It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But wait a minute, it can also be a super stressful and busy time. Between finding the right gift for everyone on your list, planning for the crush of holiday travel, and trying to manage a growing list of get-togethers, life can feel unmanageable this time of year. And if you’re hosting a holiday party? That stress just seems to magnify.

If you’re in that latter category, you might be so relieved and/or still stressed once you’ve settled on the guest list and narrowed down the menu for your party that you completely forget about the gathering’s ambience. But a proper setting is the difference between your friends, family, and coworkers saying “nice party” and “wow, this was amazing. Thank you for inviting me!” The right lighting, scents, table decor, and personalized touches are all you need to enter the realm of hostess with the mostess.

Whether you’re a hosting pro or this is your first time entertaining, the tips below are sure to elevate your holiday gathering. Many of the suggestions don’t require heavy lifting on your part and are wallet-friendly, but are sure to pack a major impact. Your guests will undoubtedly feel special and welcome.

Nix the harsh lighting

Interior designer Sarah Noncek of Lettuce Entertain You says the right lighting is key to a great soirée. “Everyone looks and, more importantly, feels better and more comfortable in a room with proper lighting,” she tells HelloGiggles. She suggests experimenting with different floor and table lamps to find the right combo. This can simply mean moving lamps from other areas in the house into your party space. She also suggests avoiding harsh halogen and LED lights by replacing them with warm-tone bulbs. And who can forget twinkle lights? You can find them for a few bucks or even buy string lights in a mason jar for some mood lighting.