Party planning: Host a stress-free holiday party with these easy ideas Host the party of the season by planning ahead with our downloadable checklist. By Colleen Tully Cheery parties are often the best events of the holiday season, and it’s always fun to host an informal gathering of good friends. Great tunes, bowls of snacks and a flow of drinks are all you need to bring down the house! And since great holiday parties can also be done on a tight budget, why not host a festive fête? Well, there’s always the risk of running out of toilet paper. And someone slipping on the icy walkway. Oh, and the garbage is overflowing. Plus the dog ate half of it. Here's how to prevent these common mishaps and plan a successful get-together. How to prep for your holiday party Seasoned hosts throw great parties and manage to keep their homes in one piece. This is due to some thorough pre-party prep: scanning each room of the house a day or two before the event to make sure everything is party-ready. If you’re not about to throw your 100th fête, you could likely use a checklist to ensure you’ve anticipated every need and challenge the evening may bring. Click here for a free downloadable holiday party checklist that walks you through the major rooms of your home. Simply check off the items listed to organize for the party, and you’ll have nothing left to do but have fun when guests arrive. 5 tips to keep you and your guests happy and safe through the night A few hosting pointers to avoid any alcohol-related incidents: 1. Have lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks available. Serving food with lots of protein and fat will slow down drinking, whereas salty snacks encourage drinking. Try serving our Indian Spiced Cashews, Garlic Peanuts, or Layered Mexican Dip with veggies. 2. Be aware of your guests Mingle and keep an eye on everyone, and enlist a wingman or woman to help. Only invite people you know well – it’s easier to detect changes in their behaviour caused by over imbibing. 3. Brush up on bartending skills People drink more when there’s an open bar. Offering a festive house cocktail – like our Coconut Lime Pie Martini - is a fun way to welcome guests plus ensures you’re the only one serving hard liquor. 4. Prepare for a particularly festive guest Our downloadable holiday party checklist mentions clean linen, clear floor space and having a small lamp on in the guest room. Having an inviting place to crash makes it more likely this guest won’t try to drive home. 5. If an intoxicated guest insists on driving … Call the police. It seems drastic, but it’s the choice between an upset friend and the potential for a terrible incident. Microsoft® OneNote® 2010 is the ideal tool to help you manage, share and store your ideas, photos, videos and more. Need help staying organized? Microsoft® Outlook® 2010 lets you combine your multiple e-mail accounts, calendars and address books. You'll be on top of things in no time! You can prepare professional-looking documents, from menus to party invitations, using Word 2010.