It always feels good to be invited to a party. But if it’s your turn to hand out the invites, preparing to host the event can be nerve-racking. After all, you’ll be the one responsible for giving your guests a memorable experience.

We’re here to help you make that memory a good one. Follow these tips and your holiday party will bring a smile to everyone’s faces, including your own.

Make a List, Check it Twice

You know how the song goes. But instead of finding out who’s naughty or nice, use your list to find out what you need for your party.

Write out all the ingredients you need and anything else you want to buy for the event. Having a list will help you stay organized as you go through the rest of the preparations.

Consider Serving a Buffet

For many people, the holidays are an opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Just being in the same room doesn’t count as spending time with someone – you’ve got to be able to at least chat. And you can’t do that if you’re too busy serving the next dish.

Serve a buffet instead and let the guests handle their food. This will free up your time so you can socialize without worry.

Set Up a Self-Service Bar

This one goes great with our buffet suggestion: if you don’t want to constantly refill your guests’ glasses, set up a spot for them to pour their own drinks.

Just be careful where you put up the bar. Try to have it in a place where there isn’t much foot traffic to avoid spills and broken glassware. You don’t want people bumping into each other while trying to get a drink.

Pick Meals That Are Easy To Make

As the host of the party, you’ve got a lot on your plate. And that’s before you even get to the food that’ll be on your guests’ plates.

Spare yourself from some stress by choosing meals that are simple and easy to make. As much as you’d love to show off your cooking skills, remember that you’re preparing for a holiday party, not MasterChef.

Prepare Ingredients Ahead Of Time

As with any occasion, doing what you can ahead of schedule has a big impact. You’ll be cooking for a lot of people so every little bit of extra time helps.

Do all the peeling, slicing, and dicing in advance, maybe even as early as a day ahead if possible. This also gives you a chance to review the menu and catch any ingredients you may have missed. By getting most of the prep work out of the way, you’ll have more time to catch your breath before the party starts.

Don’t Forget To Enjoy Your Party

All these tips are pointless if you don’t do the one thing you should at the party: have fun! It’s easy to get caught up in making sure that everyone else is having a good time. Remember to reward all your hard work by enjoying yourself on the big day as well.

Good food and good company are what you can look forward to this time of year. These suggestions will help you share these gifts with the people you care about the most.