Holiday Drinks

Today I’m sharing a collection of recipes for holiday drinks for everyone!

From Food Network, 50 holiday drinks, recipes right there on the page!

26 Drinks from What To Drink including Red Hot Chocolate, Candy Cane Swirl, Mexicabo Hot Chocolate, Hot Chocolate Butternut, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Chocolate Milk Whip, Sunny Holiday Punch, and Steaming Hot Holiday Punch

23 drinks from Better Homes and Gardens including Pomegrate Sparklers, Chocolate Blitzen, Peppermint Eggnog Punch, Winter Fruit Sangria, Hot Buttered Cider, and Apple Sparklers.

Some vegan friendly drink thoughts from VegNews.

Allrecipe’s collection of holiday drinks including varieties of eggnog, hot chocolate, coffee, mulled cider, wassail and punch and champagne cocktails.

6 drink recipes, 3 for adults and 3 for kids and non-drinkers

(If you’re indulging, don’t read the calorie count for some popular drinks featured on the Mayo Clinic website)

Share your favorite holiday inspired drinks below!

Creative Gifts

Gift finding craze has begun!  Today I’m sharing 21 creative gifts to gift your favorite family member or friend.  Don’t forget to use your own creative talents in your gifting too!

1-stained glass: Buy stained glass depicted on blank cards from lovelythings

2-collage: a cutting board with a collage

3-dance: reason to dance wooden sign

4-coloring: a colorful sugar bowl adds joy to any kitchen

5-sewing: sewing machine earrings, and custom organizer

6-flower arranging: flowery drink coasters

7-painting: cuff links for the artist in your life

8-writing: gift the writer in your life with some inspiring music

9-drawing: take some of their drawings and have them made into a scrapbook

10-music: simple yet elegant music and fabric wreath

11-sand: sand painting inspired necklace

12-cooking: try sushi or chicken wing soap

13-decorating: a leather journal custom made for the decorator in your life to record all of their brilliant ideas

14-wood working: give an origami bonsai tree to your wood lover

15-knitting: this decorative wire starfish sculpture is a perfect addition to a knitter’s space

16-quilting: gift this wooden quilters puzzle

17-origami: how about an origami inspired pillow?

18-sculptures: get them a photograph of a sculpture like this one

19-jewelry: keep your jewelry in a gorgeous glass box

20-video/movies: gift a quilt or blanket to your movie lover

21-collecting: give a video camera so your collector can record their collection

(there may only be one of each product, my apologies if they’re gone before you get there!)

Share your great creative gift ideas below!

Healthy Holiday Treats

For many people around the world, the holidays are all about food!  Today’s post features a collection of healthier holiday favorites to help you keep your figure in trim yet still enjoy the holiday food fun!

Brunch & Appetizers

  • A healthier holiday brunch featuring spiced hot cocoa, carrot muffins, mini spinach and mushroom quiches, grapefruit brulee and arugula and roasted fruit salad with panettone croutons.
  • Hot Crab Dip

Dinner

  • A healthier Hanukkah meal featuring Babaganoush, chopped salad with lemon and dill, baked Felafel sandwiches, homemade applesauce and apple cranberry phyllo turnovers.
  • A healthier Christmas or holiday meal featuring fresh whisky sours, clams casino, roasted beef tenderloin with roasted pepper and black olive sauce, sauteed spinach, baked potatoes and creamy herb topping and radiance fruit salad.
  • A lighter green bean casserole
  • baked potatoes with creamy herb topping
  • Vegetarian ideas include baked penne with roasted vegetables
  • Pepper, pomegranate and molasses glazed turkey
  • Pork medallions with cherry sauce
  • Ginger poached salmon with lime basil cream

Drinks

Cookies

  • ginger cookie
  • Lighter chocolate chip cookie & gluten-free chocolate chip cookie
  • ginger, pecan oatmeal cookie
  • (get other, traditional, Christmas cookie recipes here)

Eating Well’s holiday collection

Web MD’s merry makeovers

Share your favorite healthy holiday foods below!

Office Celebrations

The holidays are here and hopefully you’re celebrating with your company, employees, co-workers, business partners or others you work with all year long.  Today’s blog post offers some suggestions for that company party.

