Written by Brooke Sanders, for CNN
Christmas is almost here, and your holiday party is definitely on the to-do list.
Even if you’re not the type to host many holiday get-togethers, this is the season to start hosting at home. That is, if you have any sort of party going on.
It’s difficult to put on an unforgettable party with nobody to invite. Luckily, the internet offers a wealth of easy to use ways to amp up a simple get-together.
While we can’t promise that all of the traditions mentioned here will always last into the future, we hope they can help you refine your party-planning skills.
1. Have time to plan
Don’t simply wing it when it comes to hosting a gathering. Be prepared beforehand. For example, you can make sure to have the host’s instructions in hand before you even call them, and can let them know your guest list as it stands.
2. Be casual
Easier said than done, right? If you know you have 30 or more attendees, think about it this way: If you put on red, green and white, any and all colors are permitted. And don’t limit the buffet to that one type of food. Almost anything goes — even if you’re wearing black and white. (Oh, you’re wearing a black and white tuxedo? Keep it for after dinner. I mean, it is Black and White.)
3. Don’t neglect the snacks
Simple-minded but true, our sneaky advice is to keep food around for your guests to eat. It should also be reasonably affordable, so you don’t have to fend off come Sunday with a trip to the grocery store.
4. Be prepared for a raucous environment
An open bar will definitely get your party going. And, if you aren’t planning to allow drinking at all, this is a good time to get in that extra drink. Even though it’s an adult event, you want to enjoy a few drinks to loosen up.
5. Keep it organized
Tables and chairs? Check. Flashlights? Not so much. A list of the people who will be attending? Check. Make sure you have a one-by-one, numbered list for each guest.
6. Let your guests sit wherever they want
Your guests can bring their own portable furniture and some things should be left up to them. Sorry, but that restaurant chair you brought might not be the best choice for a small space.
7. Don’t forget your pets
Pets, electronics and leggings all belong in a home, so make them feel welcome at your party. Place pet beds and pet treats around the house and have a set of leash signs ready for the furry friends to use.
8. Hosted? Go with the flow
No matter what happens at your party, you should be ready to celebrate whenever guests show up. If you’re tense, cheer up by celebrating them. If you’re trying to get up with the hosts, let them help you with small tasks. If you find that you’re moving too slowly, blame your host and make the necessary phone calls to kickstart the party ASAP.