Holiday-Party-Ideas-to-Help-Create-a-Holiday-Haven

Here are some easy holiday party ideas to help you create the perfect holiday haven. Take the stress out of your holiday planning this season with our helpful tips and ideas.

We’ve got simple Christmas decoration ideas to help you create the perfect holiday table setting. You’ll also find easy holiday baking recipes including a delicious turkey and stuffing holiday dinner, decadent holiday dessert, and refreshing party punch. Holiday entertaining is about to kick into high gear. Our holiday party ideas will satisfy even your toughest critic … you.

Christmas Decoration Ideas

with tan table runners

To create the perfect holiday table setting, start with a white and gold palette. Keeping the table mostly neutral will highlight any colourful holiday party decorations you choose to add to your tablescape.

Start by placing a white tablecloth over the existing table and layer with tan table runners that run vertically or horizontally across the table. One to three should do it. You might also choose to forego the white tablecloth altogether and place the tan table runners directly over the surface of the table in the same vertical or horizontal pattern.

 

To create a centrepiece that adds warmth with a pop of colour, arrange freshly cut fir branches across the length of the table. Alternatively, you may want to place a faux winter prelit garland in the centre of the table and layer it lengthwise across the table for a similar effect. Make sure to tuck the ends under some of the foliage so it no longer looks like a garland.

faux-winter-prelit-garland

Complete your holiday tablescape by adding unscented ivory pillar candles to the centrepiece.

flameless melted top pillar candlesTo keep the ambiance of traditional candles without the risk of fire, these lovely gold charger platesflameless melted top pillar candles will do the trick. Tea lights and white Christmas ball ornaments bring a whimsical wintry feel to the tablescape.

Arrange each place setting with your own dishes, flatware, and stemware to complete that warm holiday mood. To add a touch of class to your dishes, place them on gold charger plates with beaded rims. Napkins can be white or holiday-themed, whatever suits your fancy.

 

Holiday-Recipes

Holiday Recipes

Your holiday haven wouldn’t be complete without the perfect feast. With so many holiday recipes to choose from, how do you pick the right one to roast a turkey? Trying to narrow down what you should bake for the holidays can be a daunting task with all the holiday dessert recipes available at your fingertips. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Leave family and friends asking for second helpings by following these simple holiday recipe ideas for the main course, as well as dessert and beverage suggestions. All ingredients are available at Walmart Online Grocery. Walmart.ca offers one-stop grocery shopping that will help keep your stress levels to a minimum during the holidays.

 

Roast Spiced Turkey

Roast turkey is the staple main course on any classic Christmas menu. The roast turkey should be a crowd-pleaser for those gathered for Christmas dinner. Grace the table with this easy-to-follow Roast Spiced Turkey recipe. Always tender, always juicy, and filled with mouth-watering flavour. Expect nothing less.

roast spiced turkey

 

ROAST SPICED TURKEY
PREP
30 min | TOTAL 3 hrs
SERVES 8

2 ½ tbsp pickling spice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt 6 kg turkey

GRAVY
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

WHIRL pickling spice in a clean coffee grinder until finely ground. It should measure 2 tbsp. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven, then preheat to 400F. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Stir mayo with pickling spice and salt in a small bowl.

PAT turkey dry with paper towels. Reserve giblets and neck bone for gravy. Rub mayo mixture underneath and over the skin of turkey. Transfer turkey to rack in pan. Bend and tuck wings under the bird. Cover tightly with foil.

ROAST in the bottom-third of the oven for 1 hr. Reduce heat to 325F. Roast for another hour, then remove foil. Continue roasting, uncovered, basting occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh reads 175F, 45 to 55 more min, for a total cook time of about 15 min per 500 g. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest at least 25 min before carving. Carefully pour any juices from baking sheet through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. Skim off excess fat and discard. Whisk juices into gravy.

FOR GRAVY, coarsely chop the neck bone and giblets. Cover with water in a saucepan and add bay leaves. Boil, then reduce heat to medium. Gently boil until liquid is reduced to 3 cups, about 45 min. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup and discard bones. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth.

