As part of last week’s holiday tablescape hop, I shared a peek of the Christmas cocktail ornament balls that accompanied the Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve Table.

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Today, I’ll show you two fast and easy methods to make your own festive drink ware for holiday merry making.

One is really just a shopping list. Minor crafting and assembly is all the other approach takes. Both are easy peasy, inexpensive to make, and require little time and effort.

I promise they’ll be a big hit with family and friends during the holiday season. Last year, my adult sons were so impressed with the Christmas cocktail ornament balls, they snapped pictures to text to their friends.

But you can use them for kids of all ages, even serving non-alcoholic beverages if you’d like. Perhaps a cranberry sparkler for the children, and something with a bit more punch for the grownups?

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Not Just for Hanging on the Tree

Inspiration for the cocktail ornament balls came from something I saw on Pinterest. The photo led to an online article on holiday drinks. One festive beverage was served in what looked like glass ornament balls.

For last year’s version, the plastic ornament balls were supported cradled in stemware.

christmas-ornament-ball-drinks

Because my sons liked the Christmas cocktail ornament balls so much, I made them each a set of eight for holiday entertaining this season. However, I altered the original design so that so they could stand upright on their own.

Materials

For either DIY approach, you’ll need large, plastic ornament balls and candy cane striped straws. Method 2 also requires shower curtain hooks, a glue gun and glue sticks. You can also enhance smooth balls with names of guests or holiday labels using a Sharpie or glass paint pen.

plastic-christmas-ornament-balls-package

Last year, I used plastic ornament balls from Michaels that come in packages of four. Some were smooth and others were faceted. They’re easy to find and are typically 50% off, or about $1.25 each. When they were such a big hit Christmas Eve, I bought four more packages and put them aside for the boys’ gift this year. During the post holiday clearance, they were 75% plus off.

Dollar Tree also sells the smooth ornament balls individually for $1 each. And, they may be a little larger in size than Michaels.

Method 1: Using Glass Stemware as a Base

This is the original method used, and by far the quickest to assemble. The Christmas cocktail ornament balls were made to accompany a Twas the Night Before Christmas Table.

Christmas-cocktail-ornament-balls-tray

First, remove the silver metal cap. Hubby went to the trouble of removing the pronged hanger insert. Then, he punched a hole in the middle, big enough for a straw to fit through.

Although the silver cap enhances the Christmas cocktail ornament balls, I recommend simply discarding them. Save yourself the time and effort. Plus, you run the risk of cutting yourself. Worse; a small shred of the metal might end up inside the drink glass.

Next, wash each ornament ball inside and out. You could dry off the outside with a towel and use immediately. But, I recommend setting the drink ware upside down to drain, and let the ball dry out overnight.

Meanwhile, prep your favorite cocktail ahead of time and refrigerate overnight to chill. Hubby added crushed ice to our Christmas cocktail ornament balls, but that’s not necessary and takes more time.

At serving time, add any alcohol, and carefully pour into each Christmas cocktail ornament ball. Depending on the drink, adding cranberries and/or pomegranate seeds make for a festive garnish.

Set the ball in a wide cup to cradle the drink; like a champagne, martini or margarita glass. Insert a festively decorated straw, and serve immediately from a tray or bar. Ho, ho, ho!

Method 2: Add a Ring Base

Since both my adult sons live in Manhattan and Philadelphia condos, they don’t have a lot of storage space for glass stemware. And, they usually entertain groups of around eight friends or more at a time.

So, I needed to make the Christmas cocktail ornament balls to sit upright on a flat surface, without the need of a stemware cradle.

christmas-cocktail-ornament-balls-candy-cane-straws

The quick and easy solution, is to simply hot glue a plastic curtain ring onto the bottom of each ball. Packages of 12 are just a buck at Dollar Tree.

shower-curtain-rings

Begin as before; removing the caps, washing and drying out the ornament balls overnight.

Now you’re ready to add the base rings so the drink ware sits upright.

hot-glue-shower-curtain-rings

Generously apply glue around one side of a ring at a time. Next, firmly push into place on the bottom end of the ornament ball. Hold in place until the glue sets up.

For added interest, you can also make the Christmas cocktail ornament balls sit slightly off center.

To insure the ring would hold in place — didn’t want the cocktail balls rolling and spilling — I then added a heavy dose of glue. Apply it in the space between the curved edge of the ball and the inside edge of the ring. And, one more time all around the outside edge for good measure.

Christmas-cocktail-ornament-balls-rings

Afterwards, set them bottom side up in a glass for the glue to dry overnight.

