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‘Tis the season to gather with family and friends amidst the twinkle of vibrant lights, the warm crackle of a fireplace, and the nostalgia of red or green décor.

But with that hectic pace of the holidays just around the corner, this doesn’t give you much time to plan and execute the perfect seasonal soiree.

So whether you’re hosting an office social for your co-workers or a laid-back evening with your closest friends, these last-minute ideas will ensure a festive party atmosphere that’s both merry and bright—without the added stress.

Backyard Bonfire Roast Party

As the weather cools down and the daylight hours shorten, it’s an ideal time to huddle around a firepit with the people you love.

Host a bonfire in the backyard, complete with outdoor games, torch lights, cosy blankets and seasonal noshes.

For a sweet tooth option, provide the fixings to roast s’mores and simmer a batch of crockpot hot chocolate.

Or if you want to serve an entire meal for the guests, Midwest Living recommends hearty winter staples like fondue or chilli that can be enjoyed around a roaring flame.     

Tacky Christmas Jumper Party

What is the reverse of a swanky gala with a black-tie dress code? The obvious answer is a tacky sweater bash, and for this event, the quirkier your guests deck themselves out, the more hilarity will ensue.

So the choice is yours—either keep it G-rated, or make it adult only with jumpers that scream “naughty list.”

You can even reward the person, whose attire is the most outlandish, with a Christmas-themed mug and Starbucks gift card to savour a holiday drink (while rocking that sweater, of course).   

Around the World Potluck Party

If you’re curious about how other cultures show off their holiday spirit, then a global inspired celebration is an exciting way to find out.

Invite guests to prepare traditional foods which represent Christmastime all over the world and host a potluck where everyone can sample these unique, exotic dishes.

This streamlines the menu planning, so you can focus more efforts on other memorable touches such these decorations from various countries for an ambiance that’s culturally diverse and authentic.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party

Since just about every person breaks out their oven mitts and dusts off their cookie recipes this time of year, it’s the perfect occasion to gather your loved ones for a cookie exchange.

Bake a few dozen seasonal treats, and request your friends or family do the same. Then invite the whole crew together to nibble on each other’s creations, swap their favourite recipes, and bring home a selection of these holiday desserts.

To pull off the ultimate cookie exchange, Good Housekeeping delivers some hassle-free ideas.

No matter how you decide to celebrate the holidays, these creative and festive themes are sure to enchant your guests and make them feel all the warmth this season has to offer.

Even if you’re short on time, there is no reason you can’t still host a meaningful experience for those you care about—and maintain sanity in the process.


Muffins! Healthy muffins for everyone! Ok fine, so perhaps not as healthy as we would like, but they make a definite improvement from devouring an entire bag of crisps in one go.

As we approach the festive season we become increasingly aware of two things. One being that attempting to maintain (or indeed start) a healthy diet at Christmas time is next to impossible, and also all anyone ever does when the weather gets rough is develop a craving for comfort foods. 

So, we found this recipe for what essential become sweet potato muffins, just without the trickier aspects of baking with vegetables.

4 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp Salted Butter – Melted
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
12-15 Marshmallows 


Carefully slice Sweet Potatoes into 1/8 inch slices – add to a large mixing bowl.

Add melted butter, coconut oil, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat potato slces. Mix in the parmesan cheese.

In a greased cupcake tin stack the sweet potato chips to fill each cup. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes until tops and edges nicely brown. Remove from oven and top each stack with a marshmallow. Return to oven for 3-5 minutes – watching carefully – until the marshmallows have a light brown and have puffed up.

Remove from oven – carefully pat down each marshmallow to form a nice dome over the stack. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow StacksPIN IT FOR LATER: http://bit.ly/swtpotmars

Posted by Tasty on Sunday, 15 November 2015


Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t make the most of August with this delicious side dish.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 packet of cream cheese
  • 1 seven ounce jar marshmallow fluff or packet of melted white marshmallows
  • Juice from one orange

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Take cream cheese out of fridge and let soften for a few minutes
  2. When the cream cheese is soft enough to blend, add the marshmallow fluff/melted marshmallows and orange juice and then beat the mixture till smooth.
  3. Serve with some of your favourite sliced fruits and dip away.

Tip: Strawberries and green grapes are perfect for this dip but many other fruits will work when it comes to this delicious side dish too.

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