The year is almost over and we are in the final stretch before Christmas. You’ve probably had a holiday focused event (or 2 or 3 or 10) already this season and are looking forward to a break from work and spending time with family. That almost always means bringing a host gift or contributing to a big family meal. Sometimes it means hosting dinner for an entire side of the family (yep, my wife and I are doing that this year).
So with the holidays in mind, we put together a list of ideas for host gifts, appetizers, side dishes or desserts to bring along or cook for your event.
Host Gift Ideas
If you’re heading to a family function and want to bring a host gift, something of a “thank you” for hosting, here are a few ideas:
- Chocolates – chocolates have to be the number one item to bring, they are great because they last so long and can either be put out right away for everyone to treat or something you eat later.
- Baked goods – baked goods are perfect because they last beyond the night and can be added to any meal. Try to buy some from your local baker versus taking the easy route at the grocery store.
- Alcohol – the classic wine, beer or a bottle of the hard stuff is always welcome.
- Party Game – if you want more of a “gift”, how about a board game? You can play that night, or gift to the host (clearly they like to host, so they probably like games). Click here for a pretty good list if you need game ideas.
- Tea or Coffee – another nice gift is bringing a local tea or coffee that you like for the host to enjoy on their own time.
- Homemade Goody – if you want a small personal touch, one idea is to make something yourself (that’s quick and easy) and bring it along as a gift. Some of my family make a holiday trail mix, copycat bailey’s Irish cream or spiced nuts.
To help out your host you may have to bring an appetizer. Here are some crowd pleasing ideas.
- Crostini – this means a piece of bread with something on top. It is so easy because all you do is buy a baguette and use whatever you have to put on top. I’ve done this a bunch of times and always do a different set of toppings (jams, spreads, cut up vegetables, fruit, cheese, meats, anything). There are also tons of lists of many recipes. Check out this one to get you started.
- Pinwheels – my wife loves pinwheels because you can make everything ahead of time and people love them. Check out this recipe for Ham and Cheese pinwheels from Dinner at the Zoo.
- Bacon Wrapped Pineapple – this is a class and self explanatory. Check out a recipe idea here.
- Meatballs – these are always a crowd pleaser. You can make them from scratch or buy them and heat them up, but either way people will love you. Check out this cocktail meatball recipe.
It’s common you may be tasked with bringing a side dish to complement a meal. In that case, here are some ideas.
Holiday Dessert Ideas
December is baking time. Not everyone that cooks chooses to bake often, but this time of year nearly everyone is baking something. It’s hard to do holiday baking justice in a short list of ideas but here a few small thoughts.
- Cookies – this is the go to, number one baking idea. Christmas cookies come in all shapes and sizes and its hard to give you a good link that will be helpful and properly cover what you need to know. Instead we’ll just over a giant list, so click here if you are interested.
- Christmas Tree Cupcakes – you can go anywhere with cupcakes, but this is a cool and simple idea. Check out Pam’s Daily Dish for a recipe.
- Easy Chocolate Mousse – this is a super simple thing to make with only whip cream and chocolate. That being said, what else do you need? Check out this recipe from Lil’ Cookie.
- Yule Log – this just has the right seasonal attitude. A “yule” log seems like something you have to have at Christmas. I’d suggest just searching for this (you can find one for any dietary restriction), but if you would like an idea try this from Stress Baking.
From everyone at Farm’r, we want to wish you the best Holiday season and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!