The holidays are here, and chances are you have your fair share of parties to attend.

You probably know the rules as a guest ... Bring a bottle of wine and follow up with a thank-you note.

But what if you're the one throwing the party? There are some rules in place for you, too.

Here are some things that you should know -- that party guests won't tell you:

Put some thought into the food you serve (and how you serve it) -- If you're serving a buffet meal, your party guests need enough surfaces to eat on. Either have plenty of seating or just serve finger foods.

Make sure there's enough room for everyone to mingle -- If your guests walk into a crush of people and can't move around, it will be no fun for anybody.

Don't forget about the bathroom -- Cleaning your bathroom is vital. A messy bathroom (with no toilet paper) will tarnish your guests' impression in a big hurry.

Be clear whether kids are welcome or not -- Simply say, "adults only" or "kids welcome" on the invitation.

Keep dogs and cats out of sight -- You may love your pets, but your guests don't. Dog slobber and cat fur are serious buzz kills.