Woodland Themed Holiday Party – 12 Days of Appetizers

by Alli

This shop, Woodland Themed Holiday Party, is compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InspireWithCheese #CollectiveBias

My favorite foods are appetizers and desserts. All parties should consist of befores and afters. Let’s just skip the middle, OK?

During the holidays, I actually get tired of the huge meals that we only seem to eat at this time of the year. Just get me a few appetizers and dessert and I’m good to go.

Woodland Themed Holiday Party

I love to put together a rustic/glam Woodland Themed Holiday Party for adults. My 12 Days of Appetizers party is the perfect way to showcase all my rustic decor.

Woodland Themed Holiday Party - 12 Days of Appetizers

This party is the easiest one you’ll host during the holiday season. Why? When you send out invites, ask each couple to bring their favorite appetizer. You will only need to put together a few appetizers and a couple of desserts and you are done.

Thankfully, shopping at Kroger for Kaukauna® Cheese helps me put together delicious appetizers that are easy to make. Don’t tell my guests, but my carrot cake came from Kroger also. I’ll just let them all think it’s homemade.

12 Days of Appetizers - Carrot Cake

Woodland Themed Holiday Party

For this party, all the fancy china stays in the china cabinet and I pull out all my rustic platters and my slab-of-wood cake plate. I’m not really a collector of things until it comes to cake plates. I can’t get enough of them.

Cake Plate - Woodland Themed Holiday Party

To set up my party table, I grab a glam tablecloth from my linen closet. I need something dark and woodsy for this party. I love how the little circles remind me of leaves blowing in the wind.

Battery operated tealights inside frosted jars add a festive touch. Cover the jars with glue and dip them in Epsom Salt. After they dry, add a tag or two – instant winter decor.

12 Days of Appetizers - Be Merry jars

A Woodland Themed Holiday Party must have a herd of deer and a snowman as the centerpiece. Oh, and a couple of rustic trees for a backdrop.

12 Days of Appetizers - Woodland Themed Holiday Party

Helpful Hint: I arrange all the serving platters on the table before I fill them with food. That way, if it looks off, I can rearrange the platters without being concerned about food items shifting or falling off the platters.

Woodland Themed Party

My favorite DIY decor for this party is the place cards. I used tiny terra cotta pots (you could use peat pots as well) and filled the top with moss. The little “12 Days of Appetizers” tags are attached to twigs and fresh Rosemary sprigs using a hot glue gun and I think they’re adorable.

How to make place cards - 12 Days of Appetizers

Here’s a free download to make your own tags: 12-days-of-appetizers-tags

12 Days of Appetizers

I’ve also got a free printable table sign: party-table-sign

Table Sign - 12 Days of Appetizers

Spinach and Pepper Jack Cheese Tarts

My Pepper Jack Cheese and Spinach Filled Phyllo Tarts will be the star of your holiday party. They’re so easy to make.

Spinach and Cheese Tarts - Woodland Themed Party

I use frozen phyllo tarts. They’re fully cooked and all I do is fill them with the creamed spinach mixture and top them with slices of Kaukauna® Pepper Jack Cheese Balls.

Pepper Jack Cheese and Spinach Filled Phyllo Tarts

Spinach and Cheese Tarts - Woodland Themed Party


  • 1 Kaukauna® Pepper Jack Cheese Ball
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package frozen mini phyllo tarts


  1. Sauté spinach, garlic, salt and pepper in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add heavy cream and stir until thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon spinach into phyllo cups.
  4. Top each tart with a slice of Kaukauna® Pepper Jack Cheese Ball.

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Every appetizer party needs a little chocolate!

Mini Cakes are a big hit at the party. 12 Days of Appetizers

After my party, my 20-something-year-old daughter sent me a text asking me if the cheese balls were homemade. When she found out they were not homemade, she wanted all the details. I told her that she could find Kaukauna® Cheese Balls, Logs and Spreadable Cheese Cups at Kroger.

12 Days of Appetizers - Cheese Balls

They are in the cheese section of the deli and they’re made with 100% real cheese. No wonder they taste so good.

Woodland Themed Party - Instore

The Kaukauna® Port Wine Cheese Ball is featured on my fruit tray. Grapes and/or pears and crackers are all great options to serve alongside the cheese ball.

Cheese and Fruit Tray - 12 Days of Appetizers

My Woodland Themed Holiday Party is a hit with my family and friends and it’s so easy to set up and the cleanup is a breeze. Of course, my husband cleans up after our parties while I relax. I cook. He cleans. It’s a total do!

Are you planning a holiday party? Follow Kaukauna® on Facebook and Pinterest for more holiday party ideas!

Be sure and enter the #InspireWithCheese Sweepstakes below!




