Easy Ways to Impress Your Family this Holiday Season
I need to start off by saying two things: I love Pinterest, and I love having the family over for Christmas.
One of the things I love most about Christmas these days is hosting in our home – creating new Christmas traditions, cooking a meal that came from our oven, and forming lasting memories as husband and wife.
But what I also love about Christmas is decorating and cooking. My quest for Christmas ideas and recipes usually starts somewhere in September or October (or sooner). Just like with weddings, people remember the little, unique details that make your day different and special, and reflect you as a couple. I love the details that go beyond a Christmas tree and lights. While I am constantly crafting and cooking, I often find myself, especially around the holidays, with limited time and a stretched-out budget.
While I wish I could take original credit for these ideas, I did want to share with you some of what I created based on some of my favorite Pins. They are affordable, delicious, easy, and will leave your guests “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing all the way home. As a side note, these photos are ones I took last year as a keepsake to remind me of what I do each year, they are not photos from Pinterest, as you can tell by the quality – not as professional as the photos you find on Pinterest, but none-the-less, a good visual anyway.
I love appetizers! So much creativity and yumminess shoved into a bite-sized morsel. My mother-in-law was telling me how when she was first married, her “signature” dish was a cheese ball. I like cheese, so I did a quick search for Christmas Cheese Balls and pinecone-shaped cheese balls were one of the first Pins I saw. For a few dollars, and about 20 minutes, you can make this. The “hardest” part was really sticking all the almonds on because it was a bit time-consuming. The most expensive item are the almonds, but if you do any baking, you might have some lying around anyway. Once you get the basic cheese ball recipe down, you can add whatever you like inside. I added bacon bits, chives, and cheddar cheese … all stuff I had around the house as leftover from other recipes I was making.
If you want to get a head start for next year, you can make one of these turkeys for Thanksgiving. This was a lot of fun to make and the reaction from your guests will be priceless. You can see that you need to have a snug fitting pan to put it in. I needed to reinforce it with foil to secure it from wobbling around during transport. The best part about this is no part of it (except the skewers) goes to waste. When you are done eating what’s on the skewers, you can dice up the melon and serve it as a healthy side to the pies that same day.
One of the most overlooked, but highly visible part of your Christmas celebration is your table. I love a neatly set table, but I love it more when there are little hidden surprises on and around my plate. The one thing my family (our moms, especially) noticed right away was our napkins. One of my friends had sent me a Pin she found on Pinterest and said she was going to make them for her table. I decided I was, too. Of course, that meant I had to buy green fabric napkins, but it’s a good investment. Everyone at the table was too cute: They didn’t want to touch them or unfold them. Once you get the first one done, depending on how many place settings you have, you can be done in less than a half-hour. They aren’t hard to fold at all. What made these even more special was that they were put on top of dishes we registered for and received as shower gifts.
I love sending guests home with a little something edible. For me, I show my love through food; and so, giving guests an edible treat to take home is like sending my love home with them. Each year, I do something different. Our first Christmas, I made little snowman-shaped cakes, the next year I made spiced nuts, and last year I made homemade granola. If you’ve never made granola before, I highly encourage it. It’s so easy and affordable to make, it makes a ton, and it leaves your house smelling so good. I wanted to jazz my granola up a bit, so I went back to my trusty online friend and with a mason jar, a little burlap and fake flowers, I ended up with this. You can find mason jars anywhere these days for a relatively cheap price. The burlap and flowers came from the dollar store. Just a quick note: tell your guests to keep the bottles (unless you really want them back). Mine gave them back, and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all. I think I might turn one into a soap dispenser.
I hope these ideas gave you some thoughts for your holiday celebration and how to host your first Christmas as a married couple. Do you have any Christmas crafts or foods you’d like to share? We’d love to see them.