Category Archives: christmas

Holiday Pie Buffet

Entertaining for the holidays is one of my favorite things (along with rain drops on roses and red woolen mittens)! Being sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser to create this holiday pie buffet sweetens the whole thing considerably! This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission on purchases made through these. 

Holiday Pie Buffet with recipes and free printables - eventstocelebrate.netWith the hurried pace of the holidays, using ready made pie and whipped topping is the way to share the joy without spending all day in the kitchen. 

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Christmas Neighbor Gift – Chex Mix

Christmas Neighbor Gift Tags This is a bit of a spoiler alert for my friends and neighbors. These are the gift tags I’m using for our Christmas Neighbor Gift. I’m making this recipe for Gooey Chex Mix (also called Christmas Crack, or so I’ve heard) and packaging it up in cute little bags and containers I picked up at the Dollar Tree. This FREE tag prints 6 per page and would go great with any Chex mix – homemade or store bought! Hopefully this will make your neighbor gifts a little bit easier this year!

Download the free printable gift tag here: Christmas Neighbor Gift Tags

Rules for use:
– My free printables are for personal use only.
– They may not be modified, sold or used for profit in any way.
– If you feature them or repost them, please give Events to Celebrate proper credit with a link back to this post.

Easy White Elephant Gift Ideas

There are already a lot of White Elephant gift ideas on Pinterest, but I felt like a lot of them cost a lot of money. If I know something is most likely going in the trash after the party, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. So I rummaged around my house and came up with, what I think are Easy White Elephant gift ideas for my family party this weekend. 

Easy White Elephant Gift Ideas

My husband works in the nursery at our church on Sunday’s and it can kind of be a germ pool and a place of lots of tears (sometimes his, sometimes the kids – I kid, I kid). So I thought it would be fun to put together a Nursery Workers Survival kit for those working with the kids at church. 

White Elephant gift ideas - Events To Celebrate

You’ve got your essentials – hand sanitizer, a kids medical mask (for those that get dropped off with a terrible cough), snacks and a game (5 little ducks). 

Then, for those who are looking for a bit of romance, I did a redneck Recipe For Romance Kit

White Elephant gift idea - eventstocelebrate.net

It includes a Boys 2 Men cassette tape, tea candles and a can of beans (for the bubble bath) all packaged in a Victoria’s Secret bag. 

Last year my niece, Alix was the lucky recipient of my “Diarrhea of Anne Frank”. It was a mixture of flour, cocoa powder, water, pureed spinach and nuts in a mason jar. Yuck!

White Elephant Gift Idea - eventstocelebrate.net

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms – Holiday Appetizers

I love appetizer parties – especially around the holidays. There is so much decadent food and appetizers give you that perfect bite. I love just having a taste of lots of different foods food. These Sausauge Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect bite in my world. They combine the deep earthiness of the mushroom with slightly spicy sausage and the richness of cream cheese. Delicious!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

They only take a few minutes to prepare and are baked and ready in 30 minutes! Enjoy!!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

16 oz. Button Mushrooms
8 oz. Spicy Italian Sausage (the cream cheese will tone down the heat a lot)
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/3 c. Panko Bread Crumbs
*Optional: Cayenne Pepper
Directions:

Gently clean dirt from mushrooms with a damp cloth. Remove stems from mushrooms and set aside. Arrange mushrooms top side down in a 9 x 13 pan.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

Brown and crumble ground Italian Sausage in a pan over medium high heat until cooked through.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

In a food processor add 1 cup of the mushroom stems and pulse several times to chop. Don’t have one? I use the Cuisinart Food Processor and love it. Christmas is coming – better add it to your list!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

Add the ground sausage, bread crumbs and cream cheese and process until combined. Taste the mixture and add cayenne pepper for more heat ½ tsp at a time (this will depend on the type of sausage you purchase and your personal taste).

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

Spoon mixture into mushrooms using a small spoon.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

Bake uncovered at 400 for 30 minutes.

Click here to print the recipeSausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms - events to CELEBRATE!

Christmas Morning Survival Kit

Christmas Morning Survival Kit - events to CELEBRATE!

As parents you remember the exhilaration of opening presents on Christmas morning and put so much into making sure your children have that same experience. There have been more than a couple of Christmases that there haven’t been enough batteries in the house to go around, or no one can find the dang wire cutters to get the toy out of the wrapping. It’s little things like this that remind me how important it is to take 10 minutes to gather everything up and have it ready so that surviving the happy chaos of Christmas morning is slightly easier.

Christmas Morning Survival Kit

Here’s what we include in ours:

– Large garbage bags
– Batteries in various sizes (many parents put the batteries in with the toy before they wrap it)
Craft Wire Cutter
– A Christmas music CD – (this is my all time favorite: Ring Christmas Bells)
– An extra camera memory card
– Scissors (not wimpy ones, good ones like this: Kitchen Shears)
– Screw drivers
– Tylenol (for the parents that stayed up WAY too late the night before)
– Caffeine – Diet Coke, Hot Chocolate – whatever is your fancy

This also makes a really great gift – just make sure they open it before Christmas morning so they have it ready for the big day!

And, although this isn’t really gathered with the items above, it is part of surviving Christmas morning. Christmas Eve I will assemble a breakfast casserole that can be placed in the oven first thing on Christmas morning or cook in a crockpot while we sleep.

I love these recipes:

Overnight Crockpot Breakfast Strata from Marci Coombs

Breakfast Casserole by A Turtles Life For Me

Cinnamon Baked French Toast by Pioneer Woman

Overnight Baked French Toast by Deep South Dish

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe & Free Printable Gift Tag

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe and Free Printable Gift Tag - events to CELEBRATE!

There is nothing like the scent of Christmas. It can be September, but if you smell “Christmas” you are transported right to it. I love the yummy candles at the store, but nothing tops the real scent of a fresh Christmas tree, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, apples and cranberries. I created this Homemade Christmas Potpourri recipe a couple of years ago for my family and friends and loved it so much that I made about 10 packets of it for myself as well. I decided to do it again this year, and may make it my traditional gift for neighbors each year because I love it so much.

It’s simple to put together, has a long shelf life and is inexpensive! Win, win, win!

This is the Food Dehydrator I use. It’s inexpensive, holds a large quantity of food and works like a champ! It takes about 12 – 16 hours to dry each type of fruit when each tray is fully loaded, so plan ahead to give yourself enough time for the number of gifts you’ll be making.

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe and Free Printable Gift Tag - events to CELEBRATE!

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe:

3 slices of dried Orange
3 slices of dried Apple
1 slice of dried lemon
1 Cinnamon stick
5-10 whole Cloves (or 1/2 tsp of ground Clove)
1/4 c. Dried Cranberries (or Craisins)

Tips:
– Buy your Cinnamon sticks in bulk – like these Cinnamon Sticks from Amazon. They are MUCH cheaper than purchasing them at your local grocery store in a small jar.

– Look for whole or ground cloves in the Mexican food aisle at your grocery store – mine were about 1/2 the price of those in the spice aisle.

– Print out my FREE GIFT TAGS to attach to your gifts. I package mine in small cellophane bags and tie with ribbon. 

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe and Free Printable Gift Tag - events to CELEBRATE!

PRINT OUT THESE FREE GIFT TAGS TO USE FOR YOUR OWN! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Potpourri Gift Tag

Homemade Christmas Potpourri Recipe and Free Printable Gift Tag - events to CELEBRATE!

I’m participating in A Crafty Christmas hosted by Emily at Nap-Time Creations. For loads of fun and crafty ideas for gifts, decor, recipes and more – go here! 

Rules for use:
– My free printables are for personal use only.
– They may not be modified, sold or used for profit in any way.
– If you feature them or repost them, please give Events to Celebrate proper credit with a link back to this post.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas

Ugly Christmas Sweater  Party Ideas | events to CELEBRATE!

Around the holidays there are SO many family gatherings and parties, sometimes they can seem to all run together. Make yours stand out by hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! I hosted one a couple of years ago with my best friend, and it was a blast! The creativity people had with their sweaters was incredible and we had such a great time! Adding the one little twist really made the entire party stand out!

