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10/07/2013 08:11 am ET

15 Simple Dinner Party Ideas

David Meredith

Universal Party Truths: The first guest will arrive early. The pots and pans won’t be washed. And a half-dozen folks will squeeze into the kitchen while you’re still slicing and dicing. Instead of fighting the facts, finesse your game plan. With these clever tips from entertaining experts, you can keep holiday (or any-day) guests happy and occupied—and make yourself less harried, from hello to good-bye.

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