1. 60s Christmas appetizer: Snow Cap Spread with deviled ham
It’s a “pleasure island” on any party buffet! And they recommend you serve it with Fritos.
Luckily, that’s not whipped cream “snow” on top — it’s frosted with a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream and mustard.
2. Trim-a-tree dip: A Christmas tree-shaped cheese ball (1967)
If this sounds like your kind of thing, here’s what you need for this dip:
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Few strips pimiento
Whistles, Bugles, and Daisy*s [snack crackers/chips]
Mix the first 5 ingredients until fluffy, then serve as suggested below.
You might also like these: It’s time for retro appetizers in fun shapes! Get these Cheddar-sherry, ham spread & cream cheese spread recipes (1968)
3. Another Christmas tree-shaped cheese ball (1970s)
Parsley serves as the garlands on this cheesy tree appetizer.
ALSO TRY: Cheddar-brandy almond-covered cheese ball (1982)
4. Spam spread hors d’oeuvre balls (1967)
Adding some French to the name makes these fancy.
4. Noel salad loaf (1962)
Bet you never thought of using cranberry sauce like this! Here’s how to make this avocado-pineapple-celery-cranberry loaf.
Blend one 8-ounce package cream cheese and 1/3 cup mayonnaise; add 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained, and 1/2 cup cubed avocado seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Whip 1 cup whipping cream; fold in. Tint pink with food coloring. Cube 3/4 pound can jellied cranberry sauce; add. Freeze in loaf pan. Makes 8 servings.
6. Vintage Christmas appetizers: It’s like frosting for your crackers! (1962)
Simple! Tint cream cheese in varied food colors. Press out on Ritz with pastry decorating tube.
Use sliced olives, nuts… whatever you fancy as garnish. Serve with confidence! Fun! Squeeze out cheese in gay party patterns.
7. Celebrate with a layered party loaf (1981)
Take the cream cheese “frosting” concept above, and turn it up to 11.
SEE LOTS MORE: 20 frosted party sandwich loaf recipes to make… or avoid
8. Deviled ham frosty Yule log as a unique vintage Christmas appetizer (1963)
If you like the whole loaf idea above, give this retro recipe a whirl! It’s just a couple of cans of deviled ham combined with onion dip mix, then frosted with cream cheese. It’s reportedly “excellent with corn chips, potato chips or crackers.”
9. Spammy mushrooms and fruit-adjacent Vienna sausage kabobs (1973)
These spiced Vienna kabobs are supposed to be served with spiced pineapple and minted pears.
MORE: 4 retro snack & appetizer recipes made with Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (1987)
10. Have a nutty Christmas tree (1956)
This is a lot of effort just to serve a can of mixed nuts.
Guests can help themselves from this party nut tree! Cut tall can of brown bread into cone shape. Put 2″ candle stub in holder — insert candle in brown bread in previously hollowed hole. Bread should rest on lip of candlestick.
Frost tree with cream cheese, softened with milk. Add tinted coconut. Stick Royal Nuts on tree with toothpicks, broken in half.
11. In the ’70s, it wasn’t a party ’til someone brought out the nut-covered cheese (1970)
Of all the vintage Christmas appetizers on this page, this one is one of the few you might actually see on a holiday table today.
Want to make one of these almond or pecan-covered cheese pinecones? Of course you do! Get the recipe here.
12. Salad… made to look like candles. Because of course. (1966)
Cranberry sauce, jello, and mayo. Oh yeah, this is some seriously retro food here.
As a bonus, this wasn’t the only recipe for cranberry “salad” candles out there, either: See another version (and get the recipes) here!
13. Christmas candle salads: Cherry and banana mold (1956)
Okay, seriously now: What was the deal with all the candle salads?
14. Vintage Christmas appetizers: A fruit turkey with olive “feathers” (1970s)
Odd way to display olives, yes, but strangely cute — right down to the sunflower seed nose.
ALSO SEE: Holiday appetizer recipes from the 60s: Saucy cocktail meatballs, Cheese trees & Wreath rollups
15. A cheesy Christmas ball (1960)
Christmas ball is cream cheese flavored with garlic salt, horseradish and Tobasco, and decorated with olives, pimiento strips, etc.
16. How to make a shrimp Christmas tree
This shrimpy dazzler is easy to make with materials from the variety store and supermarket.
Find out how to make it here: Go totally ’70s and make a retro shrimp Christmas tree appetizer for your holiday party! Here’s how
17. Strange vintage Christmas appetizers: How about little sausage ornaments for your tree?
Get all the deets: Holiday hostess tree! A retro-style Christmas tree with meat ornaments (1961)
18. Spam spread on bread shapes for some retro Christmas appetizers (1966)
Because, as we said at the top, nothing says “Merry Christmas” like Spam spread.
MORE: Retro party food: 12 classic cheese ball recipes from the ’70s
19. Vintage Winter Sunshine Mold (1976)
This… creative… recipe has pineapple, Miracle Whip, gelatin and cranberry sauce.
20. Holiday “snack pie” made with Spam spread, sour cream and avocado (1972)
Because nothing says “Merry Christmas” like Spam spread, right?
21. Vintage 1970s Almonds in a Haystack appetizer
22. “Philly pate” (1964)
This Christmas-tree-shaped treat contains Philadelphia cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and 8 ounces of liver sausage. The decoration on top is made of more cream cheese, with little pimiento stars.
23. It’s a Christmas pickle tree! (1956)
Holidays are pickle days, and Heinz packs a pickle to please every taste, in jars so convenient and thrifty you’ll want to spark your meals with many kinds — sweet and spicy or tart and puckery!
24. Mighty Mousse tomato soup salad mold (1967)
While not strictly a Christmas appetizer/salad, this baby is red and green with soup all over. Yep — this recipe is from Campbell’s, and contains tomato soup, sour cream, gelatin, chicken, cucumber, olives and onion. (Apparently it could also be a main course.)
TRY THESE, TOO: It’s time for retro appetizers in fun shapes! Get these Cheddar-sherry, ham spread & cream cheese spread recipes (1968)
They really went all out back in the day.
In all fairness to this decade, I never even saw these appetizers back then! It doesn’t look like I missed much.
Back in the ’70s, my mom made that shrimp tree. She also did a tree with broccoli and cherry tomatoes. She made shrimp dip using canned shrimp, cream cheese, and chili sauce that she served with Fritos. My sister and I developed shellfish allergies so she quit making the shrimp dishes. She also bought those cocktail breads and spread them with all those Underwood canned meats (deviled ham, corn beef, and chicken) and made cracked glass salad. My aunt always made some kind of cheese ball plus spray cheese on Ritz crackers and something with Vienna sausages. My young, stupid self I thought we were so sophisticated. Never saw any candle salad thing though, even when we visited our hipper relatives.
Seems like everything would need to be “touched” a lot. Ew.
In the 70s, it seemed like everyone got at least one nut-covered cheese ball at Christmas; I guess they were that era’s version of fruit cake. My parents thought they were really special and bought them for everybody, usually from one of those pop-up Hickory Farms stores that were in malls around the holidays. Unlike fruit cake, though, most people did like cheese balls, and those that didn’t could serve them to guests or put them in the break room at work.