Even the most fun holiday party can be an incredible pain for the host.  So what can you do to ensure that your gathering is a hit, your guests - whether they be friends or family - are happy and you, as the host, actually get to enjoy it, too?

FOX News Radio's Lilian Woo has some tips from professionals:

You could put out the typical cheese tray, but why be like all the other hosts?  For the perfect cocktail snack, just grate up cheese, fire up a griddle or panini press...

(Douglas) "I make little grilled cheese sandwiches, and I put fresh basil pesto or fresh herbs in there, along with the cheese."

Executive chef, restaurateur and author, Seattle's Tom Douglas, warning the more ambitious...

(Douglas) "Don't make the toughest recipe for the first time on the big day.  Practice."

In fact, make it a few times.  Saveur Magazine's editor-in-chief, James Oseland, puts out large portions of entree-type foods that don't require last minute work.

(Oseland) "Things that would last and stay wonderful, and alive, and delicious for a good three or four hours."

Because a relaxed, happy host is really what makes the party.

Lilan Woo, FOX News Radio.