#1 Way to Melt Mom Guilt: Easy Snowman Cookies

Mom Guilt. If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. That near-constant state of self-doubt and questioning. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right? Should I be doing this instead? Or maybe that? Or, or, or . . . it’s endless, right?

Then, when the holidays roll around, mom guilt not only shows up—uninvited—for the party, but she also brings along her just-as-unwelcome pals: comparison and perfectionism. Toss in an extra-long to-do list, some holiday stress, and more than a little exhaustion, and the overwhelm quickly becomes all too real.

What’s a mom to do?

My Christmas Cookie Nemesis

For me, mom guilt often swirls around the holiday baking. More specifically, those traditional rolled-out, cut-out, iced, and sprinkled Christmas cookies. I have friends whose cookies look like they snuck them out of Martha Stewart’s kitchen. Mine look more like rejects from an episode of I Love Lucy.

Christmas cookies are my nemesis, my downfall. Cakes? No problem! Pies? Whip them up them in my sleep. Y’all, I can bake a turkey that will make you weep with sheer joy, but those cookies?

It’s just not happening.

So I gradually learned to be content with slice-and-bakes and other semi-homemade goodies. My kids loved them. We had fun semi-making them.

All was Christmas joy, until . . .

My littles one and I went to story hour at the library one day. On that particular day, the librarian chose to inform us moms—the ones with babies in our laps and toddlers hanging around our necks—that slice-and-bake cookies don’t count. Real moms make cookies from scratch. Real moms roll them out and decorate them with their kids. Real moms does this all. the. time.

Hello, Mom Guilt

There it was. My nemesis. What kind of mom was I that I didn’t make rolled-out, cut-out cookies with my kids?!? The self-doubt and questioning swirled through my thoughts like a Tennessee tornado. (As I type this, years later, I realize this might sound a bit silly and blown all out of proportion. But that’s what mom guilt does, isn’t it? It makes mountains out of molehills and catastrophes out of cookies.)

Why does Mom Guilt have such power?

Why is its voice so loud in our lives? If you’re anything like me, it’s because I want so desperately to get this mom thing right. I know how important it is, and I don’t want to mess it up. But here’s the thing, I can’t do it all. I can’t be good at everything.

No one can.

And it took me far too long to learn to let go of those things I’m not-so-great at it and say—with any degree of confidence—“That’s okay!” But when we learn to let go of what doesn’t really matter anyway, we can say goodbye to Mom Guilt.

I’m hoping my words will give you a head start on claiming this truth for yourself: the important thing about baking Christmas cookies—or doing pretty much any of the other 1,397,331 things we moms do on the daily—isn’t whether or not the cookies are homemade. What really matters is spending time together and loving on the ones God has given us to love (1 Corinthians 13:13). That’s what real moms do.

Quick-and-Easy Christmas Cookies

And real moms also figure out shortcuts. Like these quick-and-easy, semi-homemade Snowman Cookies. Now, I’m not gonna lie to you, they’re a little messy. But sticky little fingers were made for licking, and messes are why God made paper towels, right?

Not only will you end up with yummy Christmas cookies, but it’s also a great Christmas activity to do with your kids. And because they’re snowmen, you can revisit this activity all winter long.

Enjoy the making, enjoy the giggles, and enjoy these Snowman Cookies as you melt that mom guilt away! And if you’d like to learn more about simplifying the holiday chaos, check out Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays.

Nutter Butter Snowman Cookies

You’ll Need:

  • Nutter Butter cookies
  • vanilla almond bark
  • M&Ms plain (for earmuffs)
  • M&Ms minis (for buttons and nose)
  • mini chocolate chips
  • parchment or wax paper

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Melt almond bark according to package directions. (This is a mommy job—it can get hot!)
  3. Dip cookies, one at a time, in the melted almond bark. Use a fork to flip and fully coat. (Coating should be a little thick so that the candies will stick.) Place on parchment paper.
  4. Before the almond bark sets, add M&Ms for earmuffs. Add mini M&Ms for buttons. Turn an orange mini M&M on its side for the nose. Add two mini chocolate chips for eyes. (Don’t worry, it takes a few minutes for the almond bark to set, but you might want to work in small batches.)
  5. Once decorated, chill in the refrigerator until set—about 30 minutes.
  6. Use a paring knife to trim away excess almond bark. (This is another mommy job!)
  7. Enjoy!

*Be creative with your decorations! Try pretzel sticks for arms or cut up a Fruit Roll-up for a scarf. Once cookies are set, you can use a food-safe markers or colored icing to make a mouth or add a hat—whatever you like!

*One 24-ounce package of almond bark should coat one family-size package of Nutter Butter cookies.


Tama Fortner is an ECPA award-winning author with more than fifty titles to her credit, including her latest Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays and soon-to-be-released picture book God, I Feel Sad. To learn more, visit



simply Christmas  book

Can Christians Do Santa Claus?


The Santa question looms over new parents. Should Christians do Santa Claus? Santa Claus, like so many other aspects of American culture, has deep Christian roots. Christmas, along with Santa, have morphed into a secular holiday based in commercialism–the downside of American culture. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can give our children new Christmas traditions. Christians can do Santa Claus and honor Christ at the same time.

Is it OK to let kids believe in Santa?

When it comes to Christmas, the talk of believing is all about Santa Claus and Christmas magic. Oftentimes, our Christian vernacular is highjacked using words like “believer” and “Christmas miracle.” This can be confusing for young children.

Cartoons and Hallmark specials light up the season with warm stories of Christmas miracles and magic. Watching these as a family can be a wonderful family tradition. Our family watches the same Christmas movie every Christmas Eve.

For young children, there is a fine line between fantasy and reality. That’s why it’s important to always be truthful with our children as to what is real and what is pretend. Especially, when talking about abstract concepts they are not fully capable of understanding.

We can tell our children the truth about Santa, once they know the truth, they can enjoy the fantasy.

Santa Claus giving a small child a gift, can christians do Santa

History became legend. Legend became myth.

Yes. He absolutely was real.

Santa Claus is the evolution of the Dutch name Sinterklaas, which means Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was in fact a real man. Not only did he live, but he also followed his faith, just as his mother taught him as a young child.

Nicholas lived during a time of severe Christian persecution. This period has gone down in history known as the Great Persecution. His good works were in stark contrast to the world around him. And like the Apostle Paul, he spent part of his ministry in prison.

Parents no longer have to choose between celebrating the birth of the newborn king, and Santa.

The real Nicholas was a rugged, brave, man. The stories of his kindness and powerful prayers had spread throughout his small Mediterranean village, then spread throughout the world.

Christmas gift under the tree

Christians can do Santa, by living our lives as he did.

The real Santa Claus, was a Christian. He lived around two-hundred years after Christ. Christmas had not been established for much of his lifetime. As mentioned, he lived during a time when Christians suffered torture, imprisonment, and horrible deaths. After Nicholas was freed from prison, Constantine declared December 25th Christmas. So he saw the very first Christmas!
The tradition of gift giving began with Nicholas (Santa Claus) giving away his inheritance to the poor.
He did so in secret.

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you…” Matthew 6:3-4

The joy of giving in secret, is one tradition we can give our children that will create lifelong memories. As parents and grandparents, we know there is a deeper joy in giving than anything we can unwrap.

Two children looking at a Christmas tree

At around 8 years old our children’s reasoning abilities are developing.

It’s critical to lay your  foundation of truthfulness with your children on matters of faith. Telling children of the real man, Nicholas, who gave all he had to the poor and protected the innocent in a dark time in history that he became a legend, we are giving them a lens to see through.
By the age of eight, children want to know and understand the world around them. When we give them the truth, that yes in fact Santa is the name his classmates use for Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra. He life was so well lived, that history became legend. Legends have a way of becoming myths. The man the Catholic Church canonized as a Saint, St. Nicholas is the same man, two thousand years later, American culture turned into the myth school children call Santa.

Christians Can do Santa, the Right Way

woman opening a small Christmas gift on her lap

Whether or not to believe in Santa, is arguably the first time Christian children are confronted with the fantasy of our culture, and the faith of their family.

Commercialism in Christmas has concerned parents for generations. It’s hard to combat the onslaught of shiny new toys, the latest electronics, and the hope in a child’s eyes. Let’s be honest, it is our Christmas joy to give children gifts that make their faces light up. Nonetheless, when we base what we tell our kids in truth, we can create new traditions that are grounded in Scripture–the way the real Santa did.

Giving our children Christian history, untainted by secular commercialism, gives families a deeper sense of their own spiritual heritage, and inspiration to create new faith-filled traditions this Christmas.

Christmas is Not Just Once A Year


“What do you think my house looks like?” My mentor had invited me to her home for the first time.

“Uniquely beautiful,” I responded. “Like you.”

“But what does it look like?”

“Probably classic antiques,” I guessed.

What I saw when I came through the front door still takes my breath away.

My friend‘s country abode was a Christmas wonderland. The sparkling ceiling high Christmas tree was catalog perfect skirted by a pile of brightly wrapped packages.

It was summer.

“Pick a gift,” she invited.

My children and I starred dumbly at her.

She urged us closer. Gathered around the holiday tree, she distributed presents tagged with our name. Then we selected another from the collection of unnamed beribboned gifts. Of course each item was just right.

“This is wonderful,” I said. “But I don’t understand.”

“Christmas,” she said, “is not just one time a year. Giving is not seasonal.”

For over a decade, it is always Christmas at her address. My children call her home the Christmas House. Every visitor who enters Saundra’s home chooses a gift from under the decorated tree.

It is Christmas in her heart, too.

She is famous for sowing what she calls seed money. Monetary gifts tucked into pockets and envelopes with encouragement for the recipient to pass on however God guides.

Years ago, as a single mom raising five children in a tiny Midwest town, Saundra barely kept food on the table. “In His Word, God gave keys for living,” she said. “One of those keys is give and it shall be given unto you. When I began, I didn’t have the money to give. The gas and electric bills needed paid. The year I started giving, my business grew from $3,000 yearly to provide for my family and pay off my home.”

When he personally paid for a teenager’s college, Walt Disney was instrumental in launching the career of writer/producer Ken Wales. Likewise, Ken mortgaged his house multiple times to bring the story of Christy to television.

Following his passion, Ken realized his dream when Christy became the most watched television show on the Easter Sunday when it debuted. Ken realized another dream when the story of William Wilberforce became a feature film titled Amazing Grace.

Generosity is the gift that keeps giving.

This side of heaven we will not know how far the impact of our gifts rippled. Ken Wales touched the hearts of viewers when he brought Catherine Marshall’s classic American tale to screen and DVD. And with the feature film, Amazing Grace, Ken reminded us that we stopped slavery once and we can eradicate this travesty in its new form as human trafficking today.

When my oldest graduated high school, she wanted to become a paramedic. An elderly friend in another state sent a check to pay for the necessary EMT training required as a prerequisite. Once certified, my daughter began work in emergency services and funded the rest of her training. After two decades of saving lives, she coordinates quick responses in three counties for those who call 9-1-1.

The generous giver who gifted the initial course has passed away, yet her generosity continues to impact life and the wellbeing of countless others.

Giving changes lives because the act is a blend of generosity and gratitude. Focused on abundance, the giver is not inhibited by scarcity mentality. Grateful for what is and what can be, the giver holds life and love with an open hand.

Saundra reminds me that Christmas is a year-round condition of heart and hearth. Do you have a Saundra in your life? Are you Saundra to someone in your circle?


PeggySue Wells is a bestselling author of 31 books translated into eight languages. When not writing, Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken but not passed pilot training. She is the author of The Patent, Chasing Sunrise, Homeless for the Holidays, The Slave Across the Street, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. The solo mom of seven, she is the founder of

Connect with PeggySue Wells at PeggySue , PeggySue Wells @ Linked In 

Available Now: The Legend Of Christmas


An Untold Story of the Real St. Nicholas 

In The Legend of Christmas: An Untold Story of the Real St. Nicholas, children are invited to believe in a brave, rugged man with white hair and beard whose heart was not hardened under persecution. Based on the known history of St. Nicholas, the story tells of a man who followed his faith so completely, he became a legend as old as Christmas. 

Order on Amazon here.


Free Advent Calendar to Keep Christ the Center of Christmas


Download this Advent Calendar to help your family create a Christ-centered Christmas.

Help Your Child Write the Perfect Letter to Santa

Writing a letter to Santa can be a wonderful childhood memory. It can also grow into a daunting list of expectations that could send any parent into a panic.

That’s why we have created a template for your child to follow. It allows for you to talk about who might be alone this year at Christmas, and to tell Santa not to forget them. By talking about other people and asking Santa not to forget them, we help our children to take the focus off of themselves and on the needs of others. Which, after all, is the true spirit of Christmas.

Here at the Legend of Christmas we believe that St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) lived his life following Jesus in every way he knew how. Why not let him know what your family is also doing to follow Jesus this Christmas.

Whether it is giving a neighbor a secret gift (Matthew 3:6 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”)or visiting someone who is sick or in prison. These are just a couple of ways we can be like the real St. Nicholas, and follow Jesus.

But of course, no letter would be complete without a couple Christmas wishes.

Don’t let the list be long. Limit it to just two. That doesn’t mean you are limiting yourself buying just two gifts, but it does help your child really think about what they want the most.