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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Being A Christmas Hostess with the Mostest

Sometimes it is hard to always be prepared for guest but this time of year I think it is especially important to always be ready.

During the Holidays we can always have a drop-in guest!! I love when that happens because I know they came to see ME and not necessarily the condition of my home.

If you have a little bit of a notice be sure and light the candles and turn on your Christmas music, or if you are like me the music is always on.
To help me be a better hostess there are a few things I like to keep on hand for these wonderful little surprises.

Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix. This is the best hot chocolate mix I have found.

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I add whipping cream such as Redi-whip and some crushed candy canes on top, and it is a real treat.  I also have left the candy cane whole and placed it in the hot chocolate to use as a stirrer.

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Sometimes I step its flavor up a notch and add some of Starbucks peppermint syrup. You can purchase it at any Starbucks for $10.95.

For the tea drinker I love Peet’s Coffee Winter Solstice tea. It is such a wonderfully soft winter citrus spice black tea with a touch of vanilla to mellow it out. Yum!! I will be right back, now I want a cup of tea!!

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Okay I am back with my hot cup of tea, YUM!! Now where was I? Oh Yes, hot drinks.

I also love hot mulled cider. I think  William Sonoma’s  mulling  spices are one of the best. Trader Joe’s has one that is also very good.

 A cinnamon stick added  will make it feel more special. I also add either a slice of apple or a twist of orange. So easy to do and it makes it feel more special.

Now if you want something cold and refreshing and very festive looking try a cranberry spritzer. I just use Sierra mist, cranberry juice and a touch of lime for a red and green festive drink!!

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If you add a festive red and white striped straw it becomes even more special.

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You can get 20 straws from Jack and lulu for $6.00!!

Now onto a little treat to go with all of these fun and easy drinks.

I love Trader Joes Pumpkin bread topped with a dollop of Redi-whip and a sprinkle of orange zest!!

It is so easy to make and if you have a little advance notice you can pop one in the oven and the house smells amazing as you greet your guest.

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I keep at least 3 boxes in my pantry at all times during the holidays.

The other treat I like to keep on hand is Trader Joe’s mini almond or chocolate biscotti.
Costco also carries Nonnies gingerbread pecan biscotti that is a new favorite of mine.

I keep a festive red lacquered tray ready to go with all the essentials for coffee or tea. It is also really handy for my own daily use.
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None of the above holiday hints are earth shattering.  They are easy to do and  are all done with things you can keep in your pantry or refrigerator at all times.
I also like the fact that they are inexpensive ideas.

I hope this will help you with your very special drop-in guest. They are my favorite kind!!!!
“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Easy entertaining!!

Merry Christmas



The enchanted home said...

You always have great ideas...love the idea of the red lacquer tray and keeping candycanes on hand, very good ideas! Hope you are feeling better.

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

The hot chocolate mix is the BEST OUT THERE! Fabulous, and I agree that WS has the best mulling spices. I ma going to have to try Peet's tea. Love the coffee, but have never had the tea. Thanks.
Hope that you are feeling better.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

I am sure you are always the hostess with the mostest, Kathysue! Everything looks so yummy! Catching up...loved seeing your Christmas kitchen again! Enjoy your day!...hugs...Debbie

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

PS...Hope you are better, my friend! This is a bad time of year to be a sickie! (((Kathysue)))

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home said...

Hi Kathysue,
Since you're prepared, I think I'll stop by for tea and a chat. It's only a seven hour flight...LOL. Wish we lived closer!
Hope you're feeling better!
~ Wendi ~

Stacy CUrran said...

I'm sorry to hear you were sick! I hope you are better. I have missed so many posts with my crazy schedule, but hope to be back in full force stalking mode after the holidays! Take care! xoxo

Jeanette said...

If only we lived close enough to just drop in to see each other. Now, that would make it a wonderful Christmas season for me. Hopefully you are feeling better today.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I really like this post! Great ideas!!

Anastasia said...

Great tips. I must remember to make my drinks more festive this season!
Anastasia at decor is like butter

Linda Hartong said...

You must be feeling better

Unknown said...

I wish I could be a drop-by guest!!! You've got all the makings for a cozy fireside chat with friends!

xoxo elizabeth

MS Design Maven Marilyn Storey said...

I love these little holiday treats, Kathysue! And, just looking at the little red tray all ready to go is a great holiday pick me up. I LOVE tea too!

MS Design Maven Marilyn Storey said...


Sorry you have been under the weather. Have a bit more tea!
AND, the WS mulling spices ARE the best. That reminds me I need to pick some up.

Karen said...

I love the Winter Solstice tea from Peets. I hadn't had it before this winter and was so happy when my husband brought some home for us to try.
I love the idea of the hot cocoa with the whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks on top.
Hope you feel better soon.
Karen at Garden Home and Party

vignette design said...

Hey Kathysue, I hope I didn't give you the flu! haha. Sorry you're under the weather. Drink lots of tea with lemon. xo Delores

Melinda said...

Who needs Martha when we've got Kathysue!

NanaDiana said...

KathySue-I'll be right over..and any one of these drinks will do! xo Diana

debra @ 5th and state said...

kathysue i would like to be your drop in guest, how thoughtful you are!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Oh Kathysue, I hope you are feeling better. Wow, hot chocolate sound good right now. And it's really funny becaue I have that pumpkin mix in the oven right now...I made muffins from it! You are so right, it smells divine!
Get some rest and feel better.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

What great suggestions. I am definately going to try the tea...I love Peets teas and this one sounds delicious...and the pumkin cake mix sounds good too.

Jules said...

Love your chocolate and candy cane tips...have to go try. Might have to rethink that a bit 'cause I think the candy canes might be about two years old!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm like you... the music is always on. I agree that is the best hot cocoa mix! You are just so warm and genuine Kathysue... it comes through your blog. I know you must make your guests feel pampered and welcomed. xo

Karen said...

Your tray looks so pretty. Thanks for all of these suggestions. I'm thinking that the spritzer could be made in a large quantity as a punch for parties. I like to have warm and cold drinks at the holidays and that spritzer looks so festive.

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Kathysue, Thanks for the tips. I love the Trader Joes pumpkin mix. We also get there pancake mix and add sometimes add pumpkin and spices. It is good. I wish I lived closer. Would love to come buy and have tea. I will bring the pumpkin bread!

Diane said...

Table is already so pretty but how do you avoid vacuuming up snow all season long? Looking forward to seeing the finished project