Festive Dessert, Appetizer, Cocktail & Kid-friendly Recipes for Your Christmas Get-togethers by Ann Marie Patitucci

Festive Dessert, Appetizer, Cocktail & Kid-friendly Recipes for Your Christmas Get-togethers

I enjoy hosting theme parties. One of my favorites is an ugly sweater party we hosted in our home in New York at the holidays. We have prizes for the best (worst) sweaters and even put mini sweaters on the wine bottles! As for food, we focus on appetizers and desserts. I recommend keeping it simple and fun!

Here are some recipes from our wonderful contributors here at 30Seconds. There’s something for everyone – sweet, salty, kid friendly and something for a kid-free night, too!


Cornflake Wreaths: Corn flakes transform into wreaths in this simple seasonal treat. Make a batch with your kids to get in the holiday spirit.

Ugly Sweater Party Cake: Ugly sweater parties are all the rage. This fun ugly Christmas sweater cake can be customized to fit any theme – and be as ugly as you want it to be. Get creative with the icing colors and decorations to make a cake as unique as Uncle Bob's Christmas taco sweater or your neighbor’s holiday tuxedo number!

Vanilla Raspberry Roll CakeThe holiday season calls for fancy cakes to impress friends, family and yourself. What could be fancier than this vanilla raspberry roll cake recipe?

White Chocolate Snack Mix: Reindeer food. Texas trash. White chocolate snack mix. Whatever you call it, this festive concoction is a fun addition to your holiday dessert table – and it makes a great gift.


Christmas Tree AppetizerFruit and crackers can be easy transformed into a festive holiday Christmas tree appetizer. Change up the ingredients to suit your tastes.

Cranberry and Nut Cheese Balls: With tart cranberries and creamy cheese, this easy cranberry and nut cheese ball recipe screams Christmas. Roll them mini size or make a big cheese ball and serve with crackers.

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Roll-upsThink outside the box with cranberries this year by making these simple rollups loaded with fresh herbs and dried cranberries. What a fun addition to your holiday table – or anytime!

Baked Brie With Pears and WalnutsAround the holidays you need to up your appetizer game! This easy baked brie recipe is so simple to put together, but looks amazing on your holiday table. And it's great for those unexpected guests!

For the Kids

Hot Chocolate BarTime to holiday. But first ... hot chocolate bar chic. And here's how!

DIY Gingerbread Houses: Celebrate the holiday season with a kid-friendly gingerbread house decorating party. Here's how to have the best party on the block:

Strawberry Santa Hats: Need a quick Christmas treat? Just two ingredients will help you turn a box of your favorite cake or brownie mix into a festive holiday sweet everyone will enjoy – including Santa.

Popcorn Balls: Whether it's for the holidays, tailgating or birthday parties, popcorn balls are always a hit. Adding sprinkles can customize them to fit whatever occasion is on the calendar. They are truly a blank canvas

Adults Only

Christmas Cocktail: Happy hour seems even more fun and festive during the holiday season. This creamy chocolate vodka cocktail recipe is like dessert in a glass – but merrier. If you have time, dip the rims of the glasses into milk or vodka and then into cocoa powder.

Merry Moscow MuleTurn your favorite Moscow Mule into a seasonal and festive drink by adding fresh cranberries and cranberry juice.

Hot Buttered RumHot. Buttered. Rum. Yum! It's said that this hot rum drink's history in the U.S. dates back to the colonial days. Try this easy recipe on your next snow day.

S’mores Chocolate Marshmallow MartiniWho says you have to eat your dessert? When you make this creamy s'mores martini recipe, you can drink it!

Snow-tiniWhat's more festive than a white snow-inspired coconut and rum drink?

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Such wonderful holiday ideas! 🎄
Elisa Schmitz
Your ugly sweater wine bottles are adorable, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory, and such great ideas for holiday cheer!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank you. That's the part about hosting that I enjoy the most- the creative theme elements! :)
I'm all about the holiday snacks and festive desserts...
Kaushik Palicha
Such a wonderful Article

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