Hosting the Holidays

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The holidays are crazy, there's no doubt. Especially if your house hosts the family for a big meal. There's so much to prepare, from decorations to place settings to the meal itself, if we don't lose our marbles at least once it's not been a success.

 

To cut through the clutter this season, we’ve assembled our favorite list of ideas and festive recipes that will be sure to get your mind buzzing before the big day.

 

Table Settings

  1. Dip (or spray) pinecones in silver or gold paint and tie a nametag to each. Fold a napkin and place the napkin on top of the plate and the pinecone will just rest on top! Easy and elegant.
  2. Grab some extra cinnamon sticks from the store, cut to a size you desire, and tie a festive ribbon around the sticks to harness a nametag. The cinnamon will add a festive fragrance to the dinner table, and your guest will leave with a small parting gift!
  3. Extra ornaments lying around after decorating the tree? Place a couple on each plate! Keep it monochromatic for a classic look, or spice things up with colorful bulbs.

 

Centerpieces

  1. If you cut your own tree this year, snag a few branches from the back of the tree and lay them down along the center of the table. Add some candles and ornaments for a little extra color. If you don’t have a real tree, a faux garland will do!
  2. Pick up a big silver or glass bowl from the Christmas Tree Store or dollar store and load it up with your favorite ornaments. Pile them high for drama, or mix in pinecones and tiny wrapped presents to keep it fun.
  3. Tall styrofoam cones can be painted any color, so pick your favorite and decorate them and place them along the table. Varying sizes will bring a different look to the table. Stick with silver, gold and white for a classic look, or opt for green, red, blue, or even purple for a warmer look.

 

Perfect Cocktails

  1. No table is complete without a delicious holiday drink to share. Prep pumpkin pie martinis for the adults and have them ready to toast for dinner. Mix pumpkin spice liqueur, butterscotch schnapps, Kahlua, and half-and-half. Crumble graham crackers and tip the rims before you fill!
  2. Mix up your normal glass of champagne by trying this yummy spiced pear sangria. You can make it the night before so it’s a quick pour and serve when dinner is ready.
  3. After dinner drinks are always appropriate. Make the kids some hot chocolate, and for the adults: add some raspberry liqueur and crème de cacao and top the glass with fresh whipped cream.Yum.