One of the highlights of Entertaining is Fun! How to be a Popular Hostess is Draper's checklist for before the first guest walks in the door, including tidbits like "Are the children, if they are old enough, ready to say how-do-you-do to your friends before going upstairs?" and "Are the family pets ready to play their part as hosts?" and perhaps most importantly, "Are unusual or foreign magazines placed where a guest can pick them up and perhaps start an interesting conversation?"
The wording may be a bit stiff, but it's a great idea. Put a few unexpected conversation starters around the room — a magazine, a strange souvenir from a trip, a book about entertaining from the 1940s — and you'll keep the chatter lively.