The holidays are just around the corner – this means gift shopping, sending holiday cards, baking delicious treats and, of course, holiday parties! When it comes to hosting your friends or family at your home, there’s a lot of preparation work to be done. It’s best to have everything in order ahead of time to avoid last-minute trips to the store and scrambling to get things finished – who wants to wait in line when there’s work to be done at home? If you love hosting holiday parties, or will be hosting for the first time this year, these tips are for you!

Prepare the linen closet: If you plan to host guests overnight (last minute, or not) make sure you have fresh linens prepared for the guest room. You want your guests to feel right at home and taken care of during their stay. As an added bonus, consider creating a welcome basket full of everyday essentials like water, gum and the house Wi-Fi password.

Have entertainment on deck: Instead of relying on television as a primary source of entertainment, ensure your guests know that there are other options available, like board games or holiday cookie decorating.

Stock up the bar cart: Everyone has their favourites! To avoid guests settling for something they don’t enjoy, the bar cart should be stacked with plenty of options. Consider taking requests a couple of weeks in advance.

Do your food shopping early: Before things get too busy, get your food shopping done ahead of time. The best way to know if you’re in need of something specific is to take a photo of your fridge contents and pantry before heading out to the grocery store.

Have everything delivered: Since you’ll be busy preparing for the party, have things like food, drinks, decorations and gifts delivered to you, so that all you need to think about is preparing your home for the big day.

Preparing your home to entertain guests can sometimes be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Become the “host with the most” by following these useful tips to ensure a smooth preparation plan and a happy holiday party.