As a festive way to celebrate Christmas Eve, I invited my four sisters and their families for a caroling theme dinner. Then we all bundled up for an evening of singing carols and delivering cookies to shut-ins and our local police and fire departments.

The relatives arrived early in the day so we could practice singing Deck the Halls, Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, etc. while we decorated cookies we'd baked the day before.

I had a jolly time thinking up the menu of Yuletide Brochettes, Fa-La-La Prosciutto Puffs, Noel Salmon Cheesecake and Merry Note Cookies.

After our evening of singing and spreading cheer throughout our community, we arrived back at my house to sit around the cozy fireplace and sing more of our favorite holiday tunes.

Why not plan a similar evening for your family? It could become a tradition they'll treasure! A few notes on my easy musical table decorations:

To decorate the tables, I used white plastic disposable cloths and a black marker to draw on musical staffs, notes and the words "Merry Christmas." I cut out figures of carolers from white poster board and grouped them with vivid red silk poinsettia blooms. For favors, I gave each person a small songbook of Christmas carols.

The casual recipes I selected were ideal for the caroling party. Most of the preparation for the colorful Yuletide Brochettes can be done the day before. I precooked the sausage, marinated the chicken and cut up the zucchini and peppers so everything was ready to skewer on Christmas Eve.

  • Fa-La-La Prosciutto Puffs are light tasty treats that practically melt in your mouth. Young and old alike said how much they enjoyed eating one…then another…and another!
  • During the holidays or any time you're expecting a crowd, Noel Salmon Cheesecake is sure to be a popular appetizer. The mild smoked salmon flavor is delicious.
  • Merry Note Cookies—made from a recipe similar to one my mom always used—were a fitting dessert before we set out for caroling.