all of the great GFree recipes!!

  383. Kelli G says

    There are a few things I’m doing to simplify my family’s holiday season this year:

    1. We’re not traveling for the holidays this year.
    Normally, we take a trip every year for Christmas. This
    year, we decided to stay at home, have a nice quiet dinner, and
    attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

    2. Presents for the kids only.
    Besides my parents and husband, I am buying presents for kids
    only. My children, nieces, nephews, and friends children.

    3. Turning down some party invites.
    We are invited to a lot of parties during the holiday season.
    My husband and I decided to choose just a few and politely
    decline the others.

  384. Sandy Austin says

    I’m going to simplify the holidays by having 12 of my favorites from these wonderful choices printed, ingredients on hand, and ready to go for one new recipe for each of the twelve days of Christmas.
    Thanks for all you do.

  385. says

    Less means more this year. Fewer decorations, fewer gifts, less baking, fewer parties, (maybe no Christmas cards even mailed out!)… all means more time to enjoy those special few decorations, gifts, favorite cookies and family and friends’ company.

  386. Donna Ortiz says

    Happy Holidays to all! I have been gluten free for 30 years now and want to encourage all to remain gluten free over the holidays. Yes, I know it’s hard sometimes when you are with friends and family members who just don’t “get it”. But, try to bring enough gluten free dishes with you wherever you are going so all can share. I can honestly say, it’s worth the extra effort and your reward will be how good you will feel during the holidays, and after the holidays as well. Elana’s site has plenty of delicious gluten free recipes to help you get started if you are new to gluten free living, so check out the recipe section and find something that appeals to you!

    I’m hoping my comment serves as my entry to win the fabulous Vitamix gift giveaway–the super duper blender of my dreams. Happy Holidays once again!


  387. Cynthia says

    We are staying home this year and having a simple gluten free roast beef dinner just me and my husband :)

  388. Lindsay R. says

    My husband and I recently moved for the second time this year because he is active duty military. Since we are a 30 hour drive from our families, we will be celebrating our holidays together via web cam. It definitely simplifies our holiday travel plans! This is also my first holiday season cooking gluten free (I was diagnosed with Celiac in June) so it will be a culinary adventure for us as well. Looking forward to preparing some of the delicious gluten free recipes that I have found online. I already made some gluten free cookies and shipped them home so our families can taste how yummy gluten free food can be. Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday sesaon!!

  389. Sarah dombrowski says

    This year to cut down on holiday meals that I am limited on eating we are making one of our Christmas gatherings all about desserts that everyone brings. This way I can bring some of my safe favorites that are also crowd pleasers. Then I bring out some pretty doggie bags for everyone to take home their favorite leftovers. Less dishes to do and more conversation at the table. Merry Christmas everyone! Oh we have done this for thanksgiving too just with pies. This helps out our kids that go to many holidays and are turkey’d out. :)

  390. Lori Taube says

    We are simplifying things this year by staying home (without having family over) and cooking a small holiday meal for us and our children!

  391. Heather says

    by putting people before things. ultimately gifts are about showing love – and hopefully not obligations. So how do we show love and compassion for others all year long? the gifts are just placeholders for the love we give all during the year and I am staying focused on that.

  392. Melissa Hart says

    This year I will be hosting as usual and we will be having prime rib and prawns which is our dinner we always have on Christmas. Though I’m the only gluten free person in my house my goal is to make many more gluten free side dishes and desserts to try and get more of my family to eat gluten free and see how gluten free doesn’t mean going with out. This year instead of buying most of my gifts I have starting making soaps and I made a bunch of rice heat wraps in funky cool fabrics, for those of us who experience aches and pains in our joints and muscles.

  393. says

    My way of simplifying the holidays comes in the form of ordering a (themed) book and dvd for each of my 5 family members, and then being done shopping for the year!

    The best book I have bought so far is *Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the secret changes in your food* by Andrew Kimbrall from the Center for Food Safety.

  394. Jennifer says

    We simplify by doing nothing on Christmas day…no visiting, no visitors, PJs all day and just relaxing.

  395. helga says

    Nothing could be simpler this Christmas…..we are moving half way across the country….road trip, woo hoo!

  396. Emily says

    My family has simplified greatly over the years to the point where there is no more exchanging of gifts. Instead we have a family weekend outing and celebrate the joy of family and being together. It cuts out SO much stress with no shopping and wrapping!

