Red Hot Popcorn

If Christmas shopping were like running a marathon….I would still be on mile 1.

Maybe even the first 1/4 mile.

Or really…..maybe I’d be over by the bananas and yogurt and water…..

….just waiting for the race to start.




I try not to think too much about it.

I try not to think that there are only 15 shopping days left until Christmas.

I try not to think of the number of presents I have to buy or make or bake or glitter or paint or sew.

I have miles to go before December 25.

And there’s no filing an extension.


So if you’re like me and you need a little last minute simple gift inspiration.

It was such an easy recipe and it took me only 14.75 minutes.

Now I’m getting closer to having my shopping done.

Only 14 days 8 hours and 45.25 minutes to go. 🙂


Easy Christmas gift idea

Red Hot Popcorn

(inspired by this recipe)


5 cups plain popcorn

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup red hots

butter to taste

salt to taste



Step 1: Make popcorn

I made mine the old-fashioned way….on the stove-top with cooking oil.

I poured it into a bowl and added butter and salt to taste.

Popcorn on cookie sheet


Step 2: Spread on cookie sheet

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Spread 5 cups of popcorn (I actually spread a little more popcorn) on athe cookie sheet.

Make sure the popcorn is spread evenly in a single layer.


Melted Red Hots


Step 3: Melt red hots

In a large non-stick skillet, stir candy and water over medium low heat until candy is almost melted.

This took about 5 minutes for the candy to melt.

Remove from heat and stir until a smooth sauce forms.


Drizzled Red Hot Popcorn


Step 4: Drizzle melted candy over popcorn

Using a large spoon, drizzle mixture lightly over popcorn.

Return to heat for a few seconds if the mixture starts to stiffen.

Let popcorn cool.


Red Hot Popcorn



I hope this helps a little with your Christmas gifts for this year.

I already feel better.


I feel like I’ve stepped away from the banana/yogurt/water table…..

…..and I’ve started the race. 🙂


Be sure to stop by and see what these incredible bloggers are featuring for their ninth day of Christmas!


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  1. Image for Marianne@Songbird Marianne@Songbird

    These look yummy. If only I knew what red hots where... Isn't funny how things that are probably so familiar to you that you don't even think about it, are a foreign and unknown discovery for me. I love how this blogging thing allows me to get to know people on the other side of the world and all of their strange food habits ;-)

  2. Image for Alaina Alaina

    The popcorn looks great, love the red. My sister works for a small company that makes chocolates so I am going to pass your treat along to her. One of my favorite traditions is that my youngest sister, the chocolate worker, comes to our home on Christmas day to spend the whole day with us. I do not get to see her as much as we both work, my busy life with kids and house. We have a special stocking hanging from the mantel for her, after opening presents, we all just sit around the house in our pj's and play with the kids new toys, eat yummy food.

  3. Image for Robin Robin

    My favorite tradition for the holidays is making Christmas cookies with my four kids . Each child gets to pick their own cookie recipe and we spend one on one time making them. I especially love that my 3 boys look forward to this time with me. Then we package them up to give to our neighbors.

  4. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    Yum! And it looks so easy! I love red hots and haven't thought about them in years. The first comment here made me smile ...we need to send the girl some red hots!

  5. Image for Liz Thomas Liz Thomas

    When I moved to Williamsburg, VA, I established a new family tradition. On Christmas Eve Day we walk the dog(s) all the way down and back on Duke of Gloucester Street (commonly referred to as DOG street) looking at this beautiful Colonial town all dressed up with colonial decorations. It is a tradition adopted by other families as well and you can feel the essence of Thanksgiving and Blessing in the air.

