Cranberry Sauce: Whole berry or jellied, it's bound to land on your tablecloth today, so mid-meal, just scrape up the excess with a spoon and sponge on a little cool water. When the party's over, mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent into 1 quart cool water. Soak the stain for about 15 minutes. Rinse and sponge with rubbing alcohol, if the stain remains. Finally, launder it as usual with a little bleach added, if possible.
Butter (from Tablecloth) Use salt to absorb the grease while it's still fresh… this also keeps it from soaking further into the fabric (artificial sweetener will also work). The next day, pretreat the stain with your usual laundry spot remover or rub a little liquid detergent into the stain and launder it in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.
Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie: Pick up the pieces and pull as much of the pie as you can out of the carpet fibers with a damp cloth. When your guests leave, sponge the stain with a cloth dipped into a solution of 1 tablespoon plain dishwashing liquid and 2 cups warm water. Rinse and blot dry. If a telltale stain remains, mix 1 tablespoon nonsudsy ammonia (caution: don't use ammonia on silk or wool carpets) into 2 cups warm water. Sponge and blot the stain until it disappears. Rinse and blot dry.
From Better Homes & Gardens:
Lipstick Stains on Napkins: After your guests leave, separate the lipstick-stained cloth napkins from the others and remove excess lipstick from them with a dull knife. Apply mineral spirits to the stained area with a dropper and a brush, then rinse the area with rubbing alcohol. Repeat these two steps as many times as needed until the stain is removed, then wash the napkins using an enzyme detergent.
Red Wine: Grab some paper towels or absorbent cloths and blot up as much of the liquid as you can. Stand on the towels, to sop up what's deep down in the fibers. Dampen a clean cloth with plain water and quickly sponge the stain, or keep a spray bottle handy that's already filled with cool water and spritz the splotch. Blot up as much as you can with dry towels. Place a clean, dry towel over the stain to keep people from walking on it, and go back to your guests. To finish it later, mix up a solution of 1 tablespoon plain hand dishwashing liquid (without any added ingredients), 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Dampen a cloth with the mixture and apply it to the stain a little bit at a time (too much and it'll be hard to rinse out), blotting with a dry cloth as the stain dissolves. When the stain is gone, rinse well with a clean, damp cloth and blot dry. Pile on a clean stack of paper towels, place a heavy vase or pot on top, and leave it overnight. The next day, toss the paper towel (along with any remaining stain it's absorbed) and fluff the carpet.
Coffee: Blot up as much of the spilled coffee as possible. Use plain water or mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with plain water or the detergent/ vinegar solution. Apply a little bit at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain disappears. If using a detergent/vinegar solution, sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove the solution.
Gravy (from Tablecloth): Spoon up gravy as fast as you can. Sprinkle artificial sweetener or flour over the stained area to absorb the grease. Put the tablecloth into a sink and soak in a mixture of one teaspoon of a mild, colorless detergent with each cup of lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Then wash as usual and let air dry—don’t put in the dryer.
From the Spectrum Blog:
Wax: Start by picking out the big chunks with your fingers. Next, get a brown paper bag (the same one you pack your lunch in) and lay it on top of the wax spill. Heat your iron to a warm setting (not too hot), and place it on top of the paper bag. Iron over the brown paper bag. The wax will begin to melt and stick to the paper bag. Be careful not to iron off the paper bag as this could damage the carpet depending on its material. Check your progress and repeat if needed. For larger areas, you may need several paper bags to remove as much wax as you can. Once you’ve done this, call a professional to help pull any residual wax.
*The IICRC's study found the top five holiday stains to be chocolate, fruit punch, grease, wine and