We’ve detailed how to get through your office holiday party without being fired (basically, don’t be a drunk idiot), but now comes the fun stuff – throwing your own holiday party.

Sure, you could grab a case of beer, wear a Santa hat and call it a night, but with a bit of planning, you can really make your holiday party stand out. Here are some tips on how to make it kickass (and I promise, no mistletoe is involved).

BYOB is Acceptable

As the host, you should be responsible for everyone’s first drink. Buy a case of beer and have the ingredients to make a festive drink. (Personally, I’m a fan of champagne cocktails, like the Poinsettia.)

Beyond that, writing on the invitation “we’ll have drinks, but bring whatever you prefer!” implies that the party is BYOB, and anyone with half of a brain will at least bring their own water bottle filled with vodka.

Plus, if they show up empty-handed, they’re not your true friends, anyways. They’re moochers.

Set a Dress Code

This isn’t any old party in any old month –  it’s the holiday season! You can be classy and have everyone wear fancy cocktail attire, or you can go the silly route and tell guests to bust out their ugliest sweaters and Santa hats. It’s as simple as a red shirt or a sparkly skirt.

If they don’t dress up, they’re not your true friends in this case either. They’re Grinches.

Stick to the Three F’s for Your Menu

First, your menu must reek (in a good way) of familiarity. Cheese puffs and pretzels from Shaw’s may seem déclassé, but everyone knows what they are and loves munching on them. A strange colored dip or fancy bacon-wrapped something or other will confuse guests, and force you to answer a barrage of questions about whether or not the hummus is vegetarian all night.

Second, finger foods will keep you and your guests sane. You don’t have to worry about stocking up on forks, knives and spoons – napkins and toothpicks will do. Guests won’t be bugging you because they ran out of plates, and your dishwasher will be empty the next morning, making for a headache-less cleanup. (Unless you’re hungover. Then you’ll have a headache.)

You Can’t Rage to Christmas Music

There are only 10 holiday songs that are actually fun, while the rest fair on the side of “Silent Night” rather than “Awesome Holiday Rager at My House.”

Because Ke$ha has yet to record her Christmas album of that name, you can’t rely on Spotify’s holiday playlists to keep your party bumping past midnight.

Make a playlist that mixes your favorite hits with some old school jams, and a little Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” sprinkled in there for good measure.

People Want to Be Entertained

You’ve been running around all day making the most delicious snacks, crafting the perfect playlist and the decking the halls with boughs of holly that you forgot to actually plan something for your guests to do while at your house.

I mean, no one actually wants to talk to each other, right? And sorry, but your Christmas tree isn’t pretty enough for people to stare at for hours. Some alternative suggestions:

  • Have cards at the ready for drinking games. Catch Phrase is also an easy way to get people interacting.
  • Turn on a holiday flick like “Home Alone” and have everyone take a shot whenever a bad guy falls on a booby trap.
  • Sing Christmas Carols. If you mess up a lyric, you have to take a drink. The drunker you are, the better this game works.
  • Christmas tree skirts can double as bibs for peppermint Schnapps shots. Whipped cream is a great chaser.

And finally, make sure you invite me to your party.