It’s time for a tree-trimming party! Deck the halls and celebrate the season with a casual open house, featuring a buffet of crowd-pleasing dishes to satisfy all ages. Our menu has hot chocolate for the kids, mulled wine for the adults, and hearty soup for something cozy. Bring out all your ornaments, and let everyone hang them together—it’s a great way to spark the holiday spirit.
Start off the party with a couple of easy appetizers. Our candied mixed nuts with rosemary are ideal for snacking, and they’re easy to prep in advance. Fresh vegetables take center stage with this ranch-style dip and dippers—we like carrots, celery sticks and cauliflower florets for winter.
Soup makes a wonderful main course, because it can easily serve a crowd. Our orzo, delicata squash and chicken soup is colorful and plentiful and easy to adapt to different tastes. On the side, serve this apple salad with candied walnuts, which pairs creamy goat cheese with sweet, crunchy walnuts and crisp apples for a mix of flavors and textures.
Keep dessert simple with ice cream made from our signature Peppermint Bark—it’s festive and perfect for making ahead. Serve a scoop on top of these crisp chocolate cookies to take dessert over the top. Offer hot cocoa and mulled wine, perfect for warming chilled hands.
Follow this timeline for a seamless tree-trimming soirée.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the Peppermint Bark ice cream and store in the freezer. Make the cookies. Roast chicken and squash for the soup. Make the candied walnuts for the salad. Toast the nuts for the appetizer, let cool, and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Make the dip for the dippers.
- The day of: Prep vegetables for dippers. Boil the pasta for the soup. Make the mulled wine.
- Just before serving: Finish the soup. Finish the salad. Re-warm the nuts and toss with rosemary. Make the hot cocoa.
Don’t forget about the music! Tree trimming calls for a festive playlist, and we have you covered—check out our Spotify for some classic holiday tunes.
Build a beautiful buffet with bowls of seasonal fruit (think pears and pomegranates) and platters of different heights. Serve the soup in these generous, double-handled bowls and wrap spoons and forks in cheerful snow village jacquard napkins.
Make your best hot chocolate ever. Our hot chocolate guide has all the tools, tips and toppers you need to take your mug to the next level.
Peppermint Bark ice cream is just one creative way we’ve used our favorite treat. Find more fun peppermint bark ideas from our culinary experts here!