As you can probably tell by your Champagne headache, this time of year is the Hosting Olympics. It is party season, people — and it's not for rookies. If you are planning your first holiday cocktail event, you'd better be prepared for the hordes of people storming into your home, demanding sugar-coated, salted-caramel merriment for three to five hours. Then, you get to clean up after them.
In the hopes that you might get to actually enjoy your party, we brought in a ringer. Giada De Laurentiis got us through Thanksgiving without a hitch, and now we've turned to her again for the holidays. This lady is no stranger to feeding (and boozing) a crowd, and she gave us her tips for doing so with style. Check out De Laurentiis' hints, recipes, and absolute musts that will help you throw the perfect festive evening. Let's do this.