1 chilled 25.4-ounce bottle sparkling cider (about 3 1/4 cups)
1 chilled 1-quart bottle cranberry juice cocktail
1 chilled 1-liter bottle club soda or seltzer water
1 cup dark rum if desired

For spice syrup:
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

Make spice syrup:
In a small saucepan bring syrup ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Let syrup cool. Syrup can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, kept in a covered container or bottle.

In a punch bowl combine remaining ingredients and strain syrup through a fine sieve into punch. Stir punch and add lots of ice. Makes about 13 cups.

Dress the punch bowl up with some decorative ice shapes. You can use food grade plastic gloves to freeze ice for floating hands. Gloves are available at restaurant supply stores, are made of clear plastic and have no talc on them. Fill with water or colored water, juice, etc. and freeze. When hard, remove glove and float in your punch bowl! You can also look at specialty stores for roll ice cube trays and make floating eyes, use something red and they become floating blood clots.