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Every occasion calls out for something extra, whether it's flowers you set on the table, foods to honor a special gathering, or the selection of music. For both hostess and guest, consideration of those around you is among the most important qualities for any enjoyable occasion. A smile and sense of humor are also essential.. A good hostess is ultimately defined by a welcoming and gracious demeanor. In Occasions, designer Kate Spade invites you into her world of easy, festive entertaining, where the emphasis is not on "the perfect meal" but on having "the perfect time." It's a world where laughter and conversation at dinner parties are encouraged and where spilled red wine on the couch is no reason to stop the music. As Kate says, "Making your guests feel at home is truly an art and it's one worth cultivating." Any occasion begins with preparation, and at the outset Kate describes such basic components as lighting (votive candles are a must); table linens, flatware, and glassware; flowers (trimmed short and tightly massed); even bedding for overnight or weekend guests. Party shopping lists, hors d'oeuvres and cocktail favorites, and dinner party menus are all included. An "Alphabet of Special Events," from baby showers to tailgate picnics, is both anecdotal and useful for would-be hostesses everywhere. Whether you entertain a lot or a little, and whether your style is casual or formal, Occasions, with more than 230 charming watercolor illustrations, is a handy and fresh approach to the subject, a book to be treasured today and over the years. Above all, at any gathering "hospitality makes for infectious fun."