By Leah Maki
Tis the season for cookie baking, tree decorating, and Christmas caroling. It’s also the season for party planning, menu prepping, and celebrating. There is no better time of year for getting together with friends and family while counting your many blessings. To help you get into the holiday spirit, I’ve prepared a few tips to help you turn up the sparkle this holiday season.
Get Dressed Up
Glitter, gold and everything bold should be your mantra this season. In the Keys, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to get dressed up but the holidays are a perfect time to do so. Accessories are a great way to sparkle over the holidays. Add statement necklaces with extra bling or a sequin clutch to your holiday party attire. Instead of a LBD, look for flirty dresses in metallic shades for a glammed up look. My favorite bold accessory is lipstick. The holidays are a great time to try a new shade. It’s always better to be over dressed than under – so go for it!
Come Bearing Gifts
Attending the many fetes this time of year will certainly put you in the festive spirit, but it also means finding the perfect host gifts. Your best bet is to always have a few things on-hand so as not to show up empty-handed. In lieu of a bottle of wine, opt for a bottle of champagne, which is more festive, as life’s great moments should be celebrated with a toast and some bubbly.
For a more unique gift, opt for a Christmas ornament for your host. Shell World in Key Largo carries an array of ornaments that are both traditional and Keys-themed. I love to gift high heeled shoe ornaments for my fashionista friends and beachy Santa ornaments to my friends up north. I know each year when they see that ornament, they’ll think of our friendship.
Another great hostess gift can be found at Key Largo Chocolates. Buy a box of handmade truffles in decadent flavors including Key Lime, Sea Salt Caramel and Caribbean spice. These chocolates are sure to be the gift the host will enjoy the most. If you’re traveling for the holidays, bring a box with you.
If you’re hosting a party, serve a festive themed drink as guests arrive. Or if you prefer, head to Old Tavernier Restaurant and have them shake up a Candy Cane or Christmas Thyme martini. Cheers and happy holidays!
Christmas Thyme Martini Recipe from Old Tavernier
First, you’ll want to make your Rosemary Thyme simple syrup. Boil 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 4 sprigs rosemary, 6 sprigs thyme and let steep 10 minutes to dissolve sugar.
Mix ½ oz. of your rosemary thyme simple syrup with 4 oz. vodka and 1 oz. cranberry juice.
Shake, then strain into sugar rimmed Martini glass. Top with Prosecco or champagne and garnish with cranberries on a rosemary sprig.