You should use all spices within a year including peppercorns, and holiday entertaining is the perfect time to use them up.
Take a look in your spice cabinet and see what need to be cooked with and plan your December menus around your spices.
When the new year comes around, start fresh, with a cabinet full of new spices.
Be sure to buy your spices from stores that seem to specialize in their spices and have high turnover of merchandise to ensure you aren’t getting old spices.
To preserve freshness, it also helps to keep spices in a cool dark place to increase their shelf life.