Blogger Jillian of Catch My Party is an expert when it comes to holiday party ideas. Read how she put together a delightful “Cookies and Cocoa” party for her family!
My favorite time of year is the holidays, and I especially love holiday entertaining.
So when Tuesday Morning asked me to create a holiday soirée using items from their stores, I was very excited.
I decided to put together a “Cookies and Cocoa” party for my extended family — with little stress — but with major “wow”!
I started with the mood I wanted to create. I wanted the party to feel traditional, with a touch of whimsy. Here are a few items from my first shopping trip to Tuesday Morning that inspired me.
Then I chose this rustic il Pandoro di Verona Italian cake, that I dusted with powdered sugar, as my centerpiece. To make it pop, I flanked it with two tall holiday red candlesticks.
It was time for cookies and treats. I only baked one batch of cookies for the party (using my new baking sheet and potholder), the rest I found at Tuesday Morning — what a time-saver.
The other cookies I chose were shortbreads, chocolate dipped cookies, hazelnut biscotti, Italian fruit cookies, Mrs. Fields cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. Also, check out my adorable serving dishes.
I always like to use a lot of different heights when I style a dessert table. It makes it more visually interesting. So I added this brightly colored nutcracker (that my daughter fell in love with) and a silver glass Christmas tree.
I spread felt snowflake ornaments around the table for a little textural contrast, and so things didn’t feel too fussy.
The hot cocoa bar was the hit of the party, and my new Keurig hot beverage maker was definitely the star!
I bought a selection of hot cocoas and coffee pods (the little cups that fit in the machine), and encouraged my guests to select their own flavors.
I set up a fixins bar on a gorgeous red vintage holiday tray. I laid out peppermint sticks, caramels, hazelnut pirouettes, chocolate covered pretzels, and marshmallows.
Everyone loved talking about how they “DIYed” their own hot cocoa.
I wanted the hot cocoa nook to feel extra homey and warm, so I added vintage signs and a wooden cutting board. I used Christmas hand towels as pennants to decorate my credenza. I even incorporated red bird ornaments to give it some sparkle. I loved how it looked next to my more formal dessert table.
For a little end-of-party playfulness, I handed out Christmas party crackers.
Christmas crackers are cardboard tubes wrapped in colorful paper. Two people pull the crackers, usually with arms crossed.
The cracker splits open, making a small bang, and inside is a small toy or trinket, a party hat, and a joke. It was a great way to end the night — nothing better than adults in party hats!
And finally, because I never send my guests home empty-handed, I put out cookie favor boxes, so my guests could pack up their favorite cookies. I wanted to leave everyone with a sweet taste in their mouth.
The party was a huge success, my family had a great time, and it was so easy to put together. Thank you, Tuesday Morning, for helping me make something special for the holiday!
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For more holiday party ideas, visit the Holiday Entertaining pinboard!