Festive Foods for Christmas Gatherings

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

The holidays bring an abundance of joy through plenty of family gatherings. When you’re entertaining plan ahead with festive appetizers and finger foods to keep everyone party ready!

  • Have a mix of indulgent foods such as puff pastry tarts and baked cheese dips with healthier options such as shrimp cocktail or cheese and fruit so that everyone can partake in the festivity of the holiday.
  • Mocktails can help keep calories in check by eliminating the alcohol. Oceanspray® Cranberry juice cocktail makes a terrific base for your drinks.
  • Cranberries are one of Mother Nature’s super fruits with a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols and a deliciously refreshing taste!


Finger Foods & appetizers for a crowd:

  • Charcuterie Plate: Prosciutto, Chorizo, Olives, Hummus, fig spread and a variety of your favorite cheeses such as Manchego, mini herbed mozzarella balls, Brie and Swiss. Don’t forget to add fruits – seedless grapes, strawberries and dried fruits all work well.
  • Shrimp Cocktail served with store bought cocktail sauce
  • Ricotta, pesto & cherry tomatoes over crostini
  • Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Pigs in a blanket (wrap mini hotdogs in crescent roll dough)
  • Baked Brie & Cranberry bites. Fill ready to bake phyllo cups with one slice of brie and one teaspoon cranberry sauce
  • Extras: Dips, corn chips, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber slices, Fresh Bread


Festive Cranberry Punch

A bowl of cranberry punch with glasses on a table

Prep: 5 minutes

Serves: 15 (6-ounce) Servings



  • 1 64-ounce bottle Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail or Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Juice Blend
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups lemon-lime soda or club soda
  • Orange and lime slices or ice ring, garnish



  1. Combine cranberry juice cocktail and orange juice in a large punch bowl. Gently stir in soda just before serving. Garnish with orange and lime slices.


Tip: Frozen ring in photo: Fill a round bundt style pan with sprite or seltzer water, add fresh cranberries. Freeze until firm. When ready to remove, dip the bottom of the pan in hot water just to release the frozen form. Add to your punch!

Nutrition information: 111 Calories, 0 g total fat, 24g Sugar, 28 g Carbohydrate, 0g Protein, 11mg sodium