The holiday season is about spending quality time with family and friends. Many people will host gatherings and parties during this time of year. Keep stress levels at an all-time low by taking some seamless shortcuts to pull off a get together of any size.

• Prep your home. Before everyone arrives, double-check your home for the things that you won’t want to bother with when you’re having fun catching up with friends and family. Did you put out an extra roll of toilet paper and extra hand towels in the bathroom? Did you empty the trash and recycling?

• Create simple, festive decor. Swap traditional, expensive floral centerpieces for festive, affordable table decorations, using pinecones, faux cranberries and greenery like pine. Simply place a few lanterns along the center of the table and surround them with decorations. You also can add sparkle with candles, ornaments or ribbons.

• Serve unexpectedly delicious snacks. Offer guests a variety of interesting snacks, rather than a four-course meal. Easy-to-prep egg rolls, wontons, and crab Rangoon from Pagoda Snacks made with fresh-cut veggies and from-scratch wrappers are a delicious option.

• Drink and be merry. Consider the food you’re serving and pair it with complementary drinks. A custom cocktail pairing plus a selection of the traditional favorites will ensure everyone gets what they prefer and has the opportunity to try something new.

• Game on. Whether you have a room full of adults or kids, games are a great way to break the ice and encourage guests to start mingling. Most people have played Spoons, and a simple way to make it into a holiday game is to swap spoons for candy canes.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.