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Party tips from Shannon Allen

By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff / December 16, 2010

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Holiday entertaining tips from Shannon Allen

Tell guests to arrive 30 minutes later than you would like them there “People always show up early. Telling them to come later helps avoid the last-minute frenzy.’’

Prepare food in advance “It’s one of the best things I learned from my mother-in-law. It can get so hectic with last-minute guests.’’

Have one dish around that everybody can help make together “That way you’re talking and noshing. It’s a good way to get guests involved in food preparation.’’

Any space (and guest) looks better with candlelight “Ray always comes into the house and turns the lights all the way up, but I love mood lighting.’’