‘Tis the Season: Recipes and Inspiration for Christmas Entertaining


If you’re like me, you’re busy decking the halls and trimming the tree.  I pulled together some inspiration from the archives to help us get in the Christmas spirit!

Click on the links to revisit for some inspiration and recipes for your holiday baking and entertaining and when you need a break from your tree trimming and Black Friday shopping!

*Note: There is a printable recipe link for the recipes that allows you to print the recipe only, no photos. Look for the printable link highlighted in red near the bottom of each post.

A Visit from St. Nicholas on the Tree

A Visit from St. Nicholas on the Tree


Decking The Halls in The Potting Shed

A ladder tree trimmed in the Potting Shed and some chalkboard door fun.


And Easy Owl Cookiesa hoot to make!

Melted Snowmen Cookies

No-Bake Coconut-Orange Snowballs

No-Bake Coconut Orange Snowballs

A great little no-bake treat to enjoy year round, not just during snowball season!

A Christmas Cruise on the S. S. Noelaka, pontoon boat

Setting sail with Endive Boats with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts and. . .

Rosemary Wreath with Olives & Cheese

Rosemary Wreath with Olives & Cheese!

A festive and easy appetizer for holiday entertaining.

Spinach Tortellini Wreath Appetizer

Spinach Tortellini Christmas Wreath

 A 10 minute appetizer for your Christmas or holiday entertaining

Making Spirits Bright Christmas Sangria with Rosemary Simple Syrup!

Christmas Sangria with Rosemary Simple Syrup

As easy to mix as it is to drink!

Christmas Wreath Macaroons

Christmas Wreath Macaroons

Only 4 ingredients and as fun to make as they are to eat!

Marinated Shrimp & Artichokes

Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes

One of Southern Living Magazine’s best recipes of 2011. Quick and make-ahead, 8 to 24 hours in advance, it can also double as a side dish. It’s good anytime of year, but perfect for the busy holiday season!

O Fishing Tree

Our lakeside Christmas tree on the dock decorated with fishing lures


Christmas Popcorn Crunch

Christmas Popcorn Crunch

A quick and easy food gift to give or make for holiday snacking!

Panettone Trifle with Orange Curd and Raspberries

Panettone Trifle with Orange Curd and Raspberries

A dessert recipe for the holidays with a ‘wow’ factor

Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites with Chive Aioli

A great little appetizer to serve for the holidays! The crab mixture can be made a day in advance, then the bite-size cakes are baked in a mini muffin tin with a crust of Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs!

Merry Cranberry Salsa

Merry Cranberry Salsa

A light, flavorful, and healthy appetizer for the holidays that comes together in 10 minutes!


Making Lists and Make-Ahead Holiday Appetizers

Make-ahead recipes and inspiration for your holiday entertaining or Christmas party


Including Cha-Cha Chicken Salad, a molded chicken salad, made 8 – 24 hours in advance.


Candy Cane-infused Vodka

Candy Cane-infused Vodka

 Ready to gift or sip in 3 hours and shake up a White Chocolate Peppermint Martini!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Quick and easy cupcakes for the busy holiday season, served with candy cane handles!

Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons

Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons

Easy and fun for kids to make with candy melts or almond bark and decorative holiday sprinkles

Candy Cane Cocoa

Candy Cane Cocoa Mix

A mix for easy seasonal sipping and ideal for gift giving!


What do you enjoy the most or least about Christmas? The shopping, wrapping, baking or decorating?


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  20 comments for “‘Tis the Season: Recipes and Inspiration for Christmas Entertaining

  1. Ellen Stillabower
    November 25, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Thanks fir reposting!!! I did keep a lot of the recipes and will use again!!! 🎄🎄🎄

  2. Michelle
    November 25, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Happy post Thanksgiving 🦃! Thank you for shareing the forgotten Christmas appetizers! Saving these for our social pre Christmas get togethers. Have a great weekend!

  3. November 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving, dear Mary! I’m still in Ohio, but am enjoying seeing your Christmas inspiration and see some many things that I’d like to make from your post. Thanks for sharing this with us. xo

  4. November 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Oh my! So many wonderful recipe and presentation ideas, I wouldn’t know where to begin! I am wondering if I can squeeze in some more entertaining this holiday season just so I can share some of your lovely inspiration with my guests! Thanks so much, pinning away! I would love it if you have a moment on Monday to stop by and share this at my link party!

  5. November 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Tis the season Mary, and for some reason I am feeling extra Merry this year! I think it’s because there feels like an extra week this year to get holly and jolly in time for Christmas- There are so many things to love in your holiday round-up, my all time favorite is your fishing tree, and I might make those melting snowman cookies for the kiddos this year…and the Panetone Trifle is calling my name! I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and thanks for the holiday inspirations :)

  6. Lori Setzer
    November 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Love the recipient ideas. Went today and bought crabmeat to try the Parmesan crusted Crab bites. These last night k perfect for holiday entertaining.

  7. November 25, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Mary, the Christmas preparations here will need to wait till next week after our house guests have departed. Hope to have things ready by the weekend. Looking back at all these wonderful photos, I marvel at the time and effort you put into each one of your posts. Setting up the Christmas tree on the boat???? ;-)
    You are amazing!

  8. November 26, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Yep, the tree is up, except for maybe a few more additions… Had to chuckle, I debated about making a sangria for Thanksgiving and your blog was the first place I checked:@)

  9. November 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Lots of great inspiration here. I enjoy decorating the most. Although it will be next week before I can start as I am still visiting my daughter.

  10. November 27, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Mary, This is just what I needed to put me in the Christmas planning mood! Last year I made your coconut orange snowballs, the shrimp and artichoke appetizer, and the tortellini wreath, and all were devoured immediately! This year I want to try the panettone trifle, as it looks so beautiful and sounds delicious! My favorite things in preparing for Christmas are decorating and entertaining, and I love seeing my wrapped gifts too. My least favorite is grocery shopping, with Christmas Day cooking the very worst thing of all! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for us this year! Linda

  11. November 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Mary I just showed Trip your Crest all decked-out for Christmas, and it has made his morning! ;P

  12. November 27, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Mary, so much inspiration and always the prettiest presentation! Looking forward to the Tablescape blog hop this week and your beautiful table!

  13. November 27, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks for reposting. I would say decorating is my favorite thing but now that we have Colleen, I love to shop for her!!

  14. November 28, 2016 at 9:30 am

    You’ve given me some WONDERFUL ideas, Mary! I need to bring something to 3 different quilt guild meetings & any one of these will work…well, maybe not the peppermint vodka! LOL They’d be sewing croocked seams for sure!

    • November 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Hi Rett, You may not want to invest in another pan, but I saw this Norwegian Woods Shortbread Pan in my Fancy Flours catalog and thought of you since the shortbread looks like a quilt design :)

  15. November 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    You made me tired already! Ha! Beautiful and inspirational! Getting ready to tear down fall mantel and finish decorating for Christmas! Ho!Ho! Ho!

  16. Stephanie Lane
    December 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Mary, I LOVE your recipes. I tried the Roasted Harvest Veggies for Thanksgiving and it was a huge success! Really delicious. I can’t wait to make the Coconut Orange Snowballs for my Christmas Button Club meeting.
    Thank you so much!

    • December 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Thanks for letting me know Stephanie! We love them too and the Coconut Orange Snowballs is a crowd-pleaser! I used to make 10 dozen every year for our Christmas Open House when I had a store. :)

  17. December 3, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    As much as I love our traditional holiday menu, I am ready for something different. My family may stage a revolt but they’ll get used to it. Thanks for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story Link Party and have a great weekend.

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