BOOMERS, Only Four Days Until Christmas, So Get Yourself Ready
Make It Fun! Make It Memorable!! Make It Yours!!!
Boomers, we’re coming up on the final countdown before Christmas. For all my Boomer compatriots, it may the last minute, but it’s not a problem. I have it handled and here are my guaranteed, surefire tips for making it a highly successful event, regardless of the size of your gathering, whatever it might be between now and New Year’s.
Offer finger food and snacks instead of a full sit-down dinner. Brave the crowds and hit Costco or your favorite specialty store and bring home the treats—they have plenty to offer. Ask your guests to bring something small but mighty.
Set up a beverage bar, and don’t forget the young ones. Hot chocolate is always a favorite with a squirt of whipped cream or marshmallows. For the adult crowd, add a splash of Bailey’s or a delightful rum or whiskey. See the recipe at the end for the best Trader Joe’s Hot Cocoa.
Designate a dessert table. The one with no calories. LOL.
Bring out the games or White Elephant Gifts. Who doesn’t like getting something they absolutely do not need, but then have the opportunity to pass it off to someone else in the party. Too fun.
Lots of photos. Smart phones make it so easy to capture great moments either in stills or video format. They store the memories by the time of year so you can pull them up whenever you need to add a smile to your face.
Take a drive or walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. There’s always a neighborhood close by with great viewing. Maybe even join in singing a Christmas carol.
Be Silly. Even when I had elegant sit downs I still brought out really goofy stuff, like head bands with antlers, bells on my sweater, strings of lights wrapped around my body, garland around my neck and good ol’ ugly sweater. Stop in at your local Dollar Store for the best of the best humorous decorations for you and your guests.
ROSEMARY ROASTED CASHEWS. One of my all-time favorites for the proverbial finger food and a definite crowd pleaser.
- 1-pound salted cashews (go to Costco for the best deal),
- 1 tbsp salted or unsalted butter, melted,
- 2 tbsp minced rosemary,
- 2 tsp light brown sugar, and
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
- Spread cashews evenly over a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven until warm—about 5 minutes,
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the melted butter, rosemary, sugar, cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly–salt to taste,
- Add the warm cashews to the butter mixture and toss to combine, then
- Serve warm, and they’re yummy days later.
- Be aware—have a second bowl ready to go because your first one will disappear very quickly.
Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa for this recipe.
HOT COCOA. An all-time favorite among the children and the adults.
- Combine 2 tsp cocoa powder (I use the brand from Trader Joe’s), 1 ½ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla extract and 1 ½ cups almond milk and ½ cup heavy cream,
- Combine all the ingredients,
- In a saucepan, whisk over medium heat until hot, then
- Serve in a classy Christmas mug topped with whipped cream or several marshmallows.
- This makes roughly 2 cups so you will need to expand the recipe to fit the size of your audience.
So…that’s it for this week. My BoomerGuy and I send our warmest wishes for a very happy holiday. May it bring a good time and good health for you and yours.