12 DIYs of Christmas: Easy Christmas Candy Tray

12 DIYs of Christmas: Christmas Candy Tray

Today, I am sharing how I styled an easy Christmas candy tray using a few of our family’s favorite treats and pieces from the Lenox holiday collection. This may be the sweetest DIY that you do this holiday season. By the way, this is the 4th DIY of the 12 DIYs of Christmas.


How to Make a Christmas Candy Tray

First, set out your favorite Christmas tray. I am using a beautiful silver metal platter from the Lenox holiday collection.  The pinecones and holly leaf design is perfect for holiday gatherings all season long.

Next, make or buy an assortment of your favorite holiday candies and treats!  Include a variety of chocolates, peppermints, gummy candies, cookies and white chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels.


Its as easy as 1, 2, 3

Step 1.  Use decorative bowls to hold small candies like gummy bears, m&m’s, cherry sours or Red Hots. If necessary, use small pedestals to add height. Begin by placing the largest bowl on the tray, maybe off center. Then, add smaller bowls around it on the tray.

Step 2. Next, place larger individual treats like cookies, peppermint sticks, licorice and chocolate reindeer onto the tray.

Step 3. Last, fill in with bite size treats like mints or white chocolate popcorn (my recipe is here).

Dessert for Dinner

As my kids get older and outgrow certain traditions with sneaky elves and stories of Santa Claus, it has been hard to keep the excitement of Christmas alive.  Therefore, I thought it would be fun, and really unexpected to initiate a new a new Christmas tradition… ‘dessert for dinner!’  Of course, we had a meal afterwards, but it was still fun to enjoy dessert first!

So, I set a fancy table with beautiful Lenox mercury glass trees as the centerpiece, gold rimmed glasses, and  snowflake carved dinner plates. Then, I served dessert on a silver platter! Plus, Lenox ornaments, holiday decor and entertaining pieces are great gifts which can grow into a beautiful collection year after year.


Paper accents for the table are from Hester and Cook, including the paper Santa placemats and Christmas tree place cards. They are so fun and festive for holiday tablescapes.


Old and new traditions are what bring families together! This was a wonderful feast, y’all!

The 12 DIYs of Christmas

I hope you enjoy this 4th holiday inspired DIY in the 12 DIY’s of Christmas.  If you missed the first days of the 12 DIYs of Christmas, you can see how I made a set of berry garland napkin rings for $1, here, a countdown calendar here, and a DIY snow globe lamp, here.

Save this to your Christmas Dessert Pinterest Board by tapping the red pin in the top left of this pic!

The Best Hot Chocolate Bars Blog Hop

The Best Hot Chocolate Bar Blog Hop featuring our Family’s Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot chocolate bars have been trending the last few years as a fun tradition to incorporate into your Christmas decorating. Specifically, if you host a gathering this holiday season, the hot chocolate bar is a favorite for kids of all ages.  Today, I am sharing my hot chocolate bar and our family’s hot chocolate recipe.

Join our Hot Cocoa Bar blog hop with fifteen of my home decor blogger friends. The blog hop is hosted by Cindy at County Road 407 blog who chooses a Pinterest inspired challenge each month.  For November, we are sharing hot chocolate bars.

If you are coming from Julie’s blog at My Wee Abode, welcome y’all!  Check out all the bloggers at the end of this post, then head to Everyday Edits blog with Laura.


Vintage Santa Mug Set

My grandmother in law had the cutest set of vintage Santa face mugs and a serving bowl for hot chocolate.  It was set up near her famous fruit cake and green jello mold salad every Christmas. A few years ago, I found a similar set while antique shopping with my mother in law, Martha. She was kind enough to gift me the set.  I am glad to say that I have carried on the family tradition of serving hot chocolate in the cutest vintage Santa face mugs.


Display your family’s holiday mugs!

Whether you use a mug rack or wooden cubbies, display your holiday mugs with a few seasonal finds.  For example, I like to include holiday tea towels, mini signs, and a jolly cookie jar near the hot chocolate bar.  You can set up a hot chocolate bar, big or small, on your buffet table, kitchen island or the dessert table.


 Include a variety of toppings in Christmas dishes!

I display an assortment of candies in my collection of holiday dishes. For example, I include marshmallows, peppermint sticks, red hot candy, whipped cream, and holiday sprinkles on my hot chocolate bar.

I like to add a red hot to the top of my whipped cream swirl when hot cocoa is served in my Santa mugs!

The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot Chocolate Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 cups  milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla or peppermint oil
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Hot Chocolate Recipe Directions

  1. Pour all ingredients except chocolate in a large pot on the stove top on medium heat.
  2. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until mixture is well blended.  Turn heat to low.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir occasionally until melted.
  4. Serve immediately or place in a serving bowl or crock pot on ‘
  5. Garnish as desired with an assortment of whipped cream, marshmallows or candies.

