I'm running a little late this holiday season. I have a tree up, but it isn't decorated yet. I haven't baked anything. And I just started on my Christmas cards last night.
It's only in the consumption of spiced and mulled beverages that I've managed to excel so far. Mulled wine, mulled cider, mulled brandy, mulled anything. Here's a couple tips:
Spices: I prefer the Martinelli's mulling spice tea bags for convenience. You can also use chai tea bags in a pinch. For larger quantities, it's best to use loose spices. You can either buy them prepared or combine whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice with some orange peel. I advise against the instant dissolving powdered kind.
Recipes: The basic recipe is pretty easy. Simmer cider, juice or alcohol of your choice with spices until your house smells lovely (about 20 minutes). Or you can get creative: I recently tried an "eskimo kiss" that included hot spiced cider with pomegranate juice. Cranberry juice is supposed to be good mulled too. Hot cider does well with a dash of butterscotch schnapps. An apple toddy also sounds fun.