8 effortless holiday entertaining ideas and a festive punch hack

Who is ready for Christmas? Yeah, we aren’t quite there either! We’re so excited for the festivities and traditions (hello neighborhood cookie party, The Nutcracker, and Christmas Eve and day!), but not quite wrapped yet. Our menu is nearly done…so we’re getting there! But this season with Thanksgiving being so close to the holidays and having some fantastic events in December, it means we’re staying up way too late to finishing it all up!

Friends, because we’re all in the same Christmas came too quickly this year! boat, here are a handful of our most helpful easy entertaining ideas. Go ahead and use one or all and we hope this helps you to feel at ease. The holidays should be fun and enjoyable – so please take a tip or a page from us! Remember that the holidays are about the thought and the memories made, not about perfection on a tree, in a recipe, or on a tabletop. Just make it warm and lovely and make it yours!

Dress the part: dressing in festive colors and plaid help to bring up the holiday vibe. Don’t have a plaid top? A big plaid ribbon in your hair will do the trick, too! Cinch bows are the stems of your glassware too!

Use a big and beautiful punch bowl as decor! Use big orange slices, mint leaves, and cranberries to dress it up, and freeze distilled water (boil it) in bundt cake or cupcake molds – and put the above ingredients in. The prettiest ice cubes! Dress your table top with layers but keep things edited. Start with a classic white cloth (it sets the tone and can immediately transform a table) and put down a runner, followed by flowers, gingerbread houses, a punch bowl, or whatever your centerpiece is. Stack plates as guests will use them, so a salad or appetizer plate on top of a dinner plate, on top of a festive charger. Anchor it all with a patterned napkin and a take-home ornament. Don’t have linen napkins? Patterned paper prints will do the trick! Christmas Punch is made with 2 liters of cranberry juice, 1 liter of apple cider, 1 bottle of champagne, and garnished with orange slices, cranberries, and mint! Mix or match to make the recipe yours!

Punch up store-bought egg nog (or homemade) with cinnamon sticks and fresh nutmeg by using a zesting tool. Extra bonus points: doing this when guests arrive for interaction!

Get nostalgic and welcome guests with hot cocoa in Santa or Mrs. Claus mugs topped with sprinkles!

Serve up tasty two-steps bites like marcona almonds with flaky sea salt or crostini topped with blue cheese and honey. Easy and so flavorful! We mix appetizers like this with homemade smoked salmon dip with dill and big lobster claws in ice!

Keep cocktails (or mocktails) to three ingredients or less, but have fun with the garnishes! For this Christmas Blusher we mixed 1 oz. of PAMA liquer with 1/2 oz. of vodka over crushed ice and topped with ginger beera nd garnished with a tiny lime from our tree. Easy!

Photos: Katie Parra Photography for Valley & Company Events

All glassware and Mrs. Claus mugs: Pottery Barn

Angie Plaid Puff Sleeve Blouse: Draper James

 How will you be celebrating the holidays? Thank you for stopping by and a very Merry and Bright to you!