Shirley Wood November 14, 2016 - 8:42 am

What a fun Christmas party. I love all the Woodland touches especially the Snowman and Reindeer. Kroger does indeed have good cakes, we may have tasted a few and how could it be a party without those delicious cheese balls!!

Melinda November 14, 2016 - 9:05 am

Loved the reindeer!!! And the food looks sooo good!!! Yum

cathy November 14, 2016 - 10:54 am

I love this theme and I just printed out the appetizers sign! {yay} What a great party spread, thanks for all of the great tips! {client}

Denise Seegobin November 15, 2016 - 8:51 am

This is a wonderful idea. I love how you have them all set up. I know it took some time.

Jeanette November 15, 2016 - 9:19 am

I need to find a way to get myself invited to your party! This looks so good and I love the reindeer! So cute!!

Nancy at Whispered Inspirations November 15, 2016 - 10:11 am

OMG, I love all of this. So darn pretty! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

Bill S November 15, 2016 - 11:59 am

What a fun holiday theme!! I love cheese balls, they are perfect for holiday get togethers and party spreads.

Michele d November 15, 2016 - 12:28 pm

I am totally loving this idea. It’s so trendy for the holidays too. Great party post!

Jenn @ EngineerMommy November 15, 2016 - 2:13 pm

I absolutely love your party theme. I am actually incorporating a woodland theme into my Christmas tree decor this year: acorns, pinecones, snowflakes, owls, and more. I love all the cute party details you incorporated into your post.

Pam Wattenbarger November 15, 2016 - 2:34 pm

I am a sucker for anything woodland themed. This looks like such a cute holiday party. I love all the decorations.

Sarah Bailey November 15, 2016 - 2:55 pm

What an awesome looking party – I love the fact that the woodland is so big this year, some amazing bits to buy.

Bella November 15, 2016 - 5:19 pm

Oh my gosh, you did it perfectly! This is way too cute and the recipes look absolutely delicious.

Debra Schroeder November 15, 2016 - 5:26 pm

I’m with you, a big fan of appetizers and desserts, probably more skewed towards the desserts… Love the table pieces, totally adorable. Makes me want to throw a party.

Libertad Green November 15, 2016 - 5:47 pm

Everything looks to cute and tasty! I would love to have a nice set-up like this for the holidays. Also, I love cheese balls! They are one my my holiday favorites!

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai November 15, 2016 - 7:57 pm

Ooh, I love your woodland decor! So cute. And those Fillo appetizers look and sound amazing. Kaukauna Cheese Balls are always a favorite for the holidays around here. 🙂

Life With Lorelai

zan November 15, 2016 - 9:04 pm

I love all things woodland! I love the wooden deer all the different versions of cake platters!! How fun is this party and everything looks so delicious. The tags and printables in the planters are the best!! I don’t know that I have tried cheese balls but I recently saw one and wanted to try it out. Now I’ll have to go to a Kroger branch.

Michelle November 15, 2016 - 9:12 pm

I totally agree with you that appetizers and desserts are the best part of a meal. I don’t eat meat so the main course is usually much smaller for me than others. Your spinach and cheese appetizer looks amazing!

Dee November 15, 2016 - 9:14 pm

I am loving this woodland theme! This is soo cute and it something that can be easily done with the tree limbs I have around my house. The printable are awesome and they give it that extra touch.

Rebecca Swenor November 16, 2016 - 7:32 am

These are awesome woodland themed holiday party ideas. I love the little deer and the printables are indeed awesome. They stick out and look great. The recipe for the tarts I am going to have to try. My family loves pepper jack cheese on my things. Thanks for sharing the ideas and printables.

Mimi Green November 16, 2016 - 7:55 am

This Is so stinking cute. The plum textured table cloth was an excellent choice. All of the food looks good, but the Spinach and Pepper Jack Cheese Tarts were my favorite.

Beth | Ellie & Elizabeth November 16, 2016 - 11:37 am

Love these ideas! I am all about a woodland theme and hope to incorporate some of these ideas! So cute!

Heather November 16, 2016 - 12:24 pm

I just love those reindeers! They look so fun and festive for this time of year! I too prefer the appetizers over the main course!

Chubskulit Rose November 17, 2016 - 7:02 am

What a great selection of appetizers! I always admire your creative ideas for every holiday and special occasions.

Gwendolyn Mulholland November 19, 2016 - 1:58 pm

This is a super fun way to theme your holiday party. I love all these ideas and will be saving these for future inspiration.

Christy Maurer November 19, 2016 - 5:51 pm

I just love this so much! I love woodland animals AND appetizers 🙂 We have that cheese every year at Christmas, and honestly, I have been buying it to snack on lately lol.

Lexi November 30, 2016 - 10:18 pm

These are all really cute. I think I’m going to use a theme for my christmas dinner this year


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