Must-haves for unexpected holiday visitors, from Dawn Simmons, author of Cooking for Crowds for Dummies:
1. Popcorn. Mix with raisins, M&M’s, pecans and powdered sugar for a sweet mix. A savory one could include pretzels, nuts and cayenne.
2. Exotic hot cocoa. Flavored with vanilla, mint or hazelnut, for example. Add whipped topping and sprinkle on cocoa powder or cinnamon. A cookie stick gives a festive touch.
3. Photo frames, wrapped. For unplanned gift exchanges.
4. Ranch dressing. Pair with a bag of baby carrots and you’ve got a veggie platter.
5. Bottle of red, bottle of white. Keep at least one of each on hand. You can get a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Beaujolais for under $10.