The holidays are the perfect time to gather with friends and family. Don’t forget these critical items as you put together your party planning list.

Decorations

Add creative touches throughout your home to make the event feel special. Try not to go overboard with the decorations, though, or they will turn into clutter. You can artfully place pumpkins and fake leaves near the door in the fall. If you’re putting the pumpkins outside you should treat them with hairspray or a similar spray deterrent to keep the woodland creatures from enjoying them. Use bunches of seasonally appropriate flowers as table decor. Your local craft store will probably sell garlands that you can drape over a mantle. What Christmas party would be complete without some mistletoe?

Alcohol

Many people use drinks to get in a festive mood. If your party is during Christmas you can serve spiked eggnog. Thanksgiving parties are perfect for drink recipes that feature apples or pumpkin spice. Visit a liquor store for drinks for your party. You should try to do this a few days in advance. You should also make sure that there are some options available for guests who prefer not to drink.

Fresh Linens

This detail is especially important if you’re hosting guests for several days before and after the party. The spare bedroom should have new and freshly laundered sheets on the bed. You don’t have to use your best towels in the guest bathroom but they should at least be new as well. Switch out old utility towels in the kitchen. Replace them with decorative yet functional pieces. Maybe they have a cute seasonal pattern or an icon of a snowman or turkey depending on the holiday.

Activities

Liven up the party with things to do besides eating and drinking. Come up with some conversation-starting questions and put them on index cards at everyone’s place. Try the classic “two truths and a lie” game. It’s a great way to help the guests get to know each other. They simply guess what is the real fact about someone and what isn’t. Puzzles or board games are a fun distraction as well. They keep everyone’s hands busy which can often lead to more focused chitchat.

With these pieces in place you can sit back and relax. You have the perfect party to look forward to.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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