5 steps for a successful holiday gathering

(BPT) – 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 – whether a football watch party, gift exchange or even a low-key movie night with friends.

1. 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 lower the thermostat to account for extra bodies? Did you empty the trash and recycling? Your partying self will thank you later.

2. Create simple, festive décor. Swap traditional, expensive floral centerpieces for festive, affordable table decorations, using pinecones, faux cranberries and greenery like pine or eucalyptus. Simply place a few lanterns along the center of the table and surround them with fresh greenery, cranberries and pinecones. You can even add a little bit of sparkle by adding glittery candles, ornaments or ribbons!

3. Serve unexpectedly delicious snacks. Offer guests a variety of interesting snacks, rather than a four-course meal. Easy-to-prep egg rolls, wontons, potstickers and crab Rangoon from Pagoda(R) Snacks made with fresh-cut veggies and from-scratch wrappers are an unexpectedly delicious option. Available in a variety of flavors, these hot snacks bring a crave-worthy crunch to gatherings. And let’s be honest, these crispy bites are light years beyond the standard fare of chips and crackers.

4. 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. Try an Asian Pear Mojito or sake cocktail, which go great with Pagoda Snacks.

5. 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. All you need is a deck of cards, candy canes and willing participants. Bonus if you wrap up a mystery gift for the winner.

Now that you’ve learned the steps for success, it’s time to plan a holiday party of you own. Follow these tips and your guests will surely be impressed.

To learn more about Pagoda Snacks and to find a store near you, visit PagodaSnacks.com.