There are four weekends between now and Christmas and 'tis the season to party it up. Here are a few tips to throw a fun party that's going to be easy for you, fun for your guests and memorable for everyone.

When it comes to beverages, you don't want to stand and be the bartender all night. You probably want to socialize. So, instead of setting up a wet bar or having just beer or wine to choose from, have some premixed cocktails on hand. We did hard cider and put it in the crock pot to keep it warm so you don't have to stand at the stove or teach your guests how to run the stove. And keep it lighter with a champagne based punch. Whatever you do, don't make the same mistake one of my friends did and have two punch bowls on hand with little place cars that said "alcoholic" and "non alcoholic" on them because some smarty pants will likely switch the cards. Of course, pop, juice and water should also be readily available for those that don’t drink or those that are underage.

Christmas cookies are a staple of most parties, but who besides Martha Stewart has time to stand and bake all of them? Instead, go to a cookie sale at your church or school. Most cookies are a pretty good deal and sold by the pound plus the proceeds go to help your church or school. Get there early, though. The good ones usually sell out first. Cookie swaps are also fun. Everyone bakes one kind of cookie and brings the same amount and then you swap them out dozen by dozen. Bam. Six different kinds of cookies with little effort. My favorite are the peanut blossoms.

Fountains are a cool idea, but it doesn’t have to be just cheese or chocolate. We did this one a few years ago. Have guests bring different kinds of sauces like spaghetti sauce, Alfredo sauce, and the like. The sauces just have to be smooth. Cook different kinds of pasta like linguine, spaghetti, angel hair, etc. Get some good grated cheese, a loaf of crusty bread, and some Cesar salad. Add meatballs, chicken and shrimp and you’ve got yourself a feast that serves itself.

Who says parties have to center around a big meal? Some people don’t know how to cook; some people don’t have the time or the money to put on a big fancy bash. Instead, invite people over for a wrapping party. Ask each guest to bring an appetizer and favorite beverage, gift wrap, ribbon and scissors. You supply the space, the tape and the tags. No decorating, no cooking and loads of fun.

For everything else; including how to handle pets during party time, doing it on a budget and how to involve the kids, click HERE.