  6. Image for Maureen Maureen

    I can't get the Rafflecopter to show for anything so I am commenting and hoping I will be entered! My favorite holiday tradition probably sounds silly, but it means a lot to my mom and I. Each year around this time I bundle mom up, make two cups of cocoa with whipped cream, and take us both out in the car for a driving tour of the lights and decorations in the area. Mom can't get out much anymore, and she definitely can't walk to do this, so this is our special tradition and we always enjoy it. We are like two little kids looking at all the lights, etc. . . and it is a special bonding time for us both. I don't know how many more years I will be blessed enough to have my Mom with me at the holidays, and it makes me feel good that I can do this for her each year. Thank you for your generous giveaway of the hand stamped spoons. I pray that you and your family will have a blessed holiday season.

  7. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Sounds yummy, KariAnne. And, it looks pretty, too. It doesn't get much better than pretty and yummy. My favorite tradition is setting up my Christmas manger and all of the figures. A very nice man built the manger for me when I was seven years old and confined to my bed. My mother purchased the figures at the dime store. I always place the figures in the exact same places, and I love looking and and thinking of the significance of the blessed event.

  8. Image for Cathy J Cathy J

    My favorite tradition is rounding the entire family up (including hubby) and going shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We start at midnight and end about 5:00 am with Breakfast! Its a lot of fun and I get a great start on my shopping!!

  9. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    My favorite holiday tradition is giving giving giving as much as I can in any way I can. Inviting people over or taking someone to eat that i don't usually hang with. And oh my best one the last few years is driving through the fast food places and paying for the persons food behind me and tell the worker to tell them Merry Christmas from me. (no name left). Would love the spoons. This year I skipped my usuall ornaments and pulled out all my sweet vintage cups and flatware and decorated my real tree in my little cottage house. Smells So Good. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

    1. Image for Sandy Sandy

      I was so hoping you had a blog so that I could see that darling little tree with vintage cups and flatware in a cottage house.

  10. Image for Gloria Gloria

    Spoons! Still needing 2 stamped spoons. Only need 10 little letters... I'm in for all six entries and crossing my fingers. Thanks for the giveaway KariAnne

  11. Image for Gina Gina

    my favorite tradition is a simple, but meaningful one. during the fun christmas eve celebrations at home, i take a child outside in the quiet night and together we look skyward to find "the star", the one the wise men followed to find baby Jesus. it grounds me and focuses me on the reason for the season.

  12. Image for Karen Karen

    That looks tasty. It is a blizzard here in MN today so I can't go out to buy some red hots...let alone think about gardening. My favorite tradition is finding the perfect ornament for our children each year. It has to represent something from the past year. Our son is 27 and our daughter is 26. Some day when they are married with family I will turn over to them their container of ornaments. For now I guard them safely here.

  13. Image for JJ Shaules JJ Shaules

    Thanks for this fun, bright, recipe. Going to make for my teachers at school. It's just the right token of saying I am thinking of you at this time without anyone else feeling obligated to give more than a merry hug in return. I don't often get a chance to comment Karianne, but so happy for your success that is based on hard work, passion, and creativity while maintaining your approachable, witty personality. You rock! :). JJ

  14. Image for Lori H Lori H

    Oh, this pretty popcorn is an inspiration. I will be making this and handing it out. Thanks! Now, my favorite Christmas tradition is the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. Then we come home, change into comfy clothes and settle in for dinner and White Christmas, the movie.

  15. Image for Sandy Sandy

    I love "new" traditions and for the last couple of years my daughter has made yummy cinnamon pull apart bread for Christmas morning. It is a real treat that I don't allow myself often.

  16. Image for Melanie Melanie

    What an awesome give away! I love the tradition of family gathering on Christmas Eve. We share family stories, lots of laughter and presents too.

