The countdown to December 25th continues. You are hosting a holiday party or event but there are moments of thought that enter your mind wondering if all the tasks at hands will cone to fruition next Saturday. Fear not: Two words come to mind in making your get together a success: PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

For starters, have a check list ready that features the names of all guests that are scheduled to attend. It is best that you send a personalized invitation specifying location, date and time plus it adds a personal touch for those who make their presence. The same goes regarding groceries, beverages and other essentials to enhance your party atmosphere.

The more organized means things fall into place and once it is all said and done, you'll realize it's "the little things" that matter. There is no need to get extravagant as embellishment is not an option to prove this meeting of friends or relatives will garner extra prestige. Another pair of words to remember: "BE YOURSELF"

Another helpful hint: If you plan to get some holiday shopping done, make sure you avoid the last minute rush and strategize as what you want to give to each individual as a gift comes from the heart and the thought truly plays a role in making sure this presentation makes the recipient extra special in your eyes. For example, some of my closest friends receive gifts that have a "symbolic" meaning in their lives which truly gives me a personal satisfaction of "paying it forward" with style as my aim is to make this most wonderful time of the year extra special to those near and dear to me.

Finally, when it comes to the Christmas feast, you don't need to prepare certain items on your menu from scratch. Some side dishes can be made in advance and all that needs to be done is to reheat mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and other familiar staples on the dining room can be served up in no time. Snacks are instantaneous, but make sure your guests don't over indulge as they need to save their appetite for the main course. Desserts are usually ready made as that part of the get together is the easiest and by all means, don't forget that fresh cup of coffee that makes a perfect accompaniment.

Now we hope this guide assists you in bringing an A-1 holiday get together next Saturday. We'll be waiting for final results, so chime in after the holidays and share your experiences. Inquiring minds would like to know.

(Some information obtained for this article, courtesy of the web site, www.bags

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