December may be cold and snowy here in Toronto, but all the social events that come with the season are keeping our hearts (and hands) warm! Between office holiday parties, gatherings with friends and family, and all the different holiday dinners that take place throughout the month, you may find yourself feeling a bit burnt out from what can be quite a busy time of year. If you are still trying to squeeze in some quality time with loved ones between Christmas and the New Year, here are some great “low lift” entertainment ideas for you to get the most relaxation out of your winter break.
Tea and Cookies
When it comes to entertaining, food preparation and cleaning can be very time-consuming; instead of inviting guests for a meal, invite them over to decorate cookies! This recipe for Christmas Sugar’N Spice Cookies from BakeGood.ca is perfect for beginner bakers. You and your guests will have a great time decorating your cookies while catching up.
Image courtesy of Bakegood.ca
When it comes to tea pairings, the spiced flavour of the cookies will pair nicely with seasonal offerings from PLUCK: Chocolate Orange, Pumpkin Spice, and Gingerbread Spice. If you’re looking to jazz things up even further, offer guests a tea latte by adding frothed milk!
Image courtesy of pluckteas.com
Meet up with a friend for a winter hike and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the season. This is a great idea for those who are feeling a bit cooped up inside, just be sure to dress for the weather! While there are plenty of great trails across the GTA and beyond, feel free to visit your town’s main street for some winter cheer if pounding the pavement is more your style. Visit a local coffee shop to warm up or, bring your own hot chocolate and finish the day with a sweet treat like mini panettone or pandoro from Eataly.ca.
Image courtesy of Eataly
Cocktail Hour or Night Cap
If you’re struggling to schedule time with friends between other engagements, offer a cocktail hour with a clear end time so can catch up and still make it to your dinner plans on time. The Ricordo d’Inverno recipe below is sure to appease all who enjoy a vibrant and herbaceous cocktail. For those looking to catch up over glass of wine in the evening, opt for the Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.
1oz Averna Amaro
1oz Sicilian Blood Orange Gin
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pineapple chunk
Garnish with Orange Zest and 1 Clove
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin then fill with ice.
Tightly secure top tin and shake vigorously.
Strain into a Nick and Nora glass and garnish with orange zest and a clove.
Whether you choose to keep things low-key or keep your agenda full with engagements this holiday season, take time to let those near and dear to you know how much you love and appreciate them.