  17. Image for Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers

    This sounds sooooo good! I used to melt the red hots the same way and drizzle over vanilla ice cream. Haven't done that for years! My favorite holiday tradition is baking some Christmas cookies and then eating them while watching White Christmas. Hugs, Penny

  18. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Are you running the marathon, or the 5K...? Popcorn looks so pretty! I actually add red hots to apple sauce, 1/4C to one large jar of chunky apple sauce, mix and refrigerate for about 6 hrs. And stir every few hours, and voila....delicious spiced apple sauce, and it looks so festive! Now, as to my favorite Christmas tradition...that would be the German tradition of hiding a pickle in the tree! I hide 3 (one for each son), and you should see three grown men scramble for those little pickles! Such fun! They almost knocked over the tree one year! Three different sizes, three different prizes! I hide them really well! We do this after the presents have been unwrapped...;)

  19. Image for Karol I. Karol I.

    The Christmas stockings for sure! The gifts can be simple things, funny ones or sometimes expensive things. We have done it every year and we've been married 47 years! We don't need children at home to do this for each otherr

  20. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Yummy and pretty! You're a genius! We love to ride around and look at the Christmas lights. When my mom was alive we always took turns with her sister hosting dinner on Christmas Eve. We opened gifts and attended church after dinner. Our family has scattered now, due to aging parents and the traditions are changing. It's such a wonderful time of year though!

  21. Image for Becky J Becky J

    We enjoyed a red hot apple cider this past fall..I never thought of using them in this manner..thanks..and my most treasured Christmas tradition is, without a doubt, our Christmas Eve's spent at my parents' home sitting in the living room with all of the extended family -by candlelight -listening to my Dad read from Luke chapter 2..the older we all get the more treasured the memory!! Thanks for the sweet giveaway! Merry Christmas!

  22. Image for Kristi Kristi

    Love your blog! Love your writing! Love your home! :) My favourite holiday tradition surrounds Christmas Eve. Early in the day we gather with friends and do some kind of outdoor activity (with the lack of snow here this year it may be a nature hike instead of the usual tobogganing) then have hot chocolate and cookies. From there, we go home and get ready for a family evening including grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins visiting our house, "magic" pajamas from the "Sandman" and tracking Santa's journey on Nor-track. It is lovely, filled with the love of family and friends. This year, I am also trying to include a carriage ride around our city to take in our Festival of Northern Lights. Sigh. Can't wait! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  23. Image for Christopher Christopher

    The popcorn sounds yummy! Can't wait to try it. My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas stockings. I love the suprise of what you find in them!

  24. Image for Deborah Deborah

    My favorite Christmas tradition is having a huge breakfast with my whole family on Christmas morning. It's the only day of the year I have country ham and monkey it!

  25. Image for Peggy Peggy

    First of all, thank you for the giveaway! The popcorn loves delicious!! Sadly we haven't eaten much popcorn because our big popcorn eater has braces and it made him really sad to watch us eat popcorn... however one day those braces will be off so watch out! Oh have I got a recipe for you... well you know maybe I'll have middlest make it again and then feature it on the blog. He is quite the baker at 16... (loves to tinker with the recipes and have had no failures so far.) I think I am going to make this popcorn up while the boys are in school and have them take it in to their teachers. Once again thank you for the lovely ideas!!

  26. Image for Judith Q Stewart Judith Q Stewart

    As a single Mom , I felt the midnight mass w/ my son was so wonderful...we carried it through his school years 'till College...when I think f Christmas...I think of us in Church singing Carroll together.he now has 4 children of his own, and would never think of Christmas w/out family and songs. It was hard but now I can see the fruits of my heart is full.

  27. Image for Rhonda Rhonda

    One of our traditions started back when our first daughter was born. We traced her handprint and attached it to the tree skirt. We had 8 panels on the tree skirt. With each new child, we added their prints and now have added our grandchildren's prints. It's fun to look back at their little hands. Love your blog, Karianne! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