Food

  • Having a sit down dinner vs buffet
    • A buffet is great for offering more variety, therefore potentially pleasing more of your guests.
    • Having the party at a restaurant or other venue but serving food traditionally is perhaps easier on the budget, but not always more tailored to your guests.
  • If you don’t want to do a really big deal, serve finger foods, including appetizers and desserts, and drinks in a low-key environment.
  • One note for the food decisions, make sure to be sensitive to any the vegetarians, food sensitive, picky, low fat, sugar free and organic eating guests if at all possible.
  • A final option when it comes to food is having everybody bring something.  Some may object that they’re there to celebrate, not provide the food, but if everyone brought an appetizer, dessert or other item, not only would the cost be lower (and leave more for the holiday bonus checks/gifts), everyone would be happy because they brought something they like to eat.

drinks

  • alcoholic
  • hot
  • cold
  • non alcoholic

Decor (especially for those hosting the party not in a restaurant location)

  • festive table cloths (you can buy cheap plastic ones at Party City or another party store)
  • plates (sturdiness is an important question, so going with sturdy white plates is a good idea.  If you’re not eating a full meal, you can use more decorative and not as sturdy plates)
  • wall decorations (something simple and fun, you could use streamers or Christmas lights to make a simple yet festive effect)
  • centerpieces (candles, winter figurines (Santa, snowmen etc), empty (or not) decorated boxes (you could wrap their gifts and put them in the center of each table) (try avoiding flowers especially if you think any of your guests are allergic to plants))

Gifts

  • cookies/snacks
  • coffee/tea/wine
  • give your guests an inspirational gift.  Let them know that you do care about their whole lives and aren’t just gifting them because you have to.
  • gift cards
  • bonus checks
  • discounts on your products/services or for any business partner’s companies
  • playing bingo or another game and winning games for holiday prizes is a simple but creative idea to get everyone involved and give those gifts.
  • whatever you do, don’t give them junk just so you can say you gave them a holiday gift.

Don’t forget about music & seating too!

Share your thoughts, challenges and funny stories about holiday parties below!

Holiday Memories

Today’s blog post will be short in hopes that you will take a few moments to connect with the links and thoughts included.

Enjoy a touching collection of memories shared by readers on Beliefnet.com

Capturing the memories:

Photographs & Scrapbooking: Creating a scrapbook for each of your children, or relatives may sound like a daunting task, but it’s one way to keep the memories alive.  If one for each is too scary, make one big family scrapbook and ask each family member to contribute pictures and captions.

Picture Frames: Using a frame like this, gather and display all your favorite holiday memories for all to see.

Christmas Journals: Give each family member an opportunity to either email or hand write their memories each year of the holidays, and favorite all time memories in a journal.

Christmas Collage: Create a collage of family images and thoughts.  Doing this after opening gifts and using the wrapping paper in the collage is a fun family activity.

Christmas Quilt: For those who are a little more hands on, create a quilt displaying fabrics that represent holidays past, either fabrics that make you think of snow, beaches or people, or using actual fabrics from people that they no longer wear/use/fit

Christmas Movie/Video: In this age of video, I must mention taking a video of holiday gift sharing, parties and family gatherings.

Share your Holiday memories below, reminiscing about the people who made/make your holidays special, and the special memories you will treasure forever.

Christmas Decorations

The holidays are here!  We’re a few days into Hanukkah, and heading towards Christmas and Kwanzaa.  But whether you have a traditional holiday celebration, you’re waiting for Santa, or you just like to spread cheer once a year, decorating is an exciting event for all!  Today I’m sharing some wreath, tree, mantle & stockings, outdoors, cute miniature villages and table decorations to inspire you and share the holiday spirit.  Share your ideas and suggestions too!

Christmas Wreaths

Good Housekeeping’s ideas

Wreaths, table decorations and more

More wreaths

Some different ideas

A how-to for making a wreath from ornaments

Christmas trees

Trees, table toppings and more

See my other post on decorating Christmas trees

Mantle and stockings

Christmas red

33 ideas

More ideas including some fresh, clean ideas

Outdoors

Don’t forget about the creative or traditional light decorating!

Wrap your door

Villages

A collection of buildings from one set

Lemax, Thomas Kinkade, and Snow Village Villages

Table Decorations

Brilliant reds, gorgeous golds, greens, brilliant blues, sterling silver and creative…

Ideas from TLC, Home Base Designs, Yossawat, Good Housekeeping, Deco Love, Celebrations at Home, Bird & Berry, A Creative Project, Home Interior Designs 1 & Home Interior Designs 2, and more.

This is only a small sampling of the decorating possibilities of the holiday season. What do you enjoy decorating most?  Share your thoughts and ideas below.


Celebrating Hanukkah

The time has arrived to celebrate, and one of the holidays you may be celebrating is Hanukkah.  Known as the ‘festival of lights,’ let’s take a look at some of the ways you can celebrate and learn more about this holiday.  Share your Hanukkah traditions, stories and ideas below.

What is Hanukkah?  Check out these 1, 2, 3 websites with great information.

Celebrating:

Make your own dreidel

Hanukkah foods:

Food Network’s selection of Hanukkah recipes

All Recipe’s collection of Hanukkah recipes

About.com shares a wide variety of recipes

A slide show presentation from NY Times of Hanukkah foods and recipes

Decorating for Hanukkah

Decorating ideas from Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, HGTV, and Good Housekeeping.

Share your Hanukkah related ideas, recipes, blog posts and stories below!