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It'll take some extra time and effort to plan your party, but the result will be a get-together that you'll actually be able to enjoy instead of stress out over.
Start with LightingThe holiday lights always add warmth and coziness to the season, and there's no better way to create a relaxing ambiance for your get-together than to make sure you've got your interior lighting right. Holiday lights come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, and there are a variety of routes you can take when decorating the inside of your home. You could go with a colored string light set to add mood to your living room, or a clean strand of white lights to highlight your mantel. The goal here is to create a sense of comfort, so just be sure you don't overdo it!
Plan Out Your ActivitiesThere's a difference between simply inviting friends and family over and actually holding a true holiday event. It usually comes down to planning out the night's activities ahead of time, which is something you can get a lot of mileage out of. Try to come up with ideas that will be fun for both the kids and the adults. Simple games like Charades might be all it takes, but you can also take things to another level and maybe even choose a theme to follow for the night.
The better you plan out your activities, the more smoothly the party will go.
Send Out Invites EarlyIf there's one thing that's universal about the holidays, it's that it tends to be the busiest time of the year for many people. It's not always easy to get people to attend holiday parties, as the chances that they might have other plans on a weekend around the holidays could be quite high. If you want to improve your chances of getting a great attendance, you should be sure to send out your invites as early as possible so that those who receive them most likely don't already have something to do the night of your party. Early December is typically the most acceptable time to send out invitations - just don't wait until a few days before Christmas!
So don't waste any time in planning your party, as you've got to save time to deal with any potential last-minute preparations that might come up. Get things in gear now, and you'll be rewarded with a great get-together!
Image source: Parker Knight on Flickr