I bought both clear and white rings to try. But, if I ever make the Christmas cocktail ornament balls again, I’ll only use white curtain rings. The white hides the glue better and looks more “clean.”

Christmas-cocktail-ornament-balls-faceted

And, it’s easier to see where to set the Christmas cocktail ornament balls safely on a flat surface — so they don’t roll and spill.

Who’s is Who?

To differentiate who’s drink is who’s, I added a festive “label” onto one side of each smooth-sided plastic ball.

Christmas-cocktail-ornament-glass-jingle

It’s a little hard to see, but I used the words; Jingle, Holly, Frosty, Santa, Elf, etc. Nothing too long like, Let It Snow. Guest first names work too. A white Sharpie probably would show up better. Or, you could get really artsy and use multiple color pens and create more decorative details.

I try to make a new holiday cocktail for Christmas Eve each year. Do you have a favorite or go-to?

Something to Share

I confess that I’m not looking forward to Christmas this year, and feel far from making merry myself. I am struggling to go through the motions of decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. You see, on Monday evening, I had to let go of my Sweet Scottie Dog

Scottie-dog-fuzzy-funny-Valentine-tongue-frame

Fibber was his regular self, full of vim and vigor before going to the groomer. Later, she called to tell me he was ready to pick up. Halfway there, the groomer called again and asked where I was — which I thought was very odd.

That’s when my heart sank. Fibber was on the grooming table, giving her kisses. All of a sudden he seemed to be suffering a seizure. She immediately scooped him up and took him to the vet next door.

When I arrived, Fibber was conscious, but laying in a twisted, contorted position —struggling to straighten himself and stand up. His head and eyes were looking to the right. The vet was very concerned that he wasn’t coming out of the seizure and was vomiting.

They wrapped him in a blanket and helped me put him in the car. Dear hubby met me along the way, so he could take over the 45-minute drive to the specialty, emergency veterinary center. Meanwhile, I held Fibber in the backseat stroking him, talking, singing, and keeping his mouth clear of vomit. It was horrible.

They were waiting for us. It’s the same center where Fibber had his surgery to remove his gallbladder last winter. The tech who cared for him in her home when we were in Peru, took him into her arms. Half an hour, later the ER doctor called us back.

She explained that Fibber had some type of neurological event; perhaps a stroke. He was struggling mightily. Although he could survive, he’d have a poor quality of life. My husband and I were sobbing and holding each other. 

Scottie-dog-fuzzy-funny-valentine-puppy-frame

You know what I had to do. I think everyone was surprised I didn’t want to wait overnight and perform an MRI in the morning. But, that would be pointless and prolong Fibber’s suffering.

First, I wanted to hold and talk to him. He calmed considerably when they laid him in our arms. By some miracle, he was able to turn his head, center his eyes and look at me. It meant the world, and it’s how I am trying to remember him.

After some private time, we let him go while cradling him. It was peaceful. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop crying and felt short of breath. In the course of three short hours, I went from having my adorable, feisty, loving companion and buddy, to holding him lifeless.

Back at home, it’s like all the air has left our house.

Scottie Season

Christmas is mad for plaid, Scottie season. I have images and silhouettes of Scotties everywhere — in holiday decorations (both a small tree and wreath), ornaments, holiday cards, wrapping paper and tags, cutout cookies, figures, throws, and even my jammies, slippers, clothing and jewelry.

Scottie-Christmas-wagon

Fibber’s mitten stocking was hanging by the fireplace, waiting for the gifts Santa already bought. We’ll be donating toys, bedding and food to a local shelter.

My family and friends have been incredibly supportive. It’s been a tough year with my dad passing in May. Since then, both my sisters and my mom also lost their dearly loved dogs.

Forgive me for oversharing. And, please pardon if I step back from blogging a bit, skipping the holiday posts I had originally planned. I was fortunate this post was mostly already crafted. I’ve also scaled way back on my holiday decorating and baking. The Christmas cards may not go out in time. Going to focus on counting my blessings, and spending time with family and friends.

If we don’t get a chance to talk before the holiday, I do wish you all a blessed Christmas. And if you have a fuzzy friend or two, be sure to give them a hug for me.

Update: Merry Christmas 2020

newborn-Scottie-brindle-puppy-Wise

Three day old brindle Scottie puppy, courtesy of breeder Jacqueline Wise.

In the midst of this terrible year, Santa Paws arrived early! After eight months of searching for a Scottie puppy a litter was born on the anniversary of Fibber’s passing! How about that for timing? And, he opened his eyes on Christmas! Next year, I’ll bring out my Scottie Dog Christmas Ornament Tree again.

My new brindle boy will come home in February so I am Preparing for a Puppy.

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