I am so excited to be a part of this year’s Holiday Home Tour 2022, hosted by Jenny Williamson of Evolution of Style, featuring 26 of the most talented bloggers on social media. Be sure to follow the fun and check out each of their posts. Kicking off today’s tour is Cindy Hattersly Design where she is showing us her stunning and creative ideas for decorating her courtyard space and mantel. And be sure to look at her Instagram page Cindy Hattersley Over 50 Style Blogger. You can see all of the bloggers participating below:
What’s the first thing we offer guests when they arrive at our holiday party – a drink! Whether it’s hot cocoa, wine or punch I love to surprise my friends with festive refreshments. This year I am simplifying my Christmas decor and focusing on moments that matter like sitting down to visit by the fire holding a hot mug or a cold glass. The best part about today’s post – I didn’t purchase a thing. I rummaged through my party pantry and found things I have forgotten I even had!
Several years ago we renovated our home and added this custom beverage bar on a big empty wall under the staircase. It was such a great decision because not only did it fill the unused space, but it also afforded us a space to store our barware for entertaining. We use it all the time for serving beverages, snacks, and desserts when we host gatherings. We installed a wine chiller and an ice machine to easily fill wine buckets and glasses with ice.
I hung wreaths on the glass doors above the marble counter. Last year I purchased faux eucalyptus wreaths from Amazon and added ribbon kits from Wirr Warr Wraps. Cassie is an uber-talented graphic designer who teaches the world how to wrap! Check out her website filled with wrapping paper, ribbons, accessories, and more. I love the pops of color and it adds just the right amount of holiday cheer.
For the beverages, I set up trays with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options for a self-service bar. Pro-Tip: For a large gathering it’s best to limit drink options. This makes the preparation easy for you as the host so you can spend quality time mingling with your guests. The other reason I like self-serve is it allows the guest to be creative with their drink choices, and if someone isn’t drinking alcohol they can be discreet about it.
I set up a gold mirrored tray with vintage Culver Valencia rocks glasses that belonged to my mother with small airline-sized bottles of Makers-Mark and Fireball Whiskey – Bourbon and Coke anyone? Or how about adding that cinnamon whiskey to apple cider?
Another tray features something fun – peppermint candy shot glasses with Peppermint Schnapps! I found the candy cups on Amazon. I purchased them last year and only used a few so I stored the rest, still wrapped inside their box, for another time. You fill the candy cup with liqueur or hot cocoa and sip right from the cup!
Several years ago when I worked in alumni relations I made a visit to a 100-year-old alumna. As we were getting settled in her living room she offered me a cold drink and invited me to help myself to something from the refrigerator. When I opened the door, inside sat a small silver tray with tiny coke cans! It was such an unexpected delight and one I have remembered all these years later. I took my brass tray and filled it with small cans of sodas, Trader Joe’s Pomegranate sparkling soda, Flybird Strawberry Margaritas (so refreshing to pour over a glass of ice), and Crafter’s Union Rose. I added highball Culver glasses with stir sticks next to the tray.
Then, the fun part – I filled clear glass ball ornaments with sangria and a straw and set them inside a milk-glass compote. Guests can pick up the ornament and sip right from it! After the party is over wash the ornaments by hand and re-use them next year. I found the ornaments on Amazon. I cut sprigs of berries from the garden and filled in the spaces with gold jingle bells from Amazon to keep the balls upright.
Then, my favorite, the hot cocoa trays! Years ago I found the cutest beverage air pot at World Market and I love to use it for hot water or milk to make cocoa. I gathered up clear glasses and filled them with rocks candy sticks, crushed peppermint, and peppermint sticks. I added a can of whipped cream (I covered the can with my own label I created on Canva), and chocolate and peppermint spoons. I found cute Hot Cocoa cups with lids at Target and set the cup cups next to packages of Ghiradelli Hot Cocoa Mix that can be mixed with water or milk (in case you have Lactose intolerant guests), and a jar filled with marshmallows.
And you can’t have a party without Kahlua perfect with hot cocoa or coffee, right? I placed two varieties of Kahlua and gold mugs on a red tray.
Thanks for joining me today for my Christmas Open House! Please visit another blogger Amanda Marie at Sincerely Marie Designs for her English Country Style Christmas Tour. You can find Amanda on Instagram here.