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(Lisa Romerein)

The second Saturday of December (that’s this weekend in case you’ve lost count of how fast the season is flying by!) is the most popular night of the year to throw a holiday party, according to the online stationery service Paperless Post. And perhaps you are the eager host of a holiday soiree yourself—but between planning the menu and decorating the house, even the most seasoned party host can use a shortcut. Here are a few of the best entertaining tips from our sister brands to get you through the evening with a minimum of stress and a maximum of holiday cheer.

3 No-Bake Cookie RecipesTry Southern Living’s tasty cookie ideas that are so simple they don’t even require you turn on the oven.[youtube

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3 Holiday Cocktail IdeasSouthern Living advises you skip the expensive and time-consuming full bar and instead go with beer, wine, and a festive cocktail or two.[youtube

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Store-Bought Entertaining ShortcutsCooking Light lets you off the hook with these healthy items you can buy at the grocery store and doctor up a little for guests.[youtube

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And, as for you attendees, you still can’t go wrong with the classic hostess gift of a bottle of wine—but, hey, you didn't spend all week cooking and cleaning, so step it up a notch and say "thank you" with one of these festive wrapping ideas, from Southern Living.[youtube

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