  28. Image for Brenda Trace Brenda Trace

    The first few years after the divorce, when the dollars seemed so few and the necessaries so long, Christmas seemed just another reminder of what no longer was. I tried to make it special for my two little ones but so much of the specialness of Christmas had centered around gifts that I found it difficult. Each year when I was about to despair, someone would unexpectedly send some money that would cover the gift part. Enough that it didn't seem a complete loss. And then came THE year, the one when I should have been back on my feet, having graduated. The one where things should have been getting better, the one where we should have been used to being three instead of four. At least I thought other people must be thinking that because this year no one sent anything. I was in complete distress for the kids. How could I say " there arent any presents to open? Finally in desperation ( or was it an answered prayer?) I came up with a plan.COUPONS! Whatever I could think up, favorite dinner, 10 minutes extra LD ( that's lay down time with mom before bed) extra chapter in the book, out of chore duty, movie night, etc etc. I made up huge cards with multiples of each one and wrapped them in different boxes. They didn't get all the ohhhs and ahhhs on Christmas morning but there were smiles. I think I might have cried myself to sleep that night and really I didn't expect to see those coupons again. But all year long those coupons showed up. You know the night when you think you have no more to give? Out came a coupon for an extra ten minutes, or another chapter in the book. What I thought was a waste was the Christmas that lasted all year long. And ever since I don't think one year has past when someone hasn't given a coupon for something to someone. Not because there isn't another option but because we think it's fun to make the giving last. My kids are grown and have flown the nest and we no longer get together every year due to distance, but the "worst" Christmas ever is still the one I remember the most. The one that gave us memories to lasts lifetime.

    1. Image for Marian Marian

      It's amazing the warmth that desperation can bring sometimes. What a cool story. It always warms my heart to hear that others have found light within the darkness. It always gives me more hope and reminds me to look in unexpected places for brightness.

  29. Image for Amy @ the Avery House Amy @ the Avery House

    My dad would LOVE this red hot popcorn! I will keep this in mind for a last minute stocking stuffer. Holiday shopping and gift making is encroaching, isn't it? I bet you are such a wonderful gift giver and think of the most thoughtful things. I know that you will have all of your t's crossed and i's dotted by the time the big day arrives. It will be wonderful because it is from you. My favorite holiday tradion is going to Christmas Eve church services for our church's children's Nativity Pageant. We then have a big family Christmas Eve meal afterwards. It's such a wonderful way of beginning our Christmas celebration of our Lord and Savior. The children are always so sweet and the church is so beautiful and the music is heavenly. This year I am in charge of the pageant by myself (gulp). I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful story of Jesus' birth that we are retelling. The actual pageant and rehersals are something that could send me over the edge to be in charge of, but it is actually giving me great peace in this season of Christmas busyness. I hope that your weekend has been filled with much holiday fun, some rest, and many blessings.

  30. Image for Patty Patty

    I'm the popcorn hog in my house so I'd eat it all - love red hots too! Fav tradition would have to be the steamed carrot pudding served with either rum caramel sauce or rum custard sauce. It's like eating warm carrot cake. Much lighter than the traditional Christmas pudding - our family has made it for years now so it's our traditional dish we have to have! Patty/BC

  31. Image for Zolane Zolane

    Yummmmm...the popcorn looks delicious and such a great idea! One of my favorite traditions is an annual Christmas shopping trip with my sister Brynne. We've been going for years together with our record being 21 hours! Of course by hour 21, we had decided everyone would like red aprons for Christmas :) That's when we knew it was time to go home! There's always lots of giggling, a few tears as we reminisce and sometimes antlers and walkie talkies with reindeer call names :) I treasure it.

  32. Image for Cindy Jones Cindy Jones

    Every Christmas eve before the grandkiddos go to bed I read a CHRISTmas story book to them and then we read the story of Christ's birth as told in the book of Luke.

  33. Image for Wendy Wendy

    I can't wait to make the Red Hot Popcorn! I am a cinnamon freak. :) I love our tradition of going to Christmas Eve service at church and opening gifts Christmas morning. :)

  34. Image for Kim L. Kim L.

    My favorite tradition (besides getting the tree at Home Depot) is leaving cookies and beer for Santa. We figure he gets tired of all that milk!

