Giada's Tips for Handling 10 Common Holiday Party Problems

Get Giada De Laurentiis' advice for dealing with spills, late guests, nosy relatives and more party snafus.

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Giada's Foolproof Plan

The host of Giada's Holiday Handbook shares how she manages these sometimes-tricky situations and offers advice for navigating the issues at your house.

When Someone Spills Red Wine on Your White Carpet

"I try not to ever serve red wine, ever, for that exact reason. Club soda — I think lots of club soda will help to get it out. And just put club soda on there and just start dabbing, as much as possible."

When Someone Shows Up One Hour Late to Your Sit-Down Dinner

"I'm OK with it. I usually don’t make a big scene out of it. And a lot of times I won't start them from the beginning. A lot of times they're going to eat whatever course we’re on. And I’ll put it all on one plate."

When Two Guests Argue Over Politics

"I think that I would turn up the music and grab one of them and try to get them to dance or do something fun or do something funny. That kind of distracts everybody."

When Someone Gets Too Tipsy

"That’s when you put them in a cab and send them home. Or get one of your other relatives to just drive them home. And get them out of your house."

When You Run Out of Food

"It does happen when people bring extra guests that you didn't anticipate. Everyone brings a plus one, two, three. ... If I start to see that I'm going to run into that problem of running out of food, I will cook some pasta."

When the Oven Breaks Before You're Finished Cooking

"I have a barbecue. So I would turn the barbecue on and just throw everything in the barbecue."

When Your Nosy Aunt Commandeers the Cooking

"Oh, that happens to me all the time. So, I handle that in a few ways. Sometimes I give it up, and I’ve let her finish. But I also say, 'So, OK, just so you are aware, you will take all credit for this.' And other times I will say — and I do have an aunt that does just that — I will basically just say to her: 'We can make it again together, but this time it's my dinner party. Let’s be respectful.'"

When Someone Tells You About Their Dietary Restrictions at the Last Minute

"I usually create a menu that is very diversified [so] that there is something for everyone, so I’m usually covered in one way or another. And I don’t assemble all my dishes until the very last minute, so I’m able to pull things out."

When a Guest Brings Extra People You Didn't Expect

"I do basically accept them with open arms 'cause I think that happens to everybody, and when you're the guest that somebody brings and you had no idea that that was the case, you feel humiliated. So I usually take my friend and their friends and set them up at the bar area or at the counter with a stool in the kitchen. ... I usually have enough food, and if I don’t, I will make it."

When Lingering Guests Won't Leave at the End of the Party

"Lights out. Lights out. I turn the lights off, and that usually will get rid of people. And if it does not get rid of them, they fall asleep on my couch and they let themselves out at the end of the night. But I literally turn the lights out and go upstairs. I think that's the sure way of letting them know that it is over." 

Want More Giada's Holiday Handbook?

Check out Food Network's headquarters for all things Giada's Holiday Handbook to get her best party-ready recipes and seasonal menus.

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