Tis the season for cookie baking, tree decorating, and Christmas caroling. It’s also the season for party planning, menu prepping, and all around celebrating. There is no better time of year for getting together with friends and family while counting your many blessings. To help you get into the holiday spirit, I’ve prepared a few tips to help you turn up the sparkle this holiday season.
Get Dressed Up
Glitter, gold and everything bold should be your mantra this holiday season. In the Florida Keys, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to get dressed up but the holidays are a perfect time to do so. Accessories are a great way to sparkle over the holidays. Add some statement necklaces with extra bling or a sequin clutch bag to your holiday party attire. Instead of an LBD, look for flirty dresses in metallic shades for a glammed up look. My favorite bold accessory is lipstick. The holidays are a great time to try a new shade in a deep burgundy wine or bold red. Although Keys Casual is the norm, I believe its always better to be over dressed than under – so go for it!
Come Bearing Gifts
Attending the many fetes this time of year will certainly put you in the festive spirit, but it also means finding the perfect hostess gifts. Your best bet is to always have a few things on-hand so as not to show up empty-handed. In lieu of a bottle of wine, opt for a bottle of champagne which is more special and festive. I always keep a few bottles of champagne in the fridge as life’s great moments should always be celebrated with a toast and some bubbly.
For a more unique gift, opt for a Christmas ornament for your host. Shell World in Key Largo carries an array of ornaments that are both traditional and Florida Keys themed. I love to gift high heeled shoe ornaments for my fashionista friends and beachy Santa ornaments to my friends up north. I know each year when they see that ornament, they’ll think of me and the friendship we share.
Another great hostess gift can be found at Key Largo Chocolates. Buy a box of handmade truffles in decadent flavors including Key Lime, Sea Salt Caramel and Caribbean spice. These chocolates are sure to be the gift the hostess will enjoy the most. If you’re traveling over the holidays, I highly recommend bringing a box with you to your destination. Your host will be grateful for the delicious treat.
If you’re hosting a party, serve a festive themed drink as guests arrive. Or if you prefer your holiday drinks made to order, head to Old Tavernier Restaurant and have them shake up a Candy Cane or Christmas Thyme martini.
Christmas Thyme Martini Recipe from Old Tavernier
Frist, you’ll want to make your Rosemary Thyme simple syrup. Boil 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 4 sprigs rosemary, 6 sprigs thyme and then let steep 10 minutes to dissolve sugar.
Mix ½ oz. of your rosemary thyme simple syrup with 4 oz. vodka and 1 oz. cranberry juice.
Shake, then strain into sugar rimmed Martini glass. Top with Prosecco or champagne and garnish with cranberries on a rosemary sprig.
Cheers and happy holidays!