Screw wonderful. It's the most stressful time of the year! For some it's the stress of finding the perfect gift or even being able to afford it. For others it's the decorating and wrapping, getting everything just right. For me....it's the damn baking.

The daughter has to have Haystacks, her favorite. The husband needs Santa sugar cookies with black boots, just like when he was young. And you're not going to all this work without making your favorite too....shortbreads.

On baking day you realize you're out of eggs. Then it's not enough cream of tarter. There's only a half stick of butter & the milk is past expiration. Off to the grocery store you go, list in hand, to make sure you get everything you need.

You finally have all the ingredients so let the baking begin. NOPE. You forgot to soften the freakin' butter. But wait. I have a tip that will not only turn that hard stick into what you need, it'll help beat out all that holiday stress too.

Throw a stick or two inside a zip-lock bag. Grab a rolling pin and start beating. In less than 30 seconds....soft butter and less stress.

Be advised. You might want to take the paper off the butter BEFORE you beat.

Happy baking. Hope this helps beat out a little of your holiday stress.