12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, Day 11

November 11, 2015 | By | Comments (29)
Photo credit: Laurey W. Glenn

Photo credit: Laurey W. Glenn

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love (or Southern Living!) gave to me, a holiday made magical. Mix up a batch of your favorite cookie batter and use fun holiday shaped cutters to entertain the kids during holiday down time. Pack them up in a metal tin to treat your guests to something special.

For more holiday decor ideas and tips, enter to win the 2015 Southern Living for Dillard’s Christmas Cookbook PLUS a $50 Dillard’s gift card to purchase your favorites from our holiday collection.

100% of proceeds when you buy a Christmas Cookbook go to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Photo credit:

100% of proceeds when you buy a Christmas Cookbook go to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

How to Enter: Tell us your best holiday entertaining tip. Comment your answer below for a chance to win. Official rules here.


  1. Teresa Gainey Mode

    The best tip for me is to have it at your sisters house, divide the cooking and keep it simple.

    December 15, 2015 at 10:48 am
  2. Maddie

    A cookie decorating station for the kids!

    December 9, 2015 at 11:51 am
  3. gmcl

    Plan ahead and prepare!

    November 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm
  4. Deborah Rosen

    My best tip is to keep it simple, yet elegant. Do a few things extremely well and then relax and enjoy!

    November 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm
  5. Dawn K

    start preparing early so you can take it easy on the day of the event

    November 12, 2015 at 4:25 am
  6. JAZ

    My best holiday entertaining tip is to preassemble “party favor” type gift bags for the guests containing featured recipes from the night. In addition to copies of the recipe, she’d include premeasured spices and rare/key ingredients to help the guests recreate it at home. My mom always knew that she would receive requests for her recipes and started doing this for her parties when I was young. Now, I do it as it is a wonderful way to share recipes and hand out parting gifts to our guests.

    November 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm
  7. Samantha Fornshell

    We are big fans of the game Scene It, but I think this year we might try the new game bean boozled with the jelly beans!

    November 11, 2015 at 8:28 pm
  8. Vickie

    Mostly the home needs to feel welcoming and not stay off..fru-fru. If it’s cold have a roaring fire, warm how about entertaining in the garden. Have piles of throws on the stand by for the chillier guests. Set up a bar and let peeps help themselves..have bowls of whole nuts and nutcrackers sitting around. Have a take away, small home cooked gift or a succulent in a clay jar. Just be relaxed. Nice music and lighting if at night

    November 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm
  9. Kim G

    Keep lots of snacking foods out for everyone to snack on. Nobody needs a drill sergeant during the holiday festivities! Let people eat it they are hungry. Also if someone offers to bring something, let them. The more the merrier!

    November 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm
  10. maureen

    Premake dough or appetizer in the freezer for if guest unexpectedly stop by. I also purchase items thru the year and keep in an area of the house for Needed gifts I might have forgotten.

    November 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm
  11. LaTanya Thornhill

    always have a little more than you need of food to avoid not having enough

    November 11, 2015 at 4:44 pm
  12. Discover Southern (@discoversouthrn)

    Always keep plenty of cheese and cured meats on hand with some homemade jam for a quick and easy cheese board when unexpected guests arrive.

    November 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm
  13. clmdukes

    Hold a holiday open house where people may come and go as they choose. Have it early (4-6 pm) so as not to interfere with other parties and dinners. Appetizers and a drink will be exactly right for this gala event.

    November 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm
  14. Pat C

    Have back-to-back parties while your house is ready and decorated. Keep a wrapped present under the tree as an “emergency gift”.

    November 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  15. Kathleen

    Clean as you go. Don’t let the dishes & mess pile up until it becomes unmanageable. If you keep it simple & authentic you’ll want to do it again next year.

    November 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm
  16. theresa j

    I try to make it simple by having everyine bring their favorite dish

    November 11, 2015 at 1:09 pm
  17. karen s

    My best holiday entertaining tip is to have extra ready to give gifts on hand. This way, if your granddaughter brings along two of her besties, or your Uncle Bob decides to bring along his neighbors nephew, you will be good to go. And if the unthinkable occurs, where someone drops by with a gift for you that you somehow didn’t expect, you will be ready. No panic, no guilt, and no last minute gift shopping errands!

    November 11, 2015 at 11:28 am
  18. Sharon K

    After all the (enjoyable) time and stress I put into the plan and prep of our annual Christmas party (50-60 people), I have learned a few things. But the single piece of advice I’d offer, is to keep it simple. I want to spend time with our friends, not in the kitchen putting and pulling things out of the oven. I now serve foods that can be kept warm in on a warming tray, items that be out of the fridge for a few hours, or at room temp. I’ve also learned to let go if I didn’t get everything completed, as I’m usually the only one who would know the difference! Entertaining is suppose to be about spending time with family and friends first, keeping it simple for a big crowd is my key.

    November 11, 2015 at 10:43 am
  19. Janice Gallaway

    Planning ahead, working ahead, being organized all are key. You want to be relaxed and fresh so that you can enjoy your guests and the time spent together. Have a time schedule and enjoy your holidays!

    November 11, 2015 at 10:42 am
  20. Lisa Christopher Grimes

    Keep it simple and do as much as possible ahead of time.

    November 11, 2015 at 10:41 am
  21. James Osier

    Leslie, I see great minds think alike.

    November 11, 2015 at 10:36 am
  22. James Osier

    You can’t have a holiday gathering without hot spiced (and spiked – Calvados works great) cider or mulled wine. Plus, the cider smells so good simmering on the stove.

    November 11, 2015 at 10:35 am
  23. Laura

    Stick with what you know. If you’re trying out a new recipe on the day of entertaining, you will likely be stressed and you nor your guests will enjoy the event. Prepare things you are comfortable with, or try out the new recipe in advance so that you may show your best hospitality for your guests.

    November 11, 2015 at 10:34 am
  24. Phyllis Sears

    Don’t wait till the last minute to get prepared; work steadily and finish your work without undue stress;;;; be prepared for the unexpected; be sure you can entertain the smallest, youngest guest; ENJOY

    November 11, 2015 at 10:34 am
  25. Patricia C

    Cook what you can the day before and set the table the night before

    November 11, 2015 at 10:29 am
  26. Cindy Moline

    Make as much of the food as possible ahead and put it in the freezer. You don’t want to be exhausted and in the kitchen while all of the fun happens!

    November 11, 2015 at 10:28 am
  27. leslie

    Keep hot mulled cider on the stove for drop in guests. Plus, the house smells great!

    November 11, 2015 at 10:26 am
  28. paffrathmkd

    Keep plenty of homemade goodies plus beverages and keep an “Open Holiday House” to family and friends during the month of December! A lot of fun and cheer for family and friends.

    November 11, 2015 at 9:25 am
  29. Kristin G

    I would say to always have a kids corner where kids can play with toys, color or watch a show so they are entertained as well. Make sure you will have more than enough food for everyone and don’t stress out! If the host is stressed then everyone else will feel the tension.

    November 11, 2015 at 9:13 am

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