How is Christmas just 20 days away? It feels like we were just scouring the pumpkin patch for our family pumpkin collection and now we’re less than three weeks away from the most magical time of the year. In our house we’re prepping for our last big event of the year and travel, as well as Ava’s Christmas concert at school and entertaining family. Oh, and throw in Santa’s visit and cookie baking, and all of the Christmas-y things in between!
We host a big Christmas Eve celebration with our families every year, and here are some of my entertaining rituals to ensure a fun and stress-free holiday. I’m a really relaxed person (a must for an event planner!), and these tricks serve me well every holiday!
- mix and match from-scratch homemade items with grocery store pick ups – like a cheese board with artisanal crackers, good cheeses and meats, and maybe a homemade cheese straw or bread. I love to bake, but the few days before Christmas means our kitchen and oven are to the brim – so I love to bake something (like cookies or a tart) and then present petite desserts from our bakery a few blocks away for guests to enjoy. For a few dollars each, they feel decadent and special.
2. Provide a grand warm welcome – this doesn’t have to be over-the-top, but welcome your guests immediately with festive music and some kind of station where guests can grab a drink and bite – cookies and punch are a great and easy self-serve option!
3. Mark the holiday by having family members pen their names on a cloth table runner or napkins using fabric markers – see our IGTV channel for a tutorial!
Photos by Katie Parra Photography for Valley & Company Events
4. A holiday ribbon can be so much fun! Tartan plaids and velvet ribbons are tied everywhere from our entry and carriage door wreaths to my hair, Ava’s hair, gifts, and around wine stems!
Our trick for a good punch – lots of layered elements like orange slices, cranberries, mint, and apples. Use your favorite wintry flavors – try this:
Valley & Co.’s Holiday Punch
1 – 2-liter of apple cider
1 – 2-liter of cranberry juice
1 – liter of ginger ale
Garnish with ice rings made from distilled water and frozen in mini bundt cake pans with cranberries, mint, and orange slices
As the rings melt the punch comes to life!
So, friends – how do you celebrate the holidays?