Nothing says happy holidays like celebrating with your nearest and dearest and a hodgepodge of casseroles, Crock-Pots and Jell-O concoctions.

Nothing says happy holidays like celebrating with your nearest and dearest and a hodgepodge of casseroles, Crock-Pots and Jell-O concoctions.

Plan the meal:

Despite the uncertain nature of this party's edibles, hosts can still make sure they don't end up with 10 dishes of mac and cheese.

Local event planner Emilie Duncan suggests that smaller parties ask each person or couple to bring something specific, for example two people bring an appetizer, two bring the side dish, two bring a dessert. Larger parties can request guests bring items based on their last names, such as those starting with A-F bring a salad, G-M bring a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer, and so on.

"This assumes the main dishes would be taken care of," Duncan said, "most often by the party host."

Wine and dine:

Landon Proctor, a wine specialist at Blacklick Wine & Spirits and the new Ale Wine & Spirits in Powell, suggests the following for great wines that are versatile regardless of what guests bring to eat.

Dibon Brut Cava, $11. "All the punch and verve of a champagne without the champagne price tag. Parties are often celebratory, and popping the cork on any sparkling wine is an audible reminder of fun, in addition to being delicious."

Novellum Chardonnay, $13. "Reminds you of why chardonnay is good."

Finca El Reposo Malbec, $10 "If the people at your party enjoy red wine, there's often no better deal than a good Argentinean malbec. Malbec correctly never steals the show. It's the best sidekick ever. Never aggressively dry, rarely thin and bland, malbec hits the spot for a lot of people, and that's what you're looking for when going to a party."

Music must-play:

"12 Days," by Straight No Chaser

This a cappella group's take on "The 12 Days of Christmas" is a fun conversation starter. See who actually knows who sings the "Down in Africa" song the fellas reference.