Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season and launches party season into full swing.  While the upcoming months can overfill with friendly get-togethers, work parties, and family gatherings, a little organization can smooth the planning process and make each event enjoyable for guest and hostess alike.

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A few tips to keep in mind when striving to be that heavenly hostess we all imagine:

  1. Take a deep breath and greet your guests with a smile!  If you let go of the day's stress with a simple smile, so will they.
  2. Create a good atmosphere, but don't spend all day cleaning! It is more about making your home feel welcoming than about making it spotless.
  3. Set the ambience by lighting some candles and playing some music.
  4. Give your party personality with a signature cocktail and unique centerpiece.
  5. Take a moment and think proactive. Consider possible needs of your guests ahead of time - e.g. if they have children you may want movies and treats ready to entertain them as well.
  6. Plan activities for before and after dinner, you never know how exciting the conversation may be and it's good to have a couple simple games on hand to get the party moving.

Holiday parties can sometimes get off to a slow start especially when not everyone in attendance knows each other.

Here are two icebreakers that can be played at any party and will get guests interacting with each other.

Remember, the fun is in the game but every winner loves a little prize - consider a special take-home plate of desserts or festive centerpiece for their table.

The Name Game - No prep or cost!

This game is simple and can be played anywhere - around the dinner table or in the living room.

Start by saying the first and last name of a celebrity and the person next to you must say another name that begins with the last name letter. For example player 1 says Michael Jordan and player 2 can say Jennifer Lopez, player 3 Lance Armstrong and so on. The player who lasts until the end without getting stumped wins.

Holiday Sticker Stalker - Minimal prep and low cost.

This is a great game to keep everyone on their toes and mingling.

It can be played as an icebreaker or throughout the party. Every guest is given 10 holiday stickers and they must get rid of the whole sheet by sticking them to 10 other guests without them noticing. If someone catches you, they can stick one of his/her stickers on you!

The first person to empty their sticker sheet wins. Now that everyone is mixing and talking, the food moves center stage.  Food is an essential part of any party and sometimes is a challenge to know how much is enough.

Wow guests by creating an assortment of party platters. With the party platter approach guests can eat as much, or as little, as they want. Additionally, by offering a variety of party platters - baked goods, cheese and crackers, veggies and fruit, and finger foods - you can meet a variety of dietary needs with ease. Don't forget you are the captain of the ship when you are hosting a party so be sure to eliminate stress and be the happiest version of you. Try using Look Beauty's Brightening Sheet Mask the morning of your party. It will help brighten and refresh your skin so your guests will think you had a party planner come set up while you were at the spa.