5 Must-Haves for Unexpected Holiday Guests

5 essentials to stash for impromptu holiday gatherings.

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.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest