Get Ahead: 10 Holiday Hostess Secrets

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Between hosting relatives and shopping for presents, we're heading into one of the busiest times of the year. If you're already worried about finding the time to put festive food on the table, stop stressing and start planning ahead. eHow Food has a list of freezer-friendly cookies and DIY decorations.

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Freeze Sugar Cookie Dough

It if were up to us, we would always have a batch of sugar cookie dough stored away in our freezer, because these treats are always in season. Before the holiday madness descends, make and freeze the dough as you have time. Then, as your event draws nearer, baking the cookies and making the icing is a quick and easy as getting the kids prepped and ready in their decorating aprons. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies in HD

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Make Shortbread Ahead of Time

Another great dough that you can make ahead of time, this is excellent to have on hand because you will always be less than 10 minutes away from having rich and delicious shortbread. Whether the occasion calls for something to dip in your coffee or you've been summoned to an impromptu cookie exchange, you can't go wrong with Heather's buttery shortbread. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Rich, Buttery Shortbread Cookies in HD

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Freeze Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Restless little ones with overactive hands will absolutely love your spur-of-the-moment Gingerbread House Contest. That's right – with Heather's help, you can pre-plan for those snow days by making and freezing this versatile holiday dough ahead of time. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Gingerbread Cookies in HD

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Keep a Stock of Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Curb your sugar crash before it starts by making these chocolate pretzels to always have on hand. With just enough salt, sugar and carbs, these are the perfect pick me up when you're trying to shop 'till you drop or tide your guests over until the main dish. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Sweet and Salty Chocolate-Covered Pretzels in HD

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Make a Batch of Roasted Almonds

Speaking of afternoon pick-me-ups or aperitif accompaniments, toasted almonds are an excellent addition to any shopping bag, coffee table or Christmas stocking. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Spicy Toasted Almonds in HD

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Stock Your Home Bar

The first line of defense against an infusion of guests is a well-stocked home bar. Before hosting your holiday party, review Joe Campanele's tips so everyone from liquor drinkers to wine lovers can have an evening of smooth sipping. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Stocking Your Home Bar in HD

Man with champagne bottle
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Wrap Up Wine Bottles

We've all been halfway out of the house before realizing that we can't arrive to the holiday party empty handed. Save your own future self by pre-wrapping your favorite wine Evette Rios-style, so that you will be ready at any moment to hurry to your holiday party with your hosting gift. - in association with Rachael Ray

Related: Watch Wrapping Wine as a Gift in HD

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