Christmas

Prepping for Christmas goes way beyond shopping for gifts. Of course, the presents are nice—but an entire month of festivities is what really makes the season so merry. Once December rolls around, it’s time to kick your shopping, decorating, and baking efforts into high gear. Get yourself in the spirit by lighting a woodsy or seasonally scented candle. The scent of the season wafting through your home is sure to inspire your creativity as you finalize those Christmas party ideas (there is, in fact, a scientific reason why the holidays smell so good). Then, pop in one of your favorite holidays movies and pick out some festive Christmas crafts to create. Don’t forget to spend some time finalizing your holiday menu a week or two ahead of the event—there are plenty of make-ahead recipes that will help you relax and enjoy the party just as much as your guests are. And, don’t worry, we have plenty of gift ideas, too, so you can cross that off your to-do list, as well.

How to Make a Moscow Mule

This 3-ingredient cocktail never fails to satisfy.

Gingersnap Baked Alaska Pie

This impressive twist on a traditional Baked Alaska is sure to satisfy all your holiday guests—the cookie lovers, the pie fanatics, and the ice cream die-hards, too. We’re suckers for coffee ice cream (and it pairs wonderfully with the warm spices in the gingersnaps), but feel free to use any flavor you please. In the summer, try a graham cracker crust and chocolate ice cream for a tasty take on s’mores. The key to success here is creating a stiff meringue, so be sure to pay attention to the indicators in the recipe. To test whether you’ve achieved stiff peaks, remove the whisk attachment from the mixer and hold it upright. The meringue should hold its peak and not droop down the sides.

How to Stack and Frost a Layer Cake    

Get our tips and tricks for stacking and frosting a beautiful, professional-looking cake every time.

How to Teach Your Kids Gift-Receiving Etiquette

Let’s be honest: Not every holiday present is going to elicit the reaction a Hatchimals might. Some will be downright disappointing. But you don’t have to end up in an embarrassing situation, where your little one stands there in stunned silence (or, worse, voices the disappointment out loud). Parent Hacks author Asha Dornfest shares three tips for teaching kids how to graciously receive any gift.

5 Genius Ways to Style a Bar Cart for Every Occasion

It’s a serving station when you’re entertaining, a display spot when you’re not. Here are five top-shelf setups.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

They’re hanging from the chimney with care, it’s time to fill them with these festive and inexpensive treats. See more great gifts for everyone on your list. 

Gingerbread Pancakes

We packed all the flavors of gingerbread cookies into these stackable pancakes. They’re barely sweet with a little dark brown sugar and molasses—this is breakfast after all—but that means you can use as much maple syrup as you like. This recipe makes about 12 3½-inch wide pancakes so depending on the size of your griddle or skillet you’ll likely need to work in batches. To keep the first batch warm while you make the second and third and so on, place the pancakes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 250° oven. Everyone’s pancakes will be ready at once and you won’t feel like a short-order cook.

Elf-Sized Treats

It’s no secret that Santa is well-fed on Christmas Eve, thanks to the millions of cookies set out for his consumption (and, by the looks of it, he’s not starving the rest of the year either). Sadly, the hardworking Christmas elves are often overlooked, and despite the hours they spend fine-tuning and tinkering with the toys, no one thinks to leave them a tasty treat—until now.

7 Fun Christmas Movies to Stream on Netflix

These films will get the entire family in the holiday spirit.