Holiday Cranberry Cookies…Christmas menu…and Santa Hats!


Pamela Lutrell on Over 50 Feeling 40

You can tell I have a lot on my mind when I cover topics from cranberry cookies to Santa Hats.

I would be remiss not to discuss my Santa hat, which has been with me for a long time.

On Christmas Day, whoever is designated to hand out gifts…which is usually Mr. B…must wear the hat!

But, prior to that day…I wear it often. It is tradition for me to wear it when I am Christmas cooking or gift wrapping.

Most of you know that I taught high school for 16 years, and, yes, I wore it in my classroom and for special activities.

It is a necessary part of my Christmas wardrobe! Plus it is very warm.

Pamela Lutrell with Southern Living Christmas Cookbook

I always look through cookbooks at fabulous Christmas meals, but really, our family keeps this one simple.

Christmas eating is not as intense as Thanksgiving eating.  It has varied over the years from a Tex-Mex menu to now a brunch.

We are a serious Monkey Bread family…and after polishing off two pans last year, my children asked that I make three this year.  It is served with a breakfast casserole that is made the night before. 

Christmas Eve is predicted to be cold…that is not always the case…so I have planned a pot of my special chili with jalapeno cheddar cornbread for whoever happens to be around.  For children…macaroni & cheese and fruit.

I do have quite a bit of baking to do for neighborhood gifts and friends.  Once again, reliable Leigh Ann…sent over this recipe and it is excellent.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies on Over 50 Feeling 40


  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  •  cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 cups uncooked oats
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped into small pieces (I am going to try it with dried cranberries chopped in a food processor)
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips. (Love how pretty the cranberries are with the white chocolate!)
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Add butter and sugars into large mixing bowl, and beat until creamy.
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. (I might add a pinch of nutmeg or even ground cloves)
  • Add flour mixture to large mixing bowl, a little at a time, and mix well.
  • Stir in oatmeal then gently stir in cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until cookies start to brown around the edges.
  • Once removed from oven, place cookies on a wire rack to cool.

Her cookies were very good, so you can ignore my editing and know they will be great!


Pass the Honey on Over 50 Feeling 40

I told you recently about Pass the Honey, a royal jelly bee pollen product in individual packets along with the honeycomb.  Recently, I used it to make Blackberry Syrup.

Blackberry syrup on Over 50 Feeling 40

I heated two pints of blackberries over the stove in a tablespoon of water.  As they got hot, I mashed them with a hand held potato masher.

Then I threw in one of the packets of Pass the Honey Snacking Honeycomb and watched the honeycomb dissolve right into the mixture.  

It is so good…and Mr. B loves it on his yogurt and sometimes on his granola. I keep it in a small jar in the refrigerator.

These also dissolve nicely into a cup of hot tea.  I am a fan!  This is this honey link, and where you can learn about the quality and the benefits of this honey.

Today I am working on my grocery list for the rest of the week…almost done with wrapping…thank you for being here, everyone…make sure you…



New Beginnings Quote on Over 50 Feeling 40

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be discussing new beginnings.  Christmas is a great time to ponder what lies ahead. For today, I am………

Nordstrom Baking Sweatshirt on over 50 feeling 40


Teleflora To Say You Care






Ann Taylor



Lane Bryant Plus Size

LuLuLemon (Perfect gifts for young adults)

World Market



Season of Joy on over 50 Feeling 40


Home Depot



Best Buy



Nordstrom Rack

Ross Simons Jewelry

Lands End


Southern Living Ornament at Dillards on over 50 Feeling 40

J Crew Factory

NEST Fragrances

Rack Room Shoes

Art of Tea




Anthropologie Home

Crabtree & Evelyn

Artfully Walls


Bed Bath & Beyond

Pottery Barn

GOLI on over 50 Feeling 40

For everyone who agrees with me that Apple Cider Vinegar is great for the metabolism and other health benefits, then order your GOLI today.  Just go to my page at GOLI HERE.  






By Pamela Lutrell

Disclaimer: I was provided product for this post, but the words are my own.


  1. What a fun tradition with the Santa hat! I can tell that you have a lot of fun in your family. I have to make some meals ahead for the upcoming days when my family is here. I like the convenience of having things in the freezer that I can just heat up. Chili and jalapeño corn bread sounds delicious! My NC grandson loves spicy things as much as I do, so I’ll have to make that. That “Baking Spirits Bright” shirt is great! As much time as I spend baking, that would be perfect for those days in the kitchen.

    1. I saw that top early in the season at Nordstrom! It was in the PJ section of the store…you might check it out and see if they still have it! My Nordstrom link is below.
      Thanks, Karen

  2. I make the same cookies! They are a family favorite….any holiday! I don’t gave a Santa hat anymore…..sadly. And as we countdown I realize I still have wrapping and gifts to deliver….and a few last minute market items to pick up on Thursday morning. (Seafood for Christmas Eve) and our bubbly….
    Merry Christmas!

    1. I am yet to do my big market trip…perhaps tomorrow! Thanks for reminding me to add the bubbly…we actually get the Welch’s grape juice bubbly!

  3. Hi, The Santa hat is great. You mentioned a breakfast casserole? Do you have the recipe? I am looking for something for Christmas….thanks for all you do!

  4. Love your Santa hat, and that you put it to so much use! Lucky me – today is Christmas with my sons at their place up north. My youngest and I will grocery shop together this morning, bake cookies all afternoon, then enjoy our feast which he’ll have going on the smoker when my oldest gets home from work this evening. My dear husband stayed home to help with the folks so I could get away these two days, and I’m awfully grateful. 💖 I look forward to you launching into the new year with your usual inspiration and intentionality.

  5. Cooking in the Santa hat would give me hot flashes! At school, I would try to wear the reindeer antlers headbands until my head hurt too much, but even junior high kids loved things like that. Your post brought back fond memories of me doing holiday karaoke for a very “embarrassed” (aka delighted) group of Grinchish 8th graders. Holiday traditions … traditions of any kind … are so precious.

  6. I also have a Christmas hat that’s left over from my teaching days. It looks like a cross between a Santa hat and a baseball cap… a Santa hat with a green brim and “I believe in Santa!” embroidered across the front. I usually wear it on Christmas morning, but this year I dug it out and wore it for the two drive by, porch drop, gift exchanges at our grandchildren’s homes. Strict Covid restrictions forbid getting together this year. Unfortunately, the third set of grandchildren live too far away, so we weren’t able to deliver gifts to them in person.

  7. I don’t have a Santa hat, but our daughter has a blue Indianapolis Colts Santa hat that she frequently wears through out the holiday season. Cranberry oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips are a favorite of mine. My late sister’s Christmas menu was chili & sloppy joes. Both could be kept warm in a slow cooker & would be available for whoever stopped by on Christmas. I think, after this past year, we are all looking forward to new beginnings.

    1. The memories of your sister sound so special, Becky. So nice that she had those readily available. Yes…new beginnings on the horizon.

  8. Where I am as I keyboard; its 2 days – 9 hours – 30 minutes – 18 seconds until Santa comes and I think I’m ready for his arrival and it appears you are as well Pam. Do love the tradition of the Santa hat and the cookie recipe sounds delish. Personally I didn’t do the amount of baking as I have done in other years but am anxious to try the Pain d’Épices (Spice Bread) which I feel would also be a great addition to a basket of assorted cheeses if one was gifting such.
    All said, looking forward to ‘new beginnings’ as IMO 2021 can’t come fast enough.

    (P.S: Come the 26th where I live, its just been announce the province I live in will be going into a full lock down mode AGAIN so needless to say its a little crazy out there right now.)

    1. I agree…it is a little crazy out there! I ate a piece of the spice bread with some cheese and it was amazing…it pairs really well with cheese. Enjoy your holiday, Brenda. At least the full lockdown is after the 25th!

  9. Tomorrow is wrapping day for me. I’ll have to look up a Santa hat to wear, with it’s help I know it will go faster. Reminiscing about school reminds me to pull out ” The Muppets Christmas Carol” which I would show to my first graders in three parts. Past, present and future meant it could be part of the curriculum. LOL. I am unlikely to be back on line this week so would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Joy and Peace in the new year.

  10. I love seeing you wear your Santa hat!
    Sammy and I wear our Christmas sweaters and reindeer antlers while making our Christmas cookies.
    I am baking cookies tomorrow with Sammy and I will be thinking of you!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  11. Love the Santa hat and recipe! I wear an elf hat. I delivered presents to my mom yesterday with my hat and mask on. She didn’t recognize me at first. Lol! I make a very similar cookie for Christmas called Hootiecreek cookie.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. An elf hat is perfect…we are like elves after all. The Hootiecreek Cookie? I would love to know more about that one! Merry Christmas!

  12. Love your Santa hat! I have one with a tiara. I’ve been wearing it for zoom meetings and am now labeled, The Christmas Queen.😆 I’m planning to wear it for zooming with the family Christmas Day and with a mask when we drop off presents for the grandkids.
    I made 12 dozen spritz cookies and could have made more. I put them in Christmas bags and store them in the freezer. I’m down to the last 2 bags. My hubby is hoping we get to have at least one of them. Happy baking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.