The Union Recorder

Top Stories

December 6, 2012

5 ingredients for a smooth holiday

(Continued)

Be prepared

The holidays tend to initiate a kind of open-door policy in a neighborhood. When guests drop by unannounced, it's nice to welcome them with a small, seasonal gift — what we call a reverse hostess gift. Whether it's a loaf of homemade pound cake paired with a jar of local honey or a tin of hot chocolate and some of your favorite flower seeds, it's an easy way to show your guests you've been thinking of them (even if you weren't expecting them).

Here are a few ideas so you don't get caught empty-handed.

Eggnog carries a special sentiment because it's only served this time of year. We recommend filling six to eight glass bottles ($4-6 at the Container Store). You can buy it from the store or make your own, but the packaging is key: Trim the bottles with festive ribbons, bows and gift tags. If you go the more spirited route, warn your guests by labeling the bottles with a skull and crossbones or three X's and keep them out of little elves' reach.

If you're pressed for time, wine is almost always a crowd-pleaser. Save yourself time and money by buying a case of wine instead of individual bottles. Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Safeway offer a 10 percent discount when you buy six or more bottles of wine. Package each bottle in a festive tote — about $4.50 each at the Container Store — and toss in a few chocolates or candy canes.

If edible and potable gifts aren't your bag, consider candles or ornaments. "No matter how long you've been collecting ornaments, there are always a couple casualties along the way," said Susan Cannaday, the general manager of Bloomingdales in Chevy Chase. "Candles are fabulous because they're universal. No matter your style or decor, a candle goes with everything."

Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza