During the height of the holiday season, sending out Christmas cards can seem like just another chore on your list of things to do.
This year, address this sometimes daunting task by turning it into a card-writing party!
Invite a few close companions to your home one evening and have them bring along their cards, envelopes, address books, pens and postage stamps.
While writing out the cards at the dining room table, nibble on simple, special appetizers such as
Pesto Crostini, Shrimp Napoleons and Antipasto Kabobs (shown at right).
Christmas Card Writing Party Appetizer Recipes
Recipe: Artichoke Ranch Squares
I love to cook but don't have much free time. So I appreciate fast and easy recipes that are big on taste...like these savory snack squares.
—Joanne VanderSchaaf, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Recipe: Antipasto Kabobs
My husband and I met at a cooking class and have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These do-ahead appetizers are always a hit.
—Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
Recipe: Pesto Crostini
Look no further when you're searching for an elegant appetizer that's easy to put together. A platter of these crostini will disappear quickly!
—Diane Kaplan, Riverdale, New Jersey
Recipe: Shrimp Napoleons
Flaky and tender frozen puff pastry serves as the bread for these cold shrimp sandwiches. Bake the pastry and prepare the filling a day ahead, assemble before guests arrive.
—Mary Lou Wayman, Salt Lake City, Utah
Recipe: Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip
This slightly spicy dip cleverly captures the flavor of buffalo chicken wings. Using canned chicken adds to the convenience.
—Allyson DiLascio, Saltsburg, Pennsylvania
Recipe: Dijon-Bacon Dip for Pretzels
With just four ingredients that you probably already have, this quick appetizer comes together in a snap.
—Isabelle Rooney, Summerville, South Carolina
Recipe: Pear Pizza Wedges
You won't be able to stop eating this sweet and savory appetizer. The recipe makes just the right amount for a smaller gathering.
—Mimi Merta, Dunedin, Florida
Recipe: Roasted Goat Cheese with Garlic
Now that we have kids, my husband and I don't entertain much. But when we do, I serve this savory spread.
—Carol Barlow, Berwyn, Illinois
Recipe: Crunchy Onion Sticks
Although I've been collecting recipes for more than 50 years, I never tire of tried-and-true ones like this.
—Leora Muellerleile, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin
Ways to Reuse Christmas Cards
As you pack away the holiday decorations after the new year, it's tempting to simply toss all the Christmas cards you received into the recycling bin.
Instead, read through those greeting cards one more time and put them in a box. Over the summer or in fall, pull out the cards and use them in the following creative ways: Merry Markers.
For beautiful bookmarks or gift tags, reach for the scissors and cut out images or words. Use a hole punch, then tie on a tassel. These homemade bookmarks make special stocking stuffers.
Pretty as a Picture. Framed photos of holiday scenes are a great way to liven up your decor at Christmastime, but they often can be costly. An easy and inexpensive alternative is to frame images from greetings cards. Use a traditional photo frame as a tabletop display. For an eye-catching wall hanging, purchase a larger matted frame.
Seasonal Stationery. The front, inside and even back of Christmas cards can have pretty images that would work well as postcards, note cards and recipe cards. (Be sure to check with your local post office regarding postcard size restrictions.)
Christmas Card Centerpiece
Reuse old Christmas cards for this simple and inexpensive holiday centerpiece