  35. Image for Karen Karen

    Love the Red Hot Popcorn! I'm allergic to cinnamon but it's so Christmassy! (Is that a word?) Anyway, we celebrate every Christmas Eve and even though my youngest is 25 and married, they move the celebration earlier and earlier every year. This year, my son and his new wife are hosting the celebration and cooking dinner! A new tradition and I love it!

  36. Image for Robin Bonvino Robin Bonvino

    Our family tradition since my husband and I were dating is to have mimosas and shrimp cocktail while decorating the tree. We always set aside the first Sunday evening in December and play Christmas music and toast to the Holiday season.

  37. Image for Jean G Jean G

    My favorite holiday tradition is making mulled cider, put on Christmas music and unwrapping each precious ornament. Every ornament has its own story and it's fun to talk about the memories with my family as we decorate the tree. Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe.

  38. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    This is a new one! How pretty! I may hust have to pick up a package of red hots next time I hit the dollar store! Holiday traditions . . . Of course it would revolve around FOOD . . . Butterscotch Pull-aparts for Christmas morning! When we moved away from "home," and made our home in Marion, we started the tradition of inviting both sets of grandparents up for breakfast on Christmas morning, and my daughter and my mother would NOT be happy without Butterscotch Pull-aparts! LOL

  39. Image for Liz Thomas Liz Thomas

    My favorite tradition each year is the day I spend with my daughter baking Christmas cookies. We do it each year. We spend the entire day together and make batches of different types of cookies to give away to family and friends. We have been doing for years. This year I have a new granddaughter and I hope it is a tradition she will love being a part of in a couple of years!

  40. Image for Flora Anne Flora Anne

    Ever since we've been married which is 48 yrs. my husband has always made breakfast Christmas morning - this of course means that our 2 sons have grown up with this tradition since they were born - he does the full breakfast with fruit, home fried potatoes, eggs, sausage, peameal bacon, raisin toast, eggs, muffins etc.etc.etc............he along with the boys (when their here of course) do the clean up as well which gives me a couple hours out of the kitchen - I have grown to love this part of the day more and more as the years go by I love the popcorn idea!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas - Flora

  41. Image for Linda Thenhaus Linda Thenhaus

    Love the popcorn recipe! My favorite tradition is deciding what will go in each of our Advent drawers and watching my children's reaction to each day. It is fun to see what they "open" each day as by this time in Decmeber I have almost forgotten what I added! Good luck with your shopping and thanks for the chance to win those beautiful spoons!

  42. Image for Tiffini Tiffini

    the last three years my sisters and brothers all spend the night at one of our houses...we rotate. we all brings food of course and play games and camp out in the living room all night...what was a whim of an idea a couple of years ago has turned in to a tradition that i just love! awesome recipe too:) hang in there....i feel the same way about signs! wishing there was an! xoxo

  43. Image for molly molly

    fav tradition was to do something every day till christmas with my girls. each morning there was a card w/whatever for that might be a tiny gift, do something for someone else, go look at lights...bake cookies.etc.....25 fun memories! now they are adults & one of my daughters is doing the same w/her 4 children!

  44. Image for DiAnne DiAnne

    Hi kariAnn, I like this 10 days of Christmas linky stuff. I have found new blogs and new friends because of your links! I would love for you to visit my blog too. I am new at it so I need friends:( You have given me a great idea with this red-hot popcorn recipe. I am going to fix some tomorrow!!! My favorite thing to do at Christmas is to open my home to family and especially "singles" (those divorced, never married, living away from family, widowed....any single person that would be alone) They are invited to come Christmas day anytime during the day as I keep several crock pots of home made soup along with chips, dips, sandwiches and desserts ready. We never know who will come but some years I have had as many as 35. It is a happy day as we visit and remember why we celebrate. You are very brave to offer your spoon- gifts during this countdown to Christmas. But then, you are past the yogurt and off and running:)

  45. Image for Michelle Michelle

    What a great popcorn idea! I usually make a boat-load of caramel corn, but this is a fun, festive change...I think I'll try it! I may make it for Christmas Eve, which is my favorite time, since I've always hosted our family for this fun evening. My sister and her family and our parents come over for a wonderful day and evening of fun activities and feasting. The kids are all older now, which provides for a nostalgic evening of old memories, and the making of new. Wishing you and your family a wonderul holiday season Karianne!