How to plan an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party:

The Invitations:

They’ve got to let your guests know what type of party it is. For the party I hosted with my friend, we found a picture on the internet of a couple wearing some really ugly sweaters and cropped our heads over the top of the photo and put the wording on the back of the photo.

You can use PicMonkey – a free photo editing program, to create a cute invite. Snap a picture of a swatch of your sweater and use that photo as the background and add a text box over the top to add the party information. Then just save it to your computer and either print and mail them or email the photo to your friends. Ta-da, you’re on your way!

If you’re tight on time, you can order these Ugly Sweater Party Invitations.

The Sweaters!

You’ve got to head to the thrift store STAT! In my area, this type of party is popular so they get picked over fast. Get there and find the tackiest sweater you can for cheap! Can’t find the perfect one? Don’t fret, Amazon sells some pretty awesome Ugly Christmas Sweaters. PS- Sweater vests are totally a go for this event!

The Decorations: 

– While you’re at the thrift store, pick up a few extra sweaters and get crafty by turning them into drink coasters, hot pads, couch/armchair arm covers, a pennant banner to hang and placemats.

– Then head to your local Dollar Store (every store sells them, but you want to stay on budget!) and gather as many tacky, over done and gaudy decorations you can find – channel your inner Clark Griswold.

– If you don’t have a real fireplace, cozy up the place with a nice Faux Brick Fireplace (remember how we’re going for tacky?)

Aunt Bethany: “Clark, is your house on fire?”
Clark: “No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights” – Christmas Vacation

The Food:

I suggest hosting it as an appetizer party. Make sure you provide at 2 sweet and 2 savory and then invite your guests to bring their favorite holiday appetizer or bite size dessert.

A Hot Cocoa Bar seems to be a holiday party MUST! You can provide tea kettles of hot water and a variety of Hot Cocoa packets (I like the Land O’Lakes Cocoa Classics because it comes with 42 packets in 7 different flavors) or offer just Milk Chocolate and have flavored coffee creamers to mix up things up (like these International Delight Variety 4 Pack Coffee Creamer). A cute bar of fun mix ins will give the perfect finishing touches. Include whipped cream, sprinkles, toffee chips, chocolate chips or chocolate shavings, caramel topping and marshmallows (Feeling domestic? Make my homemade marshmallows – they’re heavenly!)

The Activities:

Sweater Decoration Station: You know you’ll have a guest or two that “can’t find an ugly sweater”, so be prepared. Stock up on Christmas Pom PomsTinsel Battery Operated Christmas Lights,Christmas Felt Shapes and Puff Paint to set up a decorating station. Have your hot glue gun at the ready and let your guests spruce up their sweaters.

Photo Station: Set up some retro props and let guests relive the glory days of getting a picture taken at a high school dance. Wrap large boxes in shiny foil wrapping paper and top with giant bows, string lights and if you’ve got the space an inflatable Santa should round it out really well. Add in some props like reindeer ears, a red clown nose and a few Santa hats and you’ll be all set. This set of Christmas Photo Props are super cute!

Voting Station: While you’re at the thrift store pick up a few of the random trophy’s they always seem to have and hand them out to those voted ugliest sweater!

Play Christmas Music: Find the upbeat tunes and plug them in. I love the Glee Christmas Album because it has a great mix of songs!

Name That Christmas Movie: Play video clips or quote famous lines from your favorite Christmas classics. Have guests write down their guesses and the one who gets the most correct WINS!

Here are some of my favorite lines from my favorite Christmas time movies:

Christmas Vacation: “Hey, Griswold, where are you going to put a tree that size?” “Why don’t you bend over and I’ll show you!”

Christmas Story: “Fuuuuuuudddddgggee” or “You’ll shoot your eye out” or “Aunt Clara had, for years, labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but that I was a girl.” or “I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle.”

Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” or “Christmas-gram, what’s a Christmas-gram?! I want one!” or “First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”

It’s A Wonderful Life: “What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word an I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down!”

Home Alone: “Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi!” or “I’m going to give you to the count of ten to get your ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property, before I pump your guts full of lead!” or “Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen.”

I’m so happy to be participating in the 30 Days of Christmas Series hosted by Crafty Night Owls. Check back each day as new projects are added below!

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