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Holiday Treats and Safety Tips

Dec 02, 2021|

There are more holidays celebrated in December than any other month. From Christmas to Kwanzaa and many others, there’s one thing each of these holidays have in common — plenty of food!

Whether you’re looking for Christmas desserts or holiday treats recipes in general, we’ve rounded up some of the best holiday desserts and treats for your celebrations.

hot cocoa candy cane and Christmas lights

December—A month of celebrations

There are many different cultural and religious celebrations in the month of December. Some of the most celebrated throughout the U.S. include:


Christmas may be celebrated on December 25, but most people start getting in the holiday spirit right after Thanksgiving. The month is typically filled with themed Christmas parties (like Ugly Sweater Parties or Christmas tree decorating parties), kids’ holiday concerts or performances at school or church, and Christmas Eve celebrations, to name a few. Like many American holidays, food plays a huge part of any party or celebration—including holiday treats.

Christmas tree with faint lights in the background


Hanukkah, the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” is celebrated over a period of 8 days. In addition to lighting the Menorah and reciting blessings, many celebrations include festive dinners, goodies, and games like dreidel.

family lighting the Menorah


When compared to religious holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah, which have been observed for hundreds of years, Kwanzaa is a fairly new holiday. Originating in the 1960’s in California, Kwanzaa is a celebration of African American culture that takes place over a period of 7 days. Families and communities celebrate with feasts, dancing, music, and reflection of the Seven Principles.

Kwanzaa candles with fruit

Boxing Day

Celebrated primarily in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (or by Americans with ties to these countries or cultures), Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26. It originated as a time for servants, who were typically working on Christmas Day, to celebrate the holiday. Today, it’s a public holiday in many countries and a time for families to gather, eat, and watch sporting events together.

present next to garland and pinecones

Holiday treats

Regardless of which holiday you’re celebrating this month, there’s bound to be plenty of food. Check out some of the tastiest holiday treats and desserts for each of the holidays.

gingerbread man

Christmas desserts

Whether you want something fast and easy or traditional, some of the best Christmas treats and desserts include:

  • Decorated sugar cookies. Cookies top the list of most popular Christmas desserts by state. If you have family members home for the holidays, decorating sugar cookies to leave for Santa is a great (and tasty!) activity for everyone. Simply use your favorite sugar cookie and frosting recipes, then decorate together. Need a little inspiration? Check out Pinterest for creative cookie decorating ideas.
  • Cheesecake. Another popular Christmas dessert, cheesecake is a perfect treat for parties or traditional Christmas menus. You can put a festive spin on this rich dessert with recipes like red velvet cheesecake or gingerbread cheesecake. If you love cheesecake but want a speedier option, try these Holiday Cheesecake Bars.

Hanukkah desserts

If you plan on making treats each night of Hanukah, these ideas will help you get started:

  • Sufganiyot. Jelly donuts are a favorite Hanukah treat. This traditional sufganiyot recipe calls for your favorite jam and a sprinkling of powdered sugar—delicious!
  • Babka. If your Hanukah menu includes Babka, why not try a new flavor? One of the great things about this tasty, swirly bread is that you can make it in any flavor! Hazlenut, streusel, and chocolate are a few ideas that are sure to please anyone that’s home for the holidays.

Kwanzaa desserts

Kwanzaa typically culminates with a celebratory dinner. If you need some new holiday treats recipes, try these for the perfect ending to your celebration:

  • Bananas foster crisp. Bananas, gingersnaps, rum or cider, and ice cream all come together for a sweet holiday dessert that the entire family will love. And with just 20 minutes of prep time, you can spend less time in the kitchen cooking and more time with family.
  • Sweet potato pie. You can’t go wrong with a sweet potato pie! Put a new twist on this traditional favorite by adding coconut and candied pecans. You can also substitute your favorite crust recipe, or use a premade one.

Boxing Day desserts

Boxing Day is typically a relaxed day after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday. These treats are both easy and a great way to repurpose your leftover Christmas desserts!

  • Trifle. A classic English dessert like trifle is also easy to make ahead. Use leftover pound cake, whip up a quick pudding or custard, and add your favorite fruits and jellies for a simple and elegant Boxing Day dessert.
  • Rocky road. If you have lots of sweets hanging around in stockings, put them in this festive rocky road! This is a tasty and fun recipe the kids can help make as well. It’s easily customizable with your favorite treats.

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Dog holiday treats

We can’t forget our furry friends during the holidays! And if you have a dog or cat, chances are you probably already have a gift in mind—according to one survey, 95% of pet owners buy Christmas gifts for their pets.

Because human holiday treats can be harmful to your pet, you can whip up some tasty cat and dog holiday treats with these recipes that are sure to be much-appreciated:

  • Peanut butter and pumpkin treats. Just about every dog on the planet loves peanut butter, and these peanut butter and pumpkin treats combine two mouth-watering flavors for your dog.
  • Bacon-flavored dog biscuits. Want to give your pup a Christmas treat they’ll love? Bacon-flavored dog biscuits will be a hit with your four-legged friends this year.
  • Homemade cat treats. Three simple ingredients is all it takes to make easy holiday treats for your cat.
dog with Santa hat on

Christmas safety tips

We can’t mention Christmas cooking without also bringing up Christmas safety tips—Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the top 3 days when the most kitchen fires occur. (The first, as you probably guessed, is Thanksgiving.)

These Christmas safety tips will keep you safe inside and out of the kitchen this season:

  • Keep anything flammable, such as kitchen towels and potholders, away from the stove when cooking.
  • Some types of cooking are more prone to fires than others. If you’re grilling, broiling, or frying food, never leave it unattended.
  • Keep kids and pets away from the kitchen when cooking. Designate a “kid-free zone” in the kitchen that is at least 3 feet away from your cooking space to help prevent burns.
  • It’s easy to get distracted with a house full of people when you’re cooking for the holidays. Use timers or user your smart speaker to remind you when cooking is done or it’s time to turn off the stove.
  • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are in working order and have fresh batteries.

No one wants an emergency over the holidays (or any time), but you can take steps to protect your home. A monitored security system from Vivint has a number of features that can help keep your home and family safe and secure over the holidays, including:

  • Safety alarms like smoke and CO detectors that will alert you if a fire breaks out or carbon monoxide leak in the home
  • A central panel that provides easy access to help. The Smart Hub lets you get help in an emergency with the push of a button.
  • Indoor cameras that let you keep an eye on areas in the home, such as the kitchen, baby’s room, or family room.

Have a safe and happy holiday season

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or something else, these simple safety tips will keep you safe in the kitchen while making these tasty holiday treats.

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