  46. Image for Diana Browning Diana Browning

    Our Favorite Holiday tradition- for years past when the kids were little, or now as they are grown and it is My Darling & I alone.. just to grab a few quiet minutes and look at the wonderful glow of Christmas lights.. drink hot cocoa and drink in the quietness of this wonderful season.

  47. Image for Kara Snider Kara Snider

    Gift from Santa in front of tree, stocking, then off to the ranch to feed the cows! Christmas brunch and the rest of the presents have to wait until the cows get fed. :)

  48. Image for JuneA** JuneA**

    This reminds me of my Grandmother ~who has been in her heavenly home 21 years~ She always made popcorn balls (candied) and passed them out to the neighborhood kids!! She would have loved this recipe!! My absolute, all time, favorite tradition is a community Christmas dinner~~held on Christmas Day!~~ for friends, family and friends we have yet to meet. This year is our 12th one! Thanks for a chance to win your gorgeous spoons!

  49. Image for Keeping it Cozy Keeping it Cozy

    I love your spoons! Growing up we always had a December snow skiing trip... it was so much fun and we always looked forward to it. This reminds me that I'd love to start a tradition of a holiday vacation with our kids.

  50. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Karianne, I'm wondering how long the popcorn keeps? It does look festive. My favorite tradition is attending the Christmas Eve church service. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  51. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    This is a popcorn recipe that is sure to please my son...anything "red hot" sauce..the only condiment he likes!!!... Christmas traditions...have so many with family and friends...but the latest tradition that we love is the Christmas Day Scavenger Hunt for our granddaughter...for you know, Santa leaves gifts under the tree at her house, but at Grandma and Pop's house, he leaves gifts hidden all over the house...he leaves the clues for her to find her presents...She loves it and so do we!...

  52. Image for Pam Pam

    Great idea for the holidays. Our Christmas standards include church on Christmas Eve followed by opening one small gift. Christmas morning, after all the rush of tearing paper, we have monkey bread, milk and coffee. Later we have Christmas dinner with ham and all the trimmings. I have admired your spoons for months - would love to have a set. Thanks for your great blog!

  53. Image for Roseanna Younger Roseanna Younger

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions, now as an adult, was one of my least favorite as a child. With both Grandparents and Parents gone, I'm the oldest and continue their tradition......Scalloped Oysters! My Grandmother made them only on Christmas, as her mother did. As a child you could not pay me to eat them. I laugh each year now as I make them, watching my kids wrinkle their noses. This year my new granddaughter is too young to try them but watch out next year!

  54. Image for Marian Marian

    Pick ONE favorite holiday tradition? Hmmmm....clam chowder on Christmas Adam (the night before Christmas Eve) perhaps? Or going to a tree farm and cutting down a carefully chosen tree with my kids followed by a lunch of the most amazing fried chicken at the Amish market? Or making caramels from scratch? Or listening to Julie Andrews belt out Joy To The World. They are all my favorite. You'll have to choose for me. And now I will settle into thinking happy spoon thoughts while I finish decorating my house.

  55. Image for Marsha Kern Marsha Kern

    I can't wait to try your popcorn!!!! My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve church, I always cry with the beautiful candles and hymns...

  56. Image for Julie Julie

    We love popcorn @ the Fiato' hubby makes it every weekend. I just might try this over the break. Sharing this on my FB page this morning :) Merry Christmas!

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