Hosting family and friends for a special holiday occasion can become a major source of stress. But you can pull off any party, from an elegant dinner to a casual potluck, without requiring post-holiday psychotherapy.

Here are some tips to make your holiday party a success:

Choose your party theme. Different types of parties suit different spaces, personalities and budgets, so decide carefully. If you’re on a budget, a potluck might be a great idea -; just ask your guests to bring a dish and a bottle of wine or champagne, then provide punch, dessert and appetizers. Coordinate with your guests, though, so you don’t end up with five or six seven-layer dips at the buffet.

Pick foods to fit the theme. Serve tapas at a Mediterranean party or samosas at an Indian one. Holiday-themed parties delight everyone. Decide whether children will attend -; if so, you should provide kid-friendly finger foods.

Typically, this is not the time to try out some elaborate new recipe for the first time. Go for family favorites that you can make in your sleep. Better yet, choose dishes that you can prepare ahead, so that you can actually spend time with your guests. You can also hire caterers or buy pre-made foods.

Serve options. Make sure your guests will arrive home safely by providing non-alcoholic options. One great option, Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice Cocktail (, comes in red and white grape flavors, and it lets kids, mothers-to-be and designated drivers participate in holiday toasts.

If you serve coffee, make sure to have decaffeinated coffee and black tea on hand as well, especially because many people now steer away from caffeine for health reasons. Make sure you have a way to keep coffee warm for your guests such as in an urn or carafe.

Decorate to please. You need to create a festive mood, so pick decorations that match your party’s theme. Poinsettias or winter gourds make elegant center pieces, while holiday-themed plasticware might better suit a casual New Year’s get-together. Accidents can happen, so you might want to consider purchasing microfiber tablecloths, which resist spills. – Courtesy of NewsUSA.

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