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Holiday Entertaining Made Easy
by: NC

As the holiday season draws near, many families will begin planning a festive get-together for family and friends. Here are some entertaining ideas to add some flare to celebrations this year.

- The table will be the focal point. Choose a festive color -- red or cranberry is always a hot color -- then coordinate dinnerware, napkins, tablecloths and glassware for an elegant look.

- Make a festive centerpiece by arranging glass ornaments in a bowl or a tray with holiday candles.

- Personalize it. Place a name card at each setting or a trendy shatter-proof ornament on each plate as a special takeaway at the end of the evening.

Cocktail party

- Serve finger foods that people can eat easily while holding a drink. Food stations make for a more informal atmosphere.

- Adorn drinks with holiday-themed swizzle sticks and attach wine charms to glass stems to add some flare and help guests identify glasses.

Cookie Exchange

- A great way to celebrate and round-up tasty treats for holiday entertaining.

- Decide on the number of guests. Ask each person to bring a dozen cookies or squares for each guest. Have guests package treats individually and gather together for a festive celebration to exchange goodies.

- Package up treats in holiday mugs, cookie jars and recipe boxes or send guests home with holiday-themed cookie cutters. A full range of festive food storage and baking accessories can be found in stores.

Skating party

- A perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors.

- Choose a local outdoor rink or arena and call ahead to reserve space or find out public skating hours.

- In the spirit of the season, invite guests to bring extra mitts, scarf or hat to donate to a local charity.

- Once the fresh air has worked its magic, invite guests back for warm apple cider, hot chocolate or mulled wine served in festive mugs and accompanied by some fresh, baked goods.


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