The holiday season is perhaps the warmest of them all — not because of the temperatures outside, obviously, but because of all the friends and family who have gathered to celebrate life, love, and happiness. Seemingly every week in November and December is packed with exciting events and activities designed to bring people together and spread good cheer — unless you are the holiday host and tasked with creating the bevy of entertainments for one and all.
Being the host of a holiday party is a labor of love, with emphasis on the labor. Fortunately, you can enjoy the holidays, too, by choosing to amuse your guests of all ages with these five fun, cheap, and tasty Hershey’s-based activities.
Hershey’s Kiss Stockings
Hanging up stockings is one of the oldest and most beloved holiday traditions, and with a few handfuls of Kisses, you can make dozens of stockings to decorate your entire house. For one Hershey’s Kiss stocking, you will need:
- 12” by 36” foam sheet in red or green
- Picture wire
- Aluminum foil (optional)
- Glue (choose among craft glue, confectioner’s glue, a glue stick, or a hot glue gun)
- 3 yards of ribbon in red or green (optional)
- 2 bags of Hershey’s Kisses in holiday colors of red, green, and silver
- Large bow
Using your favorite stocking pattern, trace and cut out a typical holiday stocking shape from the foam sheet. Using scissors or a hole-punch, pierce two holes near the top of the stocking and pull through about 20 inches of wire, twisting the wire ends together to form a loop. For extra bling, cover the foam in aluminum foil; otherwise, use glue to adhere the flat side of Hershey’s Kisses to the foam in any attractive pattern. Use the ribbon to add flair. Once the stocking is covered in kisses, attach the bow, and hang from your mantle with care!
Santa likes nothing more than to munch on cookies during his midnight ride, but your family will have trouble parting with these cute (and delicious!) reindeer cookies. Luckily, you can make more in a flash as long as you have:
- Non-stick spray
- 1 batch peanut butter cookie dough
- 1 large bag Reese’s Pieces
- 1 pound chocolate-covered pretzels
- 2 large bags Cadbury Chocolate Candy
After preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, coat a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Form cookie dough into 1-inch balls and flatten on cookie sheet, using fingers to form gentle triangle shapes. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, and cool for 10 minutes. Then, press Reese’s Pieces into the cookies’ centers for eyes, a red Cadbury candy at one triangle point for the nose, and two pretzels at the top for antlers. Eat, and enjoy your other reindeer games!
Hershey’s Homemade Advent Calendar
The advent calendar is one of the most suspenseful holiday traditions, and with this homemade Hershey’s version, you’ll need more willpower than normal to refrain from gobbling up the month’s goodies all at once. Of course, if you do, you can head to Hershey’s Chocolate World to pick up more. Besides resolve, you’ll need:
- Glitter (or other decorative supplies)
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis or Reese’s Bells
- 12-inch square gift box
- Green pipe wire
- Numbers, printed or purchased from craft store
- Craft glue or glue gun
Using your individual taste, decorate the outside of the gift box using glitter, foil, ribbon, or other craft supplies. Carefully cut five identical sections of pipe wire to the width of the box and three identical sections to the length of the box. Glue pipe wires to form grid of 24 boxes, filling the boxes with the numbers in sequential order. Finally, place your Reese’s sweets in each box to cover the numbers, and remove one candy every day as you count down.
Candy Cane Blossoms
The Hershey’s Kiss thumbprint cookie is a tried-and-true favorite of the holiday season, but this sweet, colorful twist on that old favorite is much more fun to make. For these peppermint cookies, you’ll need:
- 48 Hershey’s Kisses in Candy Cane Mint
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, soft
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup red or green sugar crystals
After setting your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and removing the foil wrappers from your Hershey’s Kisses, beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt, then add alternating with milk to butter mixture until dough is well-blended. Form one-inch balls of dough and roll in colored sugar crystals. Bake for about 10 minutes, cool for about two minutes, and lightly press a Kiss into each cookie. Try to resist touching them again to create beautiful blossoms!