If you’re looking for a fun, al fresco way to celebrate the season with friends and family — host a Cookies and Cocoa Gathering around the fire pit!

It seems like the fire pit has replaced the kitchen as the default gathering space for families and friends during the pandemic. Book clubs are gathering with their Swig wine glasses to discuss characterization and point-of-view, neighbors migrate to a central backyard with take-out pizza to decompress, and many families gathered around the pit to exchange presents last holiday season. So this holiday season, we’re saying embrace it!

Cozy up to the fire pit with your favs — but make it festive. Here’s how…

Go Gourmet on the Chocolate

Swiss Miss packets are great, but nothing says party like fun hot cocoa options! Consider offering hot cocoa bombs that dissolve into marshmallowy goodness (ours were created by Alison Kowitz Kaplan from Mom the Baker in Reisterstown!). Or use festive peppermint hot cocoa sticks to stir up the fun. Be sure to keep drinkware fire pit friendly. We love the holiday Swig glasses available from Becket Hitch.

Individual Snack Boxes

When guests are milling outside by the fire, individual snack boxes are a great way to keep everyone from double-dipping chips in the dip. Highland Graze Company offers delicious (+ gorgeous!) individual charcuterie boxes that are perfect for al fresco fun. Meat, cheese, fruit, dried nuts… owner Elizabeth Flores has a passion for fresh beautiful ingredients and thoughtful details and it shows. Highland Graze delivers to most of Baltimore County and city.

Order Custom Cookies

Sugar cookies are always a fan-favorite — especially when they are beautifully-decorated. Kate Holm from Cookies by Kate made these adorable sweater-weather cookies for us, complete with pine trees, campfires, and cocoa mugs.


Looking for an amazing light outdoor light installation to set the ambiance but don’t have the time? Scott Novak, of North County Property Maintenance will install outdoor lighting and decorations, or help with indoor decorations and trees, He can do pretty much whatever you need done, billed at $50/hour/person.

For the elderly or handicapped, he will pick up a Christmas tree, deliver it their home, and set it up – and he offers this wonderful service for free! You just need to pay for the tree. Call 443.791.8742 for more info.

Editor’s Note: Photos by Jen Snyder for our  2021 Charmed Holidays Guide


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