Do you live in a year-round, warm-weather paradise? If snow on the ground or a chill in the air is not in the cards this—or any—holiday season, you can still evoke the feeling of a winter wonderland, freezing temps or not.
Cue up your holiday playlist and grab a seat by the (decorative) fire. We’ve got some tips and tricks to make your warm-weather holiday events feel cool, cozy, and festive.
Start with the drinks
Forget the hot toddy or cocoa. A vibrant, red-hued Frosted Cosmopolitan with sugar-coated cranberries can get you (and your guests) into the spirit. Need a snowy white pick-me-up as the night wears on? Try this Frozen Irish Coffee, and coat the rim with crushed peppermint for a sweet, candy-crunch.
Don’t forget about the kids! This frozen Holiday Fruit Smoothie has cranberries, apple, pear and apple pie spice, making it a healthy holiday treat.
Find the right flavors
Evoke happy memories of holidays past with flavors like pumpkin spice, peppermint and cinnamon. These essences are easy to work into pastries, pies and cookies. They also make the house smell delicious and inviting Pumpkin Brownies or Chocolate Peppermint Bark are all-weather crowd pleasers. And this smooth, creamy Eggnog Cheesecake combines two favorite holiday treats into one.
Don’t forget décor
Nothing gets you into the festive spirit faster than holiday decorations. In addition to the traditional tree, lights, and garland, add décor that appeals to all of the senses. Strategically place homemade Christmas potpourri, made with cinnamon sticks, dried persimmons and navel oranges—both in season in many southern states—for an inviting aroma.
If you’re certain it won’t be a white Christmas, have fun with fake snow: prep powdery snowball cookies, then plate and pile them around tiny decorative pine trees to create a snowy scene. You can also set a table with supplies and ingredients for a kids’ “snow” craft. A simple whisked baking soda and water solution mimics snow and is friendly for all ages.
Dress the part
The ugly Christmas sweater trend is still in full force. If it’s not sweater weather, try a twist on the over-the-top festive-attire competition with a holiday-themed beachwear contest. Make it easy for guests to capture memories: provide a winter-themed wall, props like holiday garland leis or elf ears, and even a polaroid camera to take selfies and snap pictures of each other. Bonus: the photos make great party favors!
Whether the temperature is 20 degrees or 80 degrees, or you’re a kid age one or 92, an imaginative approach can help to make your next holiday party merry and bright.
Need more holiday inspiration? Check out these links:
3 Simple Holiday Drinks Your Guests Will Love
5 Tips for Cooking with Cranberries
Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes