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The doorbell rings. Open the door with a big smile and welcome them in. Ask what they'd like to drink, hand them a plate and point out some of the hors d'oeuvres. There's something about having food and drink in hand that makes conversation easier, even if it's only about the appetizers. After that, it's easy to guide your guests to someone they already know or someone with whom they might have something in common. A gracious host flavors the party with a welcoming smile and offering up good food and companionship.