Thanks again for stopping by the hot chocolate bar blog hop!  If you are new, you can subscribe to my blog here or check me out daily on Instagram by following me at @CuterTudor.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

The Best Hot Cocoa Recipe for Christmas

The Best Hot Cocoa Recipe for Christmas 

Today I’m partnering with a group of bloggers, along with Olive and Linen to share some of our favorite holiday recipes with you. From tasty appetizers to sweet desserts and even homemade dog treats, you will find something wonderful to make for your holiday Christmas parties!  My daughter and I are sharing two of our holiday favorites, hot cocoa and hot cocoa candy sticks! At the end of the post, be sure to check out the rest of the amazing recipes on the blog hop.  Most importantly, I will share a code to get 30% off your next order of Turkish towels at Olive and Linen.  Plus, details to win a $100 gift card from Olive and Linen just by commenting on this post!


hot cocoa recipe


Olive and Linen Turkish Towels and Throws

First, let me tell you about Olive and Linen, because I think you will love the products as much as I do!  They carry an assortment of beautiful, super soft bath and kitchen towels and throw blankets.  I like that the linens are handmade with traditional weaving techniques and made from high quality materials sourced in Turkey.  Each linen is lightweight, yet surprisingly so absorbent.   Therefore, they not only look great in my home, but work well to clean up spills.


The striped throw blanket is my favorite because I love how soft the fabric feels, without being heavy.  My daughter Callie is already trying to claim it as hers.  The hand tied tassels are a nice detail too! You can find it here!


One of my family’s favorite Christmas Eve traditions is looking at Christmas lights after dinner.  First, we pack some homemade treats and hot cocoa in a thermos.  Then, we grab a cozy blanket, hop in the car, play Christmas tunes while driving around looking at Christmas lights.  There are quite a few extravagant displays in our town.  Now, let me share the sweetest hot cocoa recipe with y’all!

Hot Cocoa Recipe

Hot Cocoa Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups  milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla or peppermint oil
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Hot Cocoa Recipe Directions

  1. Pour all ingredients except chocolate in a large pot on the stove top on medium heat.  
  2. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until mixture is well blended.  Turn heat to low.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir occasionally until melted.

Serve immediately or keep warm in a crock pot on low heat.  Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, peppermints, or red hots as you like!  I like to add a red hot to the top of my whip cream swirl when hot cocoa is served in my Santa mugs!

Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe

Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe Ingredients

  • Candy canes
  • Simply Melt chocolate melting chips
  • Large marshmallows
  • Assortment of sprinkles, small candies like peppermint crunch, red hots, or chopped nuts.


hot cocoa recipe


Hot Cocoa Candy Sticks Recipe Directions

  1. Insert unwrapped candy canes into marshmallows.
  2. Melt Simply Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Start with a minute in the microwave, stirring in 30 second increments thereafter until melted.
  3. Dip the marshmallow in melted chocolate. using a spreading knife to cover in chocolate if necessary.
  4. Dip the chocolate covered marshmallows in sprinkles, nuts or small candies.
  5. Place on parchment paper to harden, then immediately place in air tight container.  These can be individually wrapped in plastic treat bags.

Hot cocoa candy sticks are one of my daughter’s favorite things to make at Christmas.  These are great to make when serving hot cocoa to use as stir sticks, or they can be eaten individually.  Certainly, they are easy enough for older kids to make at a holiday party, too!  Just leave melting chocolate in a small crock pot on low.  Then, have a variety of candies and sprinkles available in small bowls.  Kids will love dipping chocolate covered marshmallows in their favorite candies. Therefore, these hot cocoa candy sticks make a great addition to your hot cocoa bar whether you make them ahead of time or set up a station for guests to make their own.  If you missed my holiday tablescape with a hot cocoa bar, read it here.

Favorite Christmas Recipe Blog Hop

The Christmas season is a great time to say ‘thank you’ and give back to our loyal readers.  Not only is Olive and Linen offering you 30% off any purchase using the code MERRY30, but they are giving you a chance to win one of three $100 gift cards to their shop.   All you have to do is comment what you favorite recipe is in this comment section to enter.  The winner will be chosen randomly on Dec 22nd, 2018.  You can follow along at @oliveandlinen on Instagram to see if you win.  Don’t forget to pin this post to your Christmas Recipe board on Pinterest.  Enjoy all of my friends’ delicious recipes below.

Tx Sized Home – Holiday Fudge

Simple Cozy Charm – Christmas Tree Charchuterie

CG Home Interiors – Coconut Lemon Cheesecake Fat Bombs

Turquoise Lifestyle – Homemade Puppy Chow

Designs by Karan – Cherry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Gathered Grace – Puff Pastries and Cream Tarts

My 100 Year Old Home – Honey Brie with Pomegranates

The Pickled Rose –  Homemade Dog Treats


I hope these recipes sound tasty enough for you to make!  My kids tell me that the hot cocoa recipe is like drinking melted chocolate!  Similarly, I am pretty sure that Santa would approve!  Thank you again to Olive and Linen for sponsoring this post!  However, all opinions are my own. I am really impressed with the quality of these Turkish towels and linens, and think they will make a wonderful gift to friends, family or even yourself.  Most importantly, happy holidays, y’all!