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Did you know that Christmas is less than six months away? It’s true. I’ll wait while you close your mouth and double-check the calendar app on your smartphone. And you know why I know this fact? My children love to talk about Christmas year-round. In fact, my favorite quote from our four year old just this week was, “Mama you know when you said we were being naughty and that Santa wasn’t going to come, but then he did come?! ” Nice.
So this week, at the halfway point of our Summer vacation – another calendar checking and freaking out moment – I decided to surprise them with a Christmas themed appetizer before dinner. Because really, who wouldn’t enjoy a treat in the shape of a Christmas tree that this mama can put together in 15 minutes or less?
My favorite part of the surprise was that I had two of my three children with me when picking up ingredients on our recent trip to Walmart and they were none the wiser. The two stars of the show? Philadelphia Cream Cheese, found in the refrigerated section, and Classico Pesto, in the aisle with pasta and pasta sauce. I was in and out of the store in no time.
Had this appetizer not been a surprise, it would’ve been the perfect appetizer for my children to actually help me create. I love how a few simple store bought ingredients were immediately transformed to bring us a bit of Christmas in July. A brick of cream cheese transforms into a holiday tree and jarred pesto becomes boughs and branches. The tree is then decorated with a Parmesan cheese garland, cherry tomato ornaments and a yellow pepper star. Last but not least, a cinnamon stick makes for a realistic looking tree trunk.
With my appetizer test run complete, I can’t wait to make this come December for the numerous parties and get togethers we’ll be attending with friends. I have a feeling this Pesto and Cream Cheese Christmas Tree Appetizer has earned a spot as my new favorite holiday appetizer!
For further holiday ideas as the end of the year draws closer, check out Walmart’s website.