Must-have items when hosting holiday parties

Parties are highly anticipated events come the holiday season. Office parties, gatherings with friends and family celebrations are just some of the many soirees that dot social schedules at this time of year.

Office parties might be governed by certain organizational protocols, but parties with friends and families come with no such rules. That said, holiday hosts might want to keep their guests' expectations in mind when planning their get-togethers. While there's always room to try something new, the following are some must-have items when hosting holiday parties.

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1. Holiday foods and beverages

It goes without saying that holiday hosts will be expected to provide food for their guests. But certain foods, such as gingerbread cookies, can put everyone in the holiday spirit. And don't forget that staple of the holiday beverage menu: eggnog. Eggnog can be made with or without alcohol so everyone can enjoy this beloved holiday beverage.

2. Decorations

Decking the halls is a holiday tradition, and hosts should make an effort to string some holiday decorations before welcoming guests into their homes. A Christmas tree might be the most ubiquitous decorative item come the holidays, so hosts can make their tree the centerpiece of their decor. Hang some mistletoe around the house, which also can be adorned with season-specific plants like holly and poinsettias. If kids are attending the party, a kid-friendly decoration station can even be set up to ensure the youngsters have fun and stay busy during the festivities.

3. Games

Games can be a great way to keep guests occupied during the party. From a safety perspective, games that engage guests might prevent them from overindulging in alcohol. Games in which participants can win holiday-themed prizes might be especially enjoyable for players.

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