  397. says

    I will be simplifying by not driving myself crazy and making so many varieties of cookies to give out for the Holidays. Everyone loves cookies if there are only 5 varieties instead of 10 different kinds.

  398. Jennett says

    We will spend Christmas Day at church in the morning, then home for the rest of the day. I am learning to simplify by trying more gluten-free things that all of us would enjoy along with my son who needs gluten-free. We recently tried the carrot mini-muffins and loved them. I just can’t imagine wanting to trade them for fruit leather!

  399. Quinlyn says

    To simplify, we are staying at home, just the two of us, getting a small plant instead of a tree, buying “made in USA” gifts, lighting a fire in the fireplace (& turning off the heat) and cooking a small paleo meal. We are excited about our cozy and intimate holiday this winter!

  400. Tracy says

    I’m simplifying by only making my very favorite holiday treat. Chocolate chip cookies. I’m so grateful to have found your delicious gf recipe. I had missed them so much when I gave up wheat.

  401. Angele Ducharme says

    Thanks Elana for all the great recipes. Your blog is one of my absolute favorites! We will be simplifying our holidays this year by spending more time at home instead of running around, making most of our gifts ourselves, baking simple and healthy meals and desserts and making lots of room for family time!

  402. September says

    We’re simplifying by having a family pot-luck on Christmas Eve instead of cooking everything ourselves. The family is warming up to the idea of gluten-free, since about half of us won’t even taste the dishes if they have wheat!

  403. Jennifer says

    We will simplify by really appreciating all of our blessings and all of the healthy, nutritious food that has entered into our lives through amazing and talented people such as yourself. Thank you for all that you do. I am thrilled to be spending the holidays with 2 healthy children. It’s our first healthy Christmas in a very long time.

  404. kate says

    We are simplifying this year by not traveling, and I’m trying to make recipes that are friendly to everyone (instead of allergen free for some, and “normal” for everyone else).

  405. Cara Werner says

    Elana’s Pantry, I LOVE all of your recipes you share! You’ve made going Paleo that much easier. Paleo Comfort Foods is on my Christmas Wish List! Hope I win!!! :)

  406. says

    I have been struggling with various health problems for a while now and this last week I went off all starches, grains, sugars, and can’t belived the difference I’m feeling. I made the bannana -blueberry almond flour muffins today with no other sweetner other than the fruit and they were delish! Didn’t miss the extra sweentner at all!

  407. says

    I continue my commitment to purchase few gifts and spend more quality time with people I love. Since I am the healthy eater, I am trying to inspire others with healthier, lower sugar, gluten free desserts. I am traveling with goodies and being a good food fairy.

  408. Catherine Noujaim says

    I’m not simplifying so much, since being single means my holidays are pretty simple already. I will be making one batch of some kind of holiday treat for myself, and take some to church to share with people.

  409. says

    I appreciate reading the comments about how everyone is simplifying this season. I really appreciate the first one because Jesus is the reason for the season and that focus is how my family is keeping it simple this year.

  410. says

    We’ll be “simplifying” by only visiting ONE family per day this year. Last year we did FOUR families in one day, and it was exhausting! (and stupid, on our parts) Here’s hoping for a more enjoyable holiday season this time around. ;)

  411. Natasha says

    This year I am trying a completely gf/paleo/primal christmas! I am still going to attempt to make some of my family’s holiday classics, shortbread cookies, pumpkin pie, etc, but gf/paleo/primal! I hope it works well *crosses fingers* :)

    Does this count as simplifying? I’m not really sure, but, either way, it’s an attempt to eat healthier and be more conscious of my health and holiday habits :)

  412. Paula B says

    I’m simplifying by planning meals & treats that can be prepared ahead of time so that I can enjoy spending time with my family when we gather on Christmas Day instead of spending a good part of the day in the kitchen.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes. I can always count on your recipes to be correct and easy to prepare.

  413. Victoria says

    We usually have to travel about an hour for the holidays (several times!). Our boys are 9 and 6 and we are going simple for them this year and staying home to enjoy the holidays together with just them and my parents. We feel like we’ve missed so many special moments when they were little by having to get up and rush out the door on such a special day that should be relaxing and joyous. those that we don’t see on Christmas will be missed, but they will be in our hearts.

  414. Lily says

    I will be simplifying our holidays this year by keeping the focus on spending quality time with friends and family, preparing as much as possible ahead of time, and knowing what recipes I will prepare. I’m not too stressed about it!

  415. says

    I plan to simplify the holidays by having a great attitude and less stress. If I remember that the most important thing are my friends and family, that keeps everything simple!

  416. Liz says

    This is our first Paleo Christmas. Try being Italian and doing that! Thanks to your site and others we have found wonderful substitutes and can still use some of our own recipes as well.

  417. says

    I don’t really simplify the holidays. I love them so much that I tend to go over board :) However, I do make sure there is a balance so that there is no stressing out because that would ruin the fun!

  418. Lily Hill says

    Isn’t it amazing how many gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free resources are available these days? I simplify by emphasizing fresh fruits and veggies; love baked squash for breakfast!

  419. Andrada says

    Christmas morning will be at my house. I’m going to offer simple & quick to cook buffet for brunch. I’ll start baking pies & desserts on the 23rd. And I’m not going to worry that my house looks like small kids live here. I’m sure my family really doesn’t mind the clutter. Christmas isn’t about cleaning house!

  420. Cynthia Knox says

    I will be making sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free treats for my sugar-loving, egg eating, gluten-ful family to eat when we visit my parents in CT. Will just make the simplest fruit crisp, pumpkin mousse, and easy cookies and call it good! The reason we are going there is to visit – not to get stuffed!

  421. Sarah says

    Despite my husband getting ready to graduate from law school and having four children, we decided that we are going to give the “12 Days of Christmas” to two families that have had hard years. Everyone needs to have something to look forward to, and despite the work that will go into it, it will be well worth it in the end!

  422. Stacy says

    I simplified this year by making sure I had all my gifts purchased by the end of November so that this month I can just enjoy family and friends.

  423. Harvitron says

    After years of not really doing anything (I don’t come from a big ‘Holidays’ family), this year I’m de-simplifying by making toffees & candies to give away!

  424. says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’ll travel to visit my family for the holidays, so I’ll simplify my life by sharing moments of joy with them and having them do the cooking :)

  425. Monique says

    We has Christmas early this year as family will be away. Nice to get all the shopping out of the way before the crowds hit the stores. Now I can relax for Christmas! :o)

  426. Vanesa says

    I wish I was simplifying… We are staying super busy BUT I am trying to quiet my heart amidst the busyness…

  427. says

    This year to simplify, we’re not going to travel. It’s going to be my first Christmas with food intolerances, so we’re going to enjoy the comforts of home, family, and good food. Thanks for the recipes!

  428. Alisha says

    We will stay home Christmas day and take things a little slower. We will go to church, but no running around to different homes for celebrations.

  429. Tasha says

    We are trying to start a tradition on holidays, which is to go hiking somewhere we have never been before. It has worked for the past three years so far! With a 6 and 4 year olds I am excited about not carrying the extra weight this holiday. And they are excited about carrying their own lunches. Win win!!

  430. Kelly says

    I am actually writing my own blog entry this week about how things I feel are simple are not always as simple to everyone else. Making things myself out of a few simple ingredients (though less simple than yours as I am writing about making a cardamom ginger simple syrup) feels simple to me. Making things myself and not buying packaged goods as often feel simple. The fact that I am creating paintings and crafts as most of my Christmas presents feels simple. All of these things are often more time consuming, but they sure make me feel like my life is just simpler.

  431. says

    This year I will be simplifying my winter solstice and New Year holidays by NOT traveling and not trying to feed an army ; ) I’ll make an elegant but simple winter meal for the solstice, likely a rib roast as the main entrée. Instead of the usual crazy bar scene for New Year’s Eve, I’ll have champagne with my love at home. Avoiding the humanity out there will definitely keep the stress down! And quality whole foods will nourish and delight.

  432. Jen A says

    Took a cooking class with Silvana at Whole Foods last year. Had a ton of fun. Both of these cookbooks are high on my wish list. This year we plan to work at a local soup kitchen rather than have a large meal at home. Looking forward to helping the needy and coming home to no dirty dishes. :)

  433. Amanda M says

    Thank you for the giveaway and delicious looking recipe! To simplify the holidays we are staying home, limiting gifts, and making a lot of things ourselves. Trying to just enjoy each other!<3

  434. Rachel Blom says

    Simplifying by not travelling or trying to make every single gathering friends or relatives have. Also helps me not to be so stressed as this is our first gluten, artificial colors, artificial flavors, BHT, BHA, MSG Free Christmas :)

  435. SherriS. says

    I’m simplifying this year by spending less on gifts but trying to make them more meaningful.

  436. Marilyn says

    We’re keeping it really low key. Not buying many items per child, having a simple holiday menu with limited prep needed, and staying close to home. No big parties, no huge family gatherings–just us. It’s enough. :)

  437. says

    Oh i just made your paleo pumpkin bread – yum! We will be simplifying our holidays this year by making our Christmas eve celebration with the extended family a casual event. Ah, sure beats having to get all dolled up :)

  438. Cheryl says

    We’re simplifying this year by not traveling far from home! Hoping to get in lots of quiet, quality time.

  439. Ali says

    I’m simplifying by sending out our Xmas cards early & focusing on spending time with family vs. presents

  440. Jean says

    This year we are simplifying by just focusing on the true reason for the season – the birth of Jesus. We’re trying to spend more time with family and less on stressing over getting the perfect gift. We’ve decided to make a lot of gifts this year too, so we enjoy family time and create memories while making something special for those we love!

  441. Brandae says

    Simplifying more and more every year! Less travel, less gifting of extraneous things, less rushing around, LESS STRESS! MORE of Christ, family, and fun!

  442. Mary Kay Martin says

    We have a very simple holiday meal. We have crab legs and scallops which are very simple to prepare. We only bake gingerbread cookies and this year will be a paleo recipe. For us it’s mainly about the time we spend together.

  443. Arlee says

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I plan on simplifying my holiday by letting others help me more in the kitchen and not stress so much.

  444. Linda says

    Less recipes actually- I am going to pick a few NEW winners and stick to them.

    Less recipes and more time to spend with family!

  445. Heather says

    We are simplifying this year by giving less gifts and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. I have also cut my sugar WAY down, so I will be doing less baking as well.

  446. Amanda says

    This is my first gluten free Christmas, so I’m not sure how simple it’s going to be. But it will certainly be fun to experiment with all kinds of new recipes!

  447. Shelly R says

    We are simply remembering what Christmas is all about. Focusing on family, and not worrying about activities, presents and food! Just going to enjoy!

  448. Kristin says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I am simplifying this year by buying less gifts and making some myself instead!

  449. Rachel says

    My family is simplifying by cutting way back on gifts. As I have gotten older there really isn’t anything that I want or need. My SO and I are only filling stockings for me each. In the end though, it’s really about spending the holiday with my family and closet friends.

    I am also donating several bags of clothing to a local shelter to hopefully keep a few people warm this winter.

  450. Kim says

    I am doing gluten free this holiday……for the first time!!! I am trying to get my family “on board” with me. So I am not simplify my holiday in that way:) My son has had some health issues so I am taking sugar and gluten out of his diet. I love reading your posts on FB. thanks

  451. Sheryll Ziemer says

    I love the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook. I checked it out from the library and decided that it would be a good book to purchase. I’d rather win it! Happy Holidays! And thanks for the great recipes!

  452. debra z says

    These holidays I’m simplifying things by just being more relaxed about everything. Perfection is not attainable and should not be what we strive for during the holidays – having fun should be! And eating lots of yummy goodies ;)

  453. Sharon says

    I have made things easier by getting all of my shopping and wrapping done early. No last minute scrambling!

  454. tanya ci says

    This Christmas will be simpler in the sense that the family has the GF requirements under control so the meal will be less of a headache to make.

  455. says

    Thanks for the giveaways! We are simplifying by just giving our kids stockings (which will include small toys) and a huge box of books. They get so much from grandparents and others, and after several years of doing this, they actually look forward to their box of books.

  456. says

    We’re simplifying this year by going to my parent’s on Christmas Eve only and then sleeping in……….hope to have a lazy Christmas day nibbling in some treats and relaxing!

  457. says

    We’re “simplifying” our holiday decorating this year! Instead of digging through a decade worth of ornaments, we’re letting everything stay boxed up. The tree will be hung in Air Force blue, in honor of Kvothe’s first Christmas away from home.

  458. says

    Thanks for the post and give-away. My husband and I are celebrating our first Christmas (as a married couple), so I’m trying a lot of new recipes, and we’ll be traveling together to our respective families, but I’m taking a lot of time off of work so that we can spend more time with family and each other without worrying about other obligations! :-)

  459. Jan says

    I am simplifying by having all my gift-buying finished and doing all of it on-line. Much less stressful :)

  460. kelly says

    Great recipe Elana! The theme of simplifying the holidays the last few days has given me a chance to reflect on what is really important. I have already cut back on the amount of decorating for the holidays but I have made a decision to cut back on the amount of baking this year. This is the first December since going gluten, dairy and soy free however my entire family is not following the same diet that I am. I made a decision 11 months ago to eat healthier and so I’m keeping the sweets to just a few yummy gluten and dairy free treats. I’m not making any of the traditional gluten filled treats that my family is used to(we’ll see how that goes). Thanks to Home For the Holiday event I shouldn’t have a problem coming up with what to make. I have a feeling no one will even notice;)

  461. Stephanie says

    Simplifying by not remembering when Chanukah even starts? :) Does that count?
    Really, I’ve been thinking of presents much more in advance than usual, and I have decided we will NOT try to use 20 pounds of potatoes up for latkes this year.

  462. Sara F. says

    I am simplifying the holidays by starting things early this year and not waiting until the last minute!!!

  463. Liz M says

    Instead of the 3 separate family parties, I have decided to combine them all together into one. Its leaving me so much extra time to prep and relax :-)

  464. Katherine D says

    I am cutting down my menu to only a few, simple and favored items. Cooking 15 different dishes is just insane!

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  465. Monique says

    I’m simplifying my life by refusing to eat anything that could even be slightly harmful to my health. :)

  466. jen says

    Buying as many Christmas presents online as I can is simplifying my holidays! I can’t stand the crazy malls this time of year.

  467. Sarah M says

    We’ll try not to freak out about cooking and presents. But I will make at least one elaborate baked good!

  468. says

    I’m simplifying by shopping online! This leaves me more time for baking and spending time with family — much more fun than shopping in my book!

  469. says

    Well, with 4 cats, decorations are limited to a “kissing ball” (like a wreath but in the shape of a ball) hung in the front entryway far away from little kitty claws and teeth. It will be just me and my next door neighbor as we are both single with no family near by. She’s making dinner and I’m bringing the entertainment in the form of some videos to watch.

  470. Simon says

    We are simplifying the holidays by doing a buffet-styled dinner instead of a full-course meal, and by cutting on the number of recipes made. Still looking forward to do vegetarian/GF recipes though :)

  471. sharon says

    Id like to simplify thigs for the holidays this year but I have lots of cooking and baking to do the week leading up to Christmas. Im the only gluten free member of my family so if I want to be able to eat anything, I have to cook it!

  472. Karen says

    More GF foods, even for those that don’t usually eat that way makes my life easier and their diet better! Thanks for the giveaway and recipes to help me in my efforts to simplify!

  473. Megan says

    I will be simplifying the holidays by making stuff I can eat! It is so much easier to enjoy the holiday baking when you can actually eat it! :) Thank you for the opportunity! :)

  474. Jody says

    We have really simplified alot this year. For one thing..Way less gifts, especially for the family. Focusing much more on Jesus and family, which is what it is all about.

    Just trying not to do as much in the way of parties and such. Spending more time, reading stories and sipping hot cocoa. Which is even mostly healthy with all of your wonderful recipes!

    Thank Heavens for you wonderful bloggers!! :)

  475. Megan says

    This year, instead of traveling to visit family, we are staying at home. We have decided to not go all out on gifts but to get a few special things. And I’ve decided to make homemade gifts for co-workers, friends and teachers.

  476. Michelle says

    I’m cutting way back on my holiday decorations and gift giving this year. I’m also sticking to just a few favorite treat recipes.

  477. Chelsea Gronick says

    We will be simplifying by doing a “Whole Foods” hot buffet Christmas, since we are moving over the holidays :)

  478. says

    We will be simplifying our holidays by not planning to eat anything we are allergic to. I am not sure why, but we have always made allergy ‘exceptions’ on holidays. This results in at least 2 of us feeling like crap for days and at least one of us having a miserable reaction to food. This year we have made a list of our favorite yummy treats for each person and will stick to those. Thanksgiving was a test run and went so well. Not one reaction and everyone enjoyed the weekend!

  479. Amanda says

    This is my first gluten-free holiday and I will be preparing lots of your recipes. I love the naturally nutritious ingredients that you use and the fact that most of them are very simple to prepare. I can’t wait to try your gingerbread apple crisp!

  480. says

    I bake a ton…so that doesn’t simplify Christmas, but we do spend more time at home and with each other, we don’t travel, so I guess that’s our way of simplifying.

  481. Patti Krueger says

    We simplify by focusing on the reason Christmas, Jesus Christ, and give one gift to children and grandchildren. Love your website.