It's the most wonderful time of the year. Isn't it? Well, if you've ever thrown a New Years party, you are well aware that the season of joy can turn to one of sheer stress pretty quickly. What should be a fun way to chill with close friends can quickly devolve into madness. Here are a few tips for throwing a successful soiree this New Year, without driving yourself crazy.

Order Out

We're not talking pizza and two liters (though that might work, depending on your crowd), but actual catering. Once upon a time, a “catered affair” referred to a huge, expensive event—but no longer. We’re in the midst of a food revolution, with some super talented independent caterers and artisan chefs popping up all over the place. Not only will hiring one of them support local businesses, but it also takes a great deal of the hosting burden off of yourself at a fraction of the price of what catering used to cost. Find a caterer, get out of the kitchen and get back to the party.

Order Early

Whether it’s the food, the drinks, the tables, or even the decorations, your best bet is to grab your supplies as early as you can. This not only ensures you’ll not only get what you need, but also what you truly want, as ordering prior to others will allot you the most available options before they’re all spoken for. The last thing you want is to race all over town the day of your bash, looking for bubbly, party hats, or anything in between.

The Little Things

While it’s rare you’ll run out of food or drink at a well planned party, it’s much more common that you’ll suddenly find you've totally run out of some of the small—yet crucial—items. Examples of these fundamentals include: glassware/cups, plates, cutlery, and ice. With people constantly switching up their drink of choice, it’s always good to have extra cups around. And no matter how suped up your fridge is, your ice maker likely can't accommodate an entire party's worth of mixed drinks. It may sound simplistic, but trust us, thinking ahead on the basics will ensure you're not stuck running to the deli or washing a sink full of dishes.

The Playlist

While you can easily just throw a holiday station on your streaming system and never give it a second thought, you may find that holiday music grows tiresome as the Christmas season winds down and New Years excitement heats up. Striking the right balance between beloved favorites and music you'd actually want to listen to if it wasn't late December is key. Try to find a little time to sit down before the big night and put together a playlist or two, that way you'll have a solid musical lineup, and you'll also have a chance to revisit some old favorite tracks you haven't listened to in a while.

Cab Company

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for cab companies, and some are way better than others at actually showing up when you call them (and doing so in under 4 hours). Do a little research on which cab company you can rely on. Responsible guests who imbibe and don't have a designated driver will definitely need their services, and the last thing you want at 2 AM is to find out there's a 3 hour wait to get these guys home.

The final tip is this: relax. If your party has a few snags and hitches, no one will care. The holidays are all about embracing what you have, so enjoy the new year with with those around you.