MELT butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add flour and salt and cook, stirring constantly until flour is golden brown, about 1 min. Whisking constantly, add 1 cup broth and cook until mixture is smooth, 1 min. Add remaining broth in a thin, steady stream until combined. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until gravy is reduced to about 2 cups, about 20 more min. Season with pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Apple-walnut Bread Stuffing

A wholesome bread stuffing is a great complimentary side dish for the roast turkey. When baked outside the turkey, the cubes of bread will turn golden and will acquire a crouton-like crust.

apple walnut bread stuffing

APPLE-WALNUT BREAD STUFFING
PREP
50 min | TOTAL 1 hr 30 min
SERVES 12

1 675-g loaf white bread, cut into small cubes
1 cup chopped walnuts 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 red apples, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
1 tbsp dried sage leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1½ cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

POSITION racks in top and bottom thirds of oven, then preheat to 350F. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast, switching sheets and stirring halfway, until golden and dry, 15 to 18 min. Transfer to a very large bowl. Reduce heat to 325F.

TOAST walnuts in a very large non-stick frying pan over medium, about 5 min. Transfer to a bowl. Add bacon to the same pan and cook until crispy, 4 to 5 min. Add celery and onions and cook, stirring often until softened, about 8 min. Stir in apples, sage, salt and pepper and cook 5 more min. Add bread mixture, then drizzle in broth, stirring to combine. Stir in walnuts and parsley. Transfer to a 9×13-in. baking dish. Cover with foil.

BAKE in bottom-third of the oven for 20 min. Remove foil and stir. Continue baking, uncovered, until stuffing is golden and hot, about 20 more min.

Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

No Christmas dinner would be complete without home-baked goods. For a dessert that feels familiar yet innovative, try this easy Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Icing recipe. Even your fussiest foodie will love it.

gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing

 

 

 

GINGERBREAD CAKE with CREAM CHEESE ICING
PREP
45 min | TOTAL 2 hrs
SERVES 12

1 cup hot water
3/4 cup fancy molasses
1½ tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar

CREAM CHEESE ICING
1 250 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1¾ cups 35% cream

POSITION rack in centre of oven, then preheat to 350F. Spray 3 9-in. round baking pans with oil and line bottoms with parchment.

WHISK hot water with molasses in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in baking soda. Set aside.

WHISK flour, ground ginger, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

WHISK eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in molasses mixture. Gradually whisk in flour mixture just until smooth. Divide batter amongst prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, 20 to 23 min. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 min. Run a knife around edge of pans and turn out onto the rack. Remove parchment and cool completely, about 1 hour.

FOR ICING, beat cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 min. Reduce speed to low and slowly add cream until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 min. (Do not overbeat). Scoop 1 cup icing in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-in. or 1-in. star tip.

ADD a dollop of icing in the centre of a serving plate. Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread one-third of the icing over top. Add the second cake layer. Spread half of remaining icing over top. Add the third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and thinly on the sides of the cake. (You want to see the cake through the icing.)

DECORATE with a fresh wreath or, for something different, pipe 12 rosettes along the top edge of the cake and top with gingerbread cookies.

To make the wreath, dip sprigs of rosemary, as well as cranberries, blueberries and pomegranate seeds in egg white, then in sugar. Shake off the excess sugar and place delicately on the top of the cake in a circle.

TIP Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap. Make icing just before assembling the cake.

Spiced Pear Punch

Add a simple dose of nostalgia to your holiday evening by serving this easy-to-make Spiced Pear Punch. Guests will be reminded of the comforts of holiday cheer from days gone by with this refreshing holiday party punch.

spiced pear punch

SPICED PEAR PUNCH
PREP
10 min
TOTAL 15 min, plus 20 min cooling time
MAKES 4 to 6

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1-L carton pear juice
1 355-mL bottle ginger beer
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Bartlett pear, thinly sliced

 

COMBINE sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and allspice in a small saucepan set over high. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

POUR pear juice, ginger beer and lemon juice into a large punch bowl. Stir in spice syrup and 4 cups ice.

PLACE a pear slice in each drinking glass. Ladle in punch. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish, if desired.

To serve an adult-friendly version, stir 3/4 cup spiced rum into the punch before sharing with your guests.

TIP To test if a pear is ripe, apply gentle pressure near the stem. If it gives slightly, it’s probably ready to be eaten.

 

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Senior Editor, Lifestyle and Parenting at Walmart.ca--Born and raised in Montreal, Anita relocated to Toronto to pursue a career in publishing. She is currently living her slice of life in a Toronto suburb with her husband, three children, and their lovable dog Walter. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with recipes, refurbishing furniture, and spending as much time as possible with her family. Anita is a mindful mama. She believes that a daily dose of mindfulness towards self and others leads to a richer, more fulfilled life. She is the author of two award-winning children's picture books on mindfulness and was chair of Parent Council at her children's school for a decade.