Imagine walking into a home that smells like homemade bread, cookies or cinnamon rolls. The scent envelopes you and makes you feel like a child again. Baking, it is said, is good for the soul. Not only because the aromas and flavors can take you back to childhood, but also because it can help you find focus and joy. This holiday season, consider taking time to bake and experience the great pleasures this simple act can provide.

Baking as Meditation

Being able to single-mindedly focus on a task is meditative. Baking allows you to be in the moment and to focus only on what you’re doing. One of the most meditative types of baking you can do is to bake bread. The kneading by hand is perhaps the most meditative aspect of the bread-baking process. You can bake bread as gifts or simply as something to enjoy with friends and family. Imagine a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread coming out of your oven.

Baking as a Family Tradition

Children love to bake. They love to eat too! Baking cookies and holiday treats is a tradition in many families. You can set aside an entire day or weekend to bake with your family. Make a list and create a plan. Who is going to bake what? Who gets to decorate the cookies? What kind of cookies and treats will you make? Get everyone involved in the baking decisions and process. Even the youngest children can contribute. They certainly have a favorite cookie and their decorating skills are unmatched!

Baking as a Way to Unwind

There’s something simple and joyful about baking. It cannot be hurried. You must follow directions. Everything is laid out for you, yet there’s a creative element to it as well. Baking for loved ones, for pleasure, and for family doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It can be a real pleasure. During the holidays in particular, baking is a fantastic way to unwind. You can spend an afternoon or an entire weekend filling your home with the delicious aromas of fresh-baked goods.

Remember when you’re baking that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the best recipes are also the easiest. Bake a loaf of white bread. Make sugar cookies. Enjoy the holidays and all the simple pleasures that come with it. Bake to find focus, bake for pleasure, bake to de-stress and bake to connect with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!