As ubiquitous as Christmas songs in a shopping mall, holiday parties can be stressful and fraught with terribleness. If we’re not careful, they can be Scrooge-worthy on so many levels. But there are ways to make this season a little less stressful for the party set. Here are my tips, in no particular order. 1. Plan Ahead It sounds simple, but in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it’s easy enough to be super last minute. If you’re headed to a party, carefully read the invite, see who else is coming, how large, the location and what’s expected. Find out if it’s a dinner or nibbles occasion, and, if you’ve never been to the place where it’s happening, try and swing by to see what it’s all about. You’ll feel better about the night if you know what you’re in for. 2. Simplify Whether you’re a guest or the host, it’s always tempting to go all out around the holidays. But don’t feel pressured to have the largest, sparkliest Christmas tree or the most elaborate treats because—big surprise—no one cares. Unless they’re a jerk.