The funny thing about the holidays is that, despite all the feasting, there seem to be vast swathes of day in which everyone is starving. Relatives roam like wolves through busy kitchens to find snacks to tide them over til dinner and holiday guests pop from party to party without so much as a pig in a blanket before they realize they’re famished – and possibly tipsy too.

We’ve got tons of recipes for little holiday bites, find them throughout the Chalkboard, but one real key to keep everyone feeling happy and healthy throughout the day – or night – is to provide guests with plenty of hydration. Dehydration often masks itself as hunger. Especially during the holidays, when rich desserts, salty snacks, and strong cocktails are always within arm’s reach. We’ve all got to go to greater lengths to keep our water intake at a healthy level and one way to do that is to make it more fun.

We love the trend toward homemade flavored waters. The possibilities are endless and the nutrition benefits from adding fruits, spices and herbs are of great benefit.

We’ve created this beautiful flavored water station as a kind of healthy bar cart alternative (or addition) for those long holiday days. Set up this adorable station for cozy Christmas day or a New Year’s Eve party. Your guests will thank you, your holiday decor will go to the next level, and you’ll get all the lingering kiddos excited about drinking water! What could be better.

We used a combination of IKEA’s glass stoppered bottles, simple glassware, and sweet holiday decor touches to create this water station in a snap. Make these waters in advance and simply lay everything out so that guests can help themselves.

For the station: select a bar cart, rolling kitchen cart or small table and cover with a tablecloth. We used burlap, but anything festive will do! We hung this adorable little felt wreath from IKEA to give the station a sense of place. Just plug it in behind a mirror, piece of art, or chalkboard like this one, and let it shine!

Gather natural materials: for the station’s top we laid out fresh branches and wildflower stems. We also love the idea of using trimmings from the Christmas tree or holly branches – just watch those holly leaves around kids. We’re suckers for tea lights and went to town here laying about a dozen among the branches and glassware. Stack the glassware high and let the candlelight shine through. Other natural materials used here include the leftover ingredients from the flavored waters themselves: apples, cranberries, fresh mint and other herbs.

The supplies: These flavored water bottles are so gorgeous they’ll do most of the work for you. The key is to select glass water bottles like these picks from IKEA that let the fresh ingredients remain visible. The stoppers are perfect because they won’t get lost in the holiday fray and keep any accidents to a minimum. Set out your flavored water bottles like rows of cocktail mixers. Surround the bottles with all the necessary glassware and some festive napkins and you’ll have everyone surprisingly excited about staying hydrated!

3 Holiday Flavored Waters

Blackberry + Sage

We love this flavor combination as a tea, so why not try it as a flavored water too? The berries turn the water a gorgeous purple color, making it fun for kids to drink Steal the sage from your stockpile of stuffing herbs!

Like all berries, blackberries are rich in skin-healthy antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. Sage helps the immune system fight seasonal issues, aids digestion and has a mildly calming effect. 

Apple, ginger, Mint

This flavor combination would be perfect with sparkling mineral water as well. All three of these ingredients are great for digestion and guaranteed to keep guests away from second rounds at the punch bowl. Ginger and mint pack a spicy punch – make just as strong or weak as you’d like. A touch of apple makes this a water kid’s might love too.

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties will help keep folks feel and look great throughout the day. Apple, ginger, and mint are all great for digestion and immunity.

Cranberry + Lime

Zest a lemon, lime, or an orange for this citrusy combination. We made leaf-like lime peels here, but you could make curly orange peels or anything you like. The look of the berries and lime zest are just about as Christmasy as things get and provide an almost cocktail-like flavor profile we love.

Cranberries are full of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, and rich in antioxidants. Limes are rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C too, and help to stave off sugar cravings.

This post was created in partnership with IKEA

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