What a year.
2021 hit the record for being the year where I felt the most stretched, the most worried, the most unbalanced, the most heartbroken, the most challenged, the most changed…and probably not-so-surprisingly, also, the most blessed.
As we approach Christmas, truly my favorite time of the year, I would be very remiss (and selfish) if I didn’t express my gratitude for all the goodness in my life.
Above all, namely a loving God in heaven who consistently, carefully, and caringly nurtures me and my tender spirit day after day after day. I would be lost without Him.
I am grateful to be in the midst of this holiday season where I am reminded beautifully again and again that I would also be nothing without the sweet babe who came to this earth many years ago. My faith and hope in Him has never wavered, even when so many other things have felt uncertain.
The world is crazy. Jesus Christ is not. That is my motto for this year. 🙂
Also super intensely grateful for this family of mine. We aren’t perfect. We have some sharp edges and messy spots. But we’ve learned a lot together as a family this year, and I’m proud of each one of these humans for the patience, love, and grace they’ve extended to each other and to me.
Also, Brian. Hi, I love you. Sorry I chose a picture without you in it.
I am also endlessly grateful for those of you who are here. Who check in with your comments and messages and emails. Who support me and what I do, and who allow me to be human and “more than just a food blogger.”
I know it’s mildly cheesy (it’s the holidays, so I get a cheesy pass) because I don’t know many of you in real life, but the kindness and friendship you continually extend to me virtually has enriched my life in more ways that I can adequately detail. Thank you for sharing pieces of your life and story with me.
I hope this holiday season brings you and your loved ones the peace that is so deeply desired and deserved.
Merry, Merry Christmas.
Also, I thought it would be fun to pull up some of the Merry Christmas posts I’ve done in years past.
Excuse me while I weep for days gone by. Look at all those wittle babies! That’s what happens when you start food blogging with toddlers. Twelve years later and they are gigantic.
Love all of your guts…thanks so much for being here year after year after year.
103 Comments on “Merry Christmas”
Thank you Mel for your honest Christmas message! My name is also Melanie and my family and I are living in Germany, but still I often try the wonderful recipes from this homepage. Thanks a lot! God bless you and your whole house, may Jesus give you strengts for every day and joy that overflows!
Mel from Germay 🙂
Just wanted to belatedly say thank you for this blog and all the wonderful recipes. They really saved me this holiday season (rolls, cookies, caramels, and desserts all from you) and have countless weeks when I need something dependable and tasty to make for dinner. Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Love your motto, recipes and thoughts.
I’m a little late to the party, and besides echoing so many of the comments below, I wanted to say that your family/kid pictures are beautiful! Raising a family is the hardest job, but it is the most important job. For the children are our future. Each child is a true blessing.
Thanks for being you and my BFF in the kitchen! 🙂 I love your blog and being a part of it, love hearing stories of your life and family. Glad to know in these crazy times that there are kindred spirits dotted throughout the U.S. and the world.
“The world is crazy. Jesus Christ is not. That is my motto for this year.” I am in agreement too and LOVE your motto. So thankful to Christ Jesus who was my pillar of strength this past year when my husband was hospitalized after his first Pfizer COVID vaccine and came home with a stroke affecting the left side of his body and lost his job as a hospital Chaplain. The Lord gave me a peace that surpasses all understanding, the kind that only He can give. He move us to a warmer climate where my hubby could recover and provided a promotional job for me to support the family. So grateful for his provisions.
Mel, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for sharing your faith, family and love for food with all of us. I’ve been following you for over 8 years now and have enjoyed every moment of it from tears to laughter I am right there with you.
Thank you for being real, authentic , and a bright spot in my day. I have never made a recipe from your site that I haven’t loved. Merry Christmas.
Your are Heavenly Father’s instrument. You have made His blessings possible in many things that you do for us. Thank you and may you and your family be blessed in the year ahead!
Merry Christmas, Mel! Our family loves your cooking style, and I feel like you’re a friend I could really sit down and chat with. God’s best to your family from ours. Denise Masters
Merry Christmas! I have to agree that this year has been very crazy, worrisome, and almost without direction. We can only wrap our arms around our family, keep friends close, and keep our faith focused on our Savior to guide our future. I have never felt more in his care than now. We will look to the future of a New Year, with faith, hope, and trust.
What a beautiful sentiment, Annette ✝️
I have to say thank you! Merry Christmas!
Amen…….to all of it.
A very merry, blessed Christmas to you and yours. I love the recipes on your blog, and find they are consistently one I return to again & again. It is sometime bittersweet, remembering your children when they were growing, but now I have grandchildren (such a blessing) who are as tall as me, or getting there. Have, most of the time, learned to appreciate the stage of life at this moment in time.
You are a blessing! Your message is just what I needed to hear this morning. I came for a recipe, but as I so often do, I’m leaving uplifted and full of gratitude. I just love you! Merry Christmas to you and your dear family.
Merry Christmas, Mel! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Christ, and for sharing your talents with us all. Thanks for sticking with this blog for so long and helping us all become rockstars in the kitchen. All the best to you and your family in the coming year.
Merry Christmas Mel! I love your motto and live it daily. I don’t know you but I’ve followed your blog for ten years and you have enriched our dinners and I am always laughing at your hilarious retelling of your parenting moments that parallel my own. Now ten years later my 13 year old daughter goes straight to your site to bake stuff, she is blessing our family this Christmas with four Mels pumpkin pies and 2 apple pies. You are more than just a food blogger to us. May Jesus Christ bless you and keep you and your family this coming year.
Merry Christmas Mel! You have a beautiful family, and your love for each other is visible!
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. My daughter calls your website Mel’s Magic Kitchen, because everything we have made has been terrific!
Blessings to you in 2022. I love your motto!
Merry Christmas, Mel! You have been a staple in my family’s and friends’ lives for years and we’re so grateful for you!! Thank you for sharing delicious food with a side helping of real life and spirituality.
My BYU roomies and I joke about planning a girls trip to come visit you. Would that be weird?
God bless you and your family and wishes for a very merry Christmas and continued blessings in the new year. Your posts are a highlight for me and have been beautiful bright spots for me. Thanks for all you share!!
Mel, thanks for the energy, delicious recipes, and genuine humanity you pour into your little corner of the internet. It’s been a hard year! I was just about to spend a couple days going crazy with Christmas cookie baking and meal prep, and then I got a positive COVID test. I’m the only one sick in my home so far (thank you, God) so I will spend Christmas quarantined in my bedroom. Grateful for the roof under which I can isolate! We had a small extended family gathering in which everyone was vaxxed, boosted, and tested beforehand. And still… Have a wonderful Christmas, Mel!
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for being real. I have followed you forever, and love your openess with us all.
Merry Christmas to you too! Prayers for a healthy and joyous 2022!!
Thank you for sharing yourself with your fans! Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you as well! I loved reading this!
Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Your words are always heartfelt and inspiring. I am grateful for you and your blog. I’m glad you share the more human moments.
Merry Christmas, Mel! Thank you for always sharing such wonderful thoughts.❤️❤️❤️
I love your blog. I love reading the recipes and making many of them. I’ve used many of your gift ideas. Most of all I love your honesty and willingness to share your personal stories, feelings, and testimony of Jesus Christ. Many times those have brought me to tears
– Holly and The Parable of the Cheeseball – come to mind. I am going to share your motto – The world is crazy. Jesus Christ is not.
Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!
Merry Christmas to you! I don’t comment that often, but my family enjoys many of your recipes, and I always enjoy reading your blog posts. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2022!
Merry Christmas to you and your family. I enjoy reading your posts. Real food that real people eat!
Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. Thank you for sharing your life and your amazing recipes. You are definitely right, the world is crazy and so many of us need Jesus!! I hope 2022 brings continued joy and love to your life. Also, I now believe that my small farm needs pigs and donkeys:)
I have been following your recipes for many years and I don’t blog or Facebook etc. I just have loved to cook and bake since I started with mud pies LITERALLY, 68 years ago! My mother was a wonderful cook/baker and shared her love with many, through gifts from her kitchen and at the same time sharing her strong faith in Jesus! By the grace of God, I too, have her gifts of sharing my kitchen abilities and thusly sharing Jesus. Now I hopefully have also passed that down through my sons and their families.I thank Him for you and your gifts and witness! God bless you and yours!
Merry Christmas!!! And A deep felt thank you for all you give. ❤️
What the heck do your kiddos get the nerve to be looking so grown-up?
Your name and your recipes are a staple in our home. I talk about you like we are friends I.
Merry Christmas and here’s to a wonderful 2022!
Merry Christmas-to you and your beautiful family, Mel! Love your motto! I just may borrow that one from time to time!
Thank you for all that you share, Mel. I’m making your cheesy broccoli soup right now–we just love it! Whenever I’m looking for a recipe, it’s to you that I turn. Thank you for sharing more than just your recipes. Wishing you a very merry Christmas !!
Mel, I’ve followed you for more than a few years now, and I still discover new recipes! I so enjoy all your posts, recipes or not. Thank you and wishing you the peace and joy of this season each and every day.
I just returned from a small gathering of relatives who talked about how much they still enjoyed meals that my mother made. My mom was a great cook, but I rarely make anything she used to make. I make stuff YOU make. Thanks for changing my life.
Thanks so much for everything you do, for sharing yourself with us and making this world a better place.
Merry Christmas to you & family!
“The world is crazy. Jesus Christ is not” I love that! And you, Mel! Thanks for sharing your light and love (and insanely good recipes) with all of us here. Also, I “introduced” my toddler to you when I was looking up one of your recipes yesterday and I told her you’re the reason we eat good food, haha! Thanks for that. Merry Christmas, Mel.
Mel, I think I stumbled onto your blog when you first started it as “www.mykitchencafe.” I love all your stories behind your recipes and how you got so many from your Aunt Marilyn.
Oh my goodness! I love looking at those pics. I’ve been following you since before Cam was born. Thank you for the light, goodness, and “yumminess” you share with the world, Mel! Thank you for sharing your love of God and of our Savior. I love your guts right back! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2022. (P.S. It was fun to find my comments on past Christmas posts. I haven’t been as present on your blog for awhile because of some dietary restrictions in my life, BUT I still make several of your recipes on a regular basis!)
Thanks for being more than a food blogger. I’ve needed more than food this year, and your blog is always good for my soul!! I too am grateful that Jesus is constant, loving and kind; and for the peace that brings in this messed up crazy world! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
I just love your comment and totally agree with you. I’ve been following for quite some time and what I love most? She’s more than a food blogger! I’ve never met her yet I feel like she’s my friend that we chat with and share things with.
Merry Christmas Marie!
How does anyone make it in this world without the love of God who gave us Jesus.
I wish you a merry Christmas and your family I live in a place where I see kids being born and the same kids growing up and I have cooked for a lot of my neighbors I have cooked a lot of your deserts and I still have the bigger kids knocking on my door so you are helping me with new recipes thank you and Merry Christmas again sandy
The parable of the cheeseball always comes to mind this time of year.
Merry Christmas. Thank you for years of turning me into a decent cook. Everybody knows if something turns out well to ask “Is this Mel’s?” 🙂
Hope 2022 is a happy, healthy, calmer one for all of us.
“The world is crazy. Jesus Christ is not.” AMEN and Praise God!
The past pics are priceless! Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have made so many of your recipes this year and I’m so thankful you make my life easier! Happy New Year!
Thank you dear girl for just being you. Perfect you.
