How to Throw an Unforgettable Christmas Party

'Tis the season for holiday entertaining, and we have eight tips for hosting the best Christmas party. Find out what food to assemble, how to decorate and more.

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Set the Mood with Great Decorations

You don't have to go too extravagant for your Christmas dinner party, but choosing a clear decor aesthetic will make your party impressive — and photogenic. For a holiday cocktail party, try using gold accents and pops of color from flowers.

See More Photos: Holiday Cocktail Party

Play Festive Music

Get inspired by Cooking Channel hosts' favorite playlist ideas. Tiffani Thiessen lets the radio do the work for her and puts on the holiday channel while she entertains.

See More Photos: Cooking Channel Talents' Holiday Playlists

Curb Hunger with Easy Appetizers

Giada De Laurentiis' creamy lemon-and-thyme-infused goat cheese toast is one of our favorite crowd-pleasing appetizers that are a cinch to prepare in advance. Make a selection of apps to keep guests noshing while you prepare the main course.

See More Photos: Appetizer Recipes for Your Holiday Party

Make Cocktails for a Crowd

Keep everyone properly boozed up — and help yourself stay sane during the holidays — with big-batch cocktails and Christmas punches, like Bobby Flay's Mulled Red Wine Sangria.

See More Photos: 8 Christmas Punch Recipes That’ll Bowl You Over

Impress with The Main Course

The holidays come around only once a year, so make a jaw-dropping main course like Rev Run's Prime Rib Holiday Roast with au jus and horseradish sauce. Make sure to get it under good lighting at the Christmas-dinner table — Instagram will be lit up with photos of this bad boy.

See More Photos: Christmas Dinner Recipes & Ideas

Don't Forget About the Sides

Accompany the main course with an assortment of sides, like rich Bacon Potatoes au Gratin. Make things easier by preparing dishes that reheat well in advance, like roasted Brussels sprouts and stuffing.

See More Photos: 10 Christmas Dinner Side Dishes That Will Steal the Show

End Things on a Sweet Note with a Cookie Swap

What's better than diving into a plate of cookies at a party? Eating your weight in cookies and then taking another plate home. Set up a cookie swap so every guest gets a mix of sweets to go — we recommend contributing White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies — and you can do less work.

See More Photos: All-Star Holiday Cookie Recipes

Keep the Party Going with Edible Gifts

Take things to the next level after the cookie swap by sending guests home with a little homemade food gift. Kelsey Nixon's Gingerbread Cake Truffles are festive and a little spicy. You could also go with cashew brittle, popcorn, salted caramels or another treat.

See More Photos: Handmade Holiday Gifts