It’s that time of year where a festive Charcuterie Board is always a good idea! Whether you are gathering with family, a few friends, or just want to add some holiday cheer to your meal, this Christmas Charcuterie Board is sure to be a hit. Kid friendly, too!
On a total last minute whim, I decided to change things up in our house when it came to the Advent calendar. I was done with stuffing it with chocolate, something my kids are not deprived of during the month of December. So instead, I’ve been placing little slips of paper in the Advent knit stockings. Each morning they wake up and are excited to read what is in store.
Their first paper? It read, “a fun after school Christmas Snack”. Did they anticipate all day what that could possibly mean? I doubt it, but I had fun surprising them. And it finally gave me an excuse to put together a Christmas themed Charcuterie Board and post on the blog!
And what better year than this one, to make an ordinary December day a little extra special. After school, my kids were very much delighted in this fun and festive board that I filled with all of their favorite snacks! In case you were wondering some of the other activities we have planned all month, I have included my ideas at the bottom of this post!
I walk you through the way to perfect this board, but also give you ways to customize and make it your own.
Assembling a Christmas Charcuterie Board:
Here is what I used to assemble my board:
- 3 types of cheese: I used pepper jack, Colby/jack squares, and Dill havarti
- green grapes
- cucumber slices
- kiwi slices
- yellow bell pepper
- celery stalks
- pomegranate seeds for garnish
- rosemary sprigs for garnish
After you gather up your ingredients, use a large board that’s at least 24 inches in length.
- Start by placing some chopped celery stalks at the bottom of the board. It’s easier to work up to create that Christmas tree shape.
- Use a green border as the bottom layer. Grapes, celery, or kiwi work here!
- Next layer with a cheese. Continue with this pattern for a total of 7 layers. I used the middle layer as salami– you could substitute with prosciutto, pepperoni, or leave it out altogether! Just a side note here, dill havarti pairs really nicely with cucumbers, and these are great to place next to each other.
- Once you finish that final layer, be sure to leave room for the sliced yellow bell peppers at the top that act as the tree topper star.
- Finally, garnish with pomegranate seeds and some fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Feel free to sprinkle crackers around the outside, or small bowls of nuts.
Here are some easy swaps you can make with this board:
- You can make this more of a traditional charcuterie with meats, cheese and pickles/olives. I love the idea of adding veggies and fruits, but feel free to change that up!
- Swap out a green layer in favor of a red layer of cherry tomatoes
- Use different types of cheese: mozzarella balls or white cheddar would also work great here! Keep the cheeses hard so that you can easily cut into accessible pieces, or use soft cheeses and place in small bowls on the perimeter of your tree..
- Green apples are also a great replacement for kiwi
Here are some of the easy and cheap activities I have planned for our December advent. Some are weather dependent, so I don’t have the calendar completely set. I am actually loving that almost everything is cancelled: Christmas parties, shows, kids sports, etc. It allows us to spend some quality family time together doing little things! Whatever days you don’t have time to do something, you can always place chocolate in the calendar. My kids are 10 and 13 and will still enjoy all of these activities:
- Get a cup of hot cocoa at your local coffee shop and stroll any downtown area you have! We live in Colonial Williamsburg which is perfect for this. Another idea is to make a batch of hot cocoa at home, and go for an evening walk in the neighborhood.
- Take your kids to a store with ornaments, and let them pick out one special ornament this year to hang on the tree.
- Movie night with popcorn (we did Christmas Vacation the other night and melted peppermint chocolate on top of the popcorn). Have this one a few times throughout the month so each kid gets the chance to pick the movie.
- Breakfast for dinner with Christmas pajamas on! My kids have never had breakfast for dinner (my husband is not a fan) and have been asking to do it forever. They will be so excited to see this one!
- Wrap a Christmas book and place it under the tree. Polar Express, Twas the Night before Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are all good ones! It doesn’t have to be a new book, just wrap up one you already have for family story time.
- Christmas cookie baking! You can make this a 2 part event with one day for baking and the other day for delivering, see the next two options.
- Each child picks 2 families to visit. Ring the doorbell and sing them 2 Christmas songs and hand off some cookies.
- Visit the local fire department or police department and give them cookies.
- Smore’s outside by a fire pit or inside at the fireplace.
- Get a list of local houses that are decked out with Christmas lights and go visit!
- Bonus: find a local (within 30 minute) outdoor light park that either does drive through Christmas adventure or a walk through. We have 2-3 within 30 minutes.
- Decorate gingerbread houses
- Write a letter to Santa
- Wrap up a family game and place it under the tree. Tell the kids it’s family game night and open the game you’ll play. You can wrap up one they love and let them be surprised, or get them a new one. We will be doing this at least 2 times this month!
- Place notes in your neighbor’s mailboxes letting them know that you are collecting non-perishable items to bring to a food bank. Give them a date and have your kids collect, then drop off at the food bank. You can also text friends that you know and pick up that way!
- Outdoor ice skating? It’s a must if you have one close by!
- Wrap gifts! This is a daunting task, but make it a wrapping party by putting on music or a movie. Have your kids wrap some presents for family members to lighten your load.
- Each month, one kid gets their own night with a parent for a “date night”. This can be at home or out somewhere if it’s available!
- Donate old toys and bring them to a local charity, preschool, church, or look for ways to donate to those in need. This website can help guide you to something local in your area!
- Outdoor activity/sport. We play pickle ball and golf in our house. We can do those activities on a nice weather day!
- Watch the Nutcracker Ballet on TV
I hope you all enjoy these ideas!
I’d love to hear some of your family traditions and ideas, leave me a comment below.
Christmas Charcuterie Board
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 cups green grapes
- 1 cup pepperjack cheese cubes
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup dill havarti cheese cubes
- 12-16 slices salami
- 1 cup colby jack cheese cubes
- 2 medium kiwi (skinned and sliced)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 6 rosemary sprigs
Begin layering the board from the bottom up. Start with celery stalks cut into 2 inch pieces to create a tree trunk.
Layer the grapes on top of the celery as the base. Continue to build layers up the tree alternating between fruit/veggie and cheese. Place the salami right in the middle.
Finish off with sliced bell pepper on top, then sprinkle pomegranate arils all over the board, and rosemary sprigs to garnish.
See blog post above for substituting some of the ingredients. You can also place crackers or pretzels around the outside!