Christmas is looking to be a pretty low-key affair this year with my family. I’m thinking I may even wear my giant, stained and from-the-men’s-section “Buddy The Elf” shirt to dinner.
Gift Ideas for the Host:
- Beer glasses
- Scotch Glasses
- Ice ball maker for scotch glasses
- Basically any kind of fancy alcohol glasses
- A bar kit
- Sports-themed Holiday gear, like a NFL team Santa hat
- Holiday cufflinks, if your host is a gentleman with swag
- Ice bucket
- Nice set of cards, dice, or poker set. Bonus points if you already know how to play the game and can suggest it after dinner
- Flowers with the vase that they can reuse
Gift Ideas for the Hostess:
- Decorative Cutting Board
- Copper canister with a bouquet of flowers
- Holiday-appropriate glassware, or decorative plates
- Napkins with sassy sayings on them
- Anything wine-related that is not actually wine
- Serving platter
- Decorative Candle
- Set of silicon baking tools
- Coffee mug with favorite kind of tea, or coffee
- Decorative cutlery holder
It’s no secret that I am Queen of Procrastination, sitting on her Royal Throne of “I Can Do It Later”. I’m really good at waiting until the very last moment to get things done, usually to my own detriment. I can only imagine that others are also in my camp.
And as the holidays can be hella stressful, I thought I’d give you something I know everyone needs this holiday season: a few super quick and easy last-minute holiday dessert recipes! Convince your friends and family that you totally planned ahead with these easy to throw together sweets. Nobody has to know you bought the ingredients two hours before the party.
1. These delicious sugar cookies from Katrina’s Kitchen that I’ve become obsessed with. They’re super easy to prepare and the dough doesn’t need to be chilled for hours like other sugar cookie recipes, so you really can make them in a snap! And, if you’re really pressed for time and don’t have time to decorate, they’re moist and flavorful enough without icing, Just skip the cute cut-out designs, form them into flat cookie shapes and sprinkle on some sugar before you bake. Nobody will be the wiser!
I’ve made them twice in the past two weeks, and my mom made them once this week. It’s replaced our old favorite sugar cookie recipe.
2. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge recipe from Cookie + Kate. It’s freezer fudge, so it whips up super quickly. And who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together? Awful people, probably.
Honestly, I have yet to try this recipe, but it’s book-marked for the dessert I plan on bringing to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve! I really don’t see how you can go wrong when the ingredients are chocolate and peanut butter.
3. If you want to really wow them, try some S’mores Bark. This is a great basic recipe, but it’s so simple you really can’t go wrong. My mom and I made this all the time when I still loved at home.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay down an even layer of melted chocolate, toss on some broken up graham crackers, and mini marshmallows. If you want to get super fancy, add some melted white chocolate, almonds, or caramel. Whatever you’re feeling, go for it! Let it cool and harden, then break into coarse pieces. Serve with a smile and enjoy the compliments. You’re such an amazing chef!
And to reward yourself after rounding up an awesome dessert, how about another kind of little treat? I’ve teamed up with Jessica and a few others over at SomethingWhimsy.com and we’re giving away a $300 Target gift card! Enter on her blog here!
And now that I am super craving something sweet, it’s a good thing I’m on my way home to Ohio for the holiday where there will be plenty to go around. Anyone else been dreaming of holiday food for the past week or so?
1. Be someone’s lay-a-way angel, or pay for someone’s dinner. Stop in at a major store near you that does law-a-way, and ask if you can make a small payment on someone’s account, or pay off the whole thing if you can. Or, you can pick up someone else’s check at a restaurant. I witnessed this last year while working at Applebee’s and it made me cry. The looks on the kids’ faces when they realized someone took care of it was wonderful. Everyone loves being surprised!
2. Give your leftovers to someone in need. I always take my leftovers home with me, no matter what is left. I used to just leave them in the fridge, but now I like to give them to someone in need on the street. Despite what they are doing or how they got there, everyone needs to eat, and it must be terrifying not knowing how or where you will get your next meal.
3. Give a big tip to a waiter, waitress, or other service industry worker. I got a $200 tip this weekend catering a home-party and it was the best surprise ever. Happy Holidays indeed!
4. Leave a holiday card as a surprise for someone. If you’re able, maybe sneak in a small gift card or something nice into it as well. Imagine some’s surprise when they come home from work and find a card with a $5.00 Starbucks card attached from a kind stranger.
Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments, or please let me know any other stories of Paying It Forward. I’m a sucker for a good heart-warming story!
I got this idea after having a ton of leftover fabric from making my “Merry Christmas” Burlap Banner last year. I loved the Christmas colors with non-traditional patterns, and couldn’t stand to see the extra fabric sit in storage all season. It was too cute!
keep in mind that after you tie them, they’ll be slightly shorter than half of their original length once they are hanging off the line.