My mother with her deep faith always said…..Better days ahead!
Enjoy every minute with your family!!
Merry Christmas! Thank you for giving (your recipes and yourself) so freely. You are such a light in this crazy world. Best wishes for a wonderful new year!
Thank you for your Christmas Post!! We are back here at the PRS in Pennsylvania serving our mission. Will be home in April. Because of your recipes, I’ve been able to make lots of yummy meals for our hungry missionaries. Love your testimony and your sweet spirit. You are loved by many! Elder and Sister Fry
I love you Mel, you know you are one of my most favorite people in all of the world. I am so grateful you are in my life, you bring lots and lots of joy to me and I am so grateful you are who you are.
I love you so stinking much, thanks for being you.
I kind of like that family of yours too, we wouldn’t be the same without you guys. Merry Christmas!
Wishing a Very Merry Christmas to You and your beautiful Family in, I’m guessing “freezing cold” Idaho from my family in “freezing cold” Lake City PA.
It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Merry Christmas Mel!! You truly make the world a better place and certainly a more tasty place!! So many of our family memories are centered around the food and recipes you bring to us!! I would not be the known cook that I am without YOU!!!
Merry merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your recipes and heart with us!!!
Yes Mel, I agree, even though I have not met you ( only virtually) I feel like you you are a special friend. I have been following you for years and rarely comment. Each week I visit your page and have made over 100 of your recipes. Not including the ones I make over and over. You are a sister and a friend in Christ. Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings in 2022!
Merry blessed Christmas to you and yours! You are awesome and many thanks for all you do <3 Best to you in 2022, God bless us, everyone!
Merry Christmas!! God Bless you and and yours.
Merry Christmas! I loved the comment that the world is crazy, but Jesus is not. I might have to borrow that.
MERRY CHRISTmas to you and yours. Loved seeing the past pictures.
Have a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!! It has definitely been a very trying year! Grief, celebration, excitement and hope are some of the things I have experienced this year! And you are definitely right, the world IS crazy, but Jesus is certainly NOT! Thank you for letting us share a part of your world! Bless you! Been here for 10-11 years I think and plan to be around for as long as you bless us with your company!
Thank You Mel, Merry Christmas 12/22/21 God Bless And Stay Safe And Strong, Warm Regards To You And Your Family And Friends, Priscilla !!!
Mel, your recipes are da bomb! I just read the story of the cheese ball, and it’s a good reminder that we should listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, because that’s the direction our Heavenly Father wants us to move. We may not know the reasons, but He sure does. I’ve been stuck in a back guest room for almost two years now, trying to avoid the virus. But, seeing the pictures of you and your beautiful family prove that our Father knew what He was doing when He made all of you! Merry and blessed Christmas to you and all here.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
I thank you for all you share with me: your thoughts, your family, your faith, your recipes, and your friendship!
I truly consider you a friend, even though we’ve never met.
And my recipe box is much happier with you in my life. Soooo many of our favorite dishes have come from you.
Thanks and have a wonderful 2022!
Merry Christmas and blessed new year to you dear Melanie! You, your writing and of course the recipes bring a pleasant joy into my day! I look forward to seeing you in the inbox each and every time you arrive! It may have been a warty year for you and most of us but life is lived in those moments. Enjoy time with your beautiful family!! Love your guts right back!
Merry Christmas Mel!! Thanks for another wonderful year of sharing recipes, stories, and faith. I continue to look forward to reading your posts and trying your recipes. Christmas blessings to your whole family!!
Merry Christmas!! Thank you for being such a bright light in this dreary world. I’ve been here since the beginning and wouldn’t be the cook I am today if it wasn’t for you. My husband and kids know if I say the recipe is from Mel that it’s going to be good. My husband is even becoming a great cook thanks to you. We all love you! So many of your recipes are now traditions from gingerbread men, Nutella star bread to fruit soup and more! I hope you enjoy this holiday break.
Merry, Merry Christmas, Mel!
I can’t believe how grown up your family is looking. Beautiful, amazing. Good job, Mama. My kids both got taller than me this year, so I’m in a whole new world of looking up to my children… I haven’t adjusted yet.
Thank you for being the friend we need on the internet- a beacon of light in the ugliness that sometimes seems to surround us. You are kind, calm, generous, thoughtful, inspirational, and imperfect, and all the more beloved because you show us your humanity. We appreciate your ministry so much. The ministry of food blogging- who would have guessed that would be a thing, twenty years ago?!? Thank you for all you do, and I hope that your plan for a more minimal holiday is a joyful success. Or, if it did get derailed, that you are finding the excess enjoyably extra! Love to all your near and dears. 2022. We are here for it- what an amazing blessing.
Thank you for being open, raw and honest. We do have so much to be grateful for. It’s just in those trying times that God lifts us up and makes sure we put that one foot in front of the other. All my kiddos are gone but they live close in my heart. Merry Christmas to your beautiful family. xoxo
Merry Christmas Mel. I love you blog and the piglets were a cherry on top.
Mel thanks for literally saying exactly how I feel this year. It’s not been my favourite year and it’s been especially hard on my family and extended family. But it’s true I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life so much this year and I can’t deny the blessings He has given me and those I love. Life is messy, life is hard but it’s also beautiful. Thanks for keeping it real and thank you for the amazing recipes. I actually just made pizza buns with your pizza dough recipe! Merry Christmas ❤️
I love this photo of your kids so much! That you would post it and be so real because that is exactly what it looks like at my house too. I am so grateful for your wonderful recipes. They’ve helped me so many times. Merry Christmas Mel!
Oh, Mel. You said it- What a year. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any tougher, the challenges and heartbreaks come tenfold. I can commiserate and yet I’m also trying to focus on the blessings. Sending a big hug and some good dark chocolate.
Merry Christmas Mel!!! Thanks for being amazing and for blessing my family for over a decade…. I have been a long, long time follower, and I don’t always post, but I literally make something of yours daily–today we made your soft big gingerbread cookies. Thanks for being a rock star and doing what you do so you can bless others–like my family! Have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!!! So grateful for Christ and his life and all he did for us!
I have followed you since I started my journey in motherhood, and now I have an 11, 8, and 5 year old. I have loved watching your family grow, and your food blog is my number 1 go-to to feed mine. Thank you for being more than just a food blog. Merry Christmas!
Love you, Mel!
Merry Christmas, Mel! I hope you enjoy lots of family time with some semblance of balance between fun and rest! I make many of your recipes during the holidays! Your hard work and dedication blesses me, my family, my friends, and our church!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mel. I hope you find peace and comfort this holiday season. My family and I all enjoy your recipes so much and your food has become a part of our family’s traditions. I appreciate your thoughts on food, faith and family, and always look forward to your posts. Blessings to you and yours in the new year.
Love you Mel for more than just your amazing recipes. Thanks for sharing so much goodness!
Merry Christmas to you and your cute family and to all the animals! Thank you for the excellent recipes, the gift guides, the Friday Thoughts, the farm, your testimony, all of it. You inspire us all to dive in and be kitchen rockstars for our own family and friends. Blessings on you in the coming year!
Merry Christmas Mel,
Thank you for consistently providing me with go to recipes that I can count on to turn out well and be well worth the time and ingredient commitment needed. I have told many friends about your site not only for the recipes but also the great commentary about life in general. LOVE your site. Enjoy this season with your family and many blessings to you.
Merry Christmas Mel! I talk about you like we are besties! Thank you for touching my life and stomach in amazing ways!
Merry Christmas dear Mel! Thank you for your authenticity, your faith, your example, your kindness, and your recipes. We are all so blessed because of your efforts, not just in the food arena, but in bringing people together and reminding us that family and connections are the most important priority we have. I hope you feel angels surrounding you during this holiday, bearing you up in all the ways you need.
Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, Mel. Thank you for all you do all year long to help the rest of us look like rock stars to our husbands and children when we follow your recipes and put an amazing meal or dessert on the table. I really don’t know how I would survive without you. I wish you peace, love, happiness, good health and prosperity in the new year and look forward to hanging with you in 2022.
Merry Christmas! You’ve been my go-to gal for so many years. Like many I’ve been using your recipes since the beginning of your blogging days. So crazy how time flies by. One of the reasons I’ve stuck around so long, aside from the dependable excellence of your recipes, is that you let so much of yourself come through in your writing. You have that ability to write like you’re writing a letter to a friend and who doesn’t like to get a letter!?!
I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas. Thanks for sharing your kitchen talents and helping us all be rockstars for our families.
As a non-traditional member of your audience, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.
My wife became a stay-at-home mom this fall, so she is beginning to cook on a regular basis. She has never been the cook, so the first month was . . . interesting. But she’s getting better, and I know she will use your recipes on occasion. Mainly because I use them and have them laying around. 🙂
So thank you very much, and I hope peace and calmness are the rule this season.
While I no longer open every post /email (nest is emptying and they seem more interested in chipotle than my cooking plus my hips can’t take all the sweet treats) you are still my go to favorite food expert EVER!!! You are always my first go to when looking for a recipe and you never let me down.
I do love catching up with you and your sweet family and yes I love those crazy farm animal posts.
You are fabulous and truly a gift!
Amen to all of your blog post. Your recipes are amazing, but your comments about them being a smile to my face.
Merry Christmas! Thank you for making my life easier. I came here this morning to help my 12-year-old find a recipe for her “bake-off” party. She was randomly searching the internet for recipes. I told her that you always search Mel’s website first. The internet is crazy, but your recipes are consistently good and you are bringing goodness to the world. I can’t think of anything more that Jesus Christ asks of us than to make the world a little better than we find it. Thank you!
Mel, you are a gift to the world, and I am so grateful to have found your blog all those years ago. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your talents with us for all these years. Happy Christmas!
Merry Christmas Mel! I love your guts and your recipes too. I hope this next year is an easier one for all of us!
The world is crazy. Jesus is not. Thank you for this reminder as we celebrate His birth. Love you, your realness, recipes, and the blessing you have been in my life for over a decade. Wishing you peace and a lovely Christmas season surrounded by the ones you love most. ❤️
Merry Christmas Mel. I’ve been reading your blog since day one and I’ve enjoyed every post. You’ve been a blessing. My family eats better meals because of you! I don’t stress as much over what to fix for dinner, and that is huge! I’m wishing you and your family a blessed 2022. Merry Christmas!
LOVE your motto for this year, Mel.
Thank you for sharing this post! It is great to hear and very needed.
Merry Christmas and Im adopting your motto too, the world is crazy – Jesus is not – and adding – the world needs Jesus. Thank you Mel for all you do on this site, its my go to and I love reading the prelude to your recipes. I really want to meet you someday and thank you personally. Enjoy every minute and every last bite with your family. May God’s blessings abound in your home.
Merry Christmas Mel to you and your humans. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, humor, optimism, real-lifeness (is that a word?), jogger and game recs and, oh yeah, delicious recipes!
Merry Christmas, Mel. Thanks for being a constant in our lives. I so enjoy your blog even though I live alone and I don’t cook much any more. I always know where to go to find just the right recipe! I share your testimony of Jesus and am grateful you shared yours today. Thank you and have a happy holiday!
Merry Christmas, Mel. ❤️ Thanks for reminding me there is a lot to be thankful for despite the many difficulties this past year. Thanks for being such a wonderful and trusted resource for reliable recipes. Thank you being authentic and kind.
Merry merry Christmas to you! As always, I’m so thankful for your heartfelt words (and too many good recipes to count!). God bless you and your family!