As a festive kickoff to the Christmas season each year, my parents and my brother and his family come to our house for a theme brunch. Then we bundle up and hop on a hay wagon—pulled by my husband Mike's favorite antique tractor—for the drive to a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm.

Even my niece and nephew talk about our party throughout the year, wondering what theme I'll use for the table decorations and menu. One year it was snowmen and snowflakes—a flurry of them!

The table sparkled with a grouping of glass snowmen and evergreen trees for the centerpiece. I used a white crocheted cloth over a blue liner, white chargers and cobalt blue glass plates. Coffee and milk were served in white mugs with blue snowflakes and clear glasses with etched flakes.

Gifts for each person were ornaments that represented a special event in that person's life during the year.

Festive Make-Ahead Foods

Our brunch menu featured Potato Ham Omelet Pie, Banana Split Bread, Minty Snowmen and Gingerbread Snowflakes.

The layered Potato Ham Omelet Pie with puff pastry crust is great because you can prepare it the day before and bake it the morning of the party. It's such an attractive breakfast or brunch entree—and is wonderful served with homemade rolls and a refreshing fruit cup (I pour sparkling apple cider over the top for a little zing).

Chocolate chips and pecans add flavor and crunch to Banana Split Bread. Since finding this recipe a decade ago, I seldom make plain banana bread.

Cute as can be, Minty Snowmen have nice fresh flavor and they stay soft—not hardening as many candies do. They are easy to shape, and it's so simple to add colorful hats and earmuffs. I set the cute little fellows at each place setting…and everyone thought they were darling.

Cookies Cap Outing

On the wagon ride home, I served Gingerbread Snowflakes with hot spiced cider. The cookies have wonderful spicy flavor to fit any winter occasion. They also make great holiday gifts from your kitchen.

When we all arrived back at our house, each family tied their Christmas tree to their car and headed home to trim it. "Your snowy theme and delicious food really put us in a holiday mood!" said my relatives as they thanked us.

Why not plan a similar meal and outing for your family? It could become a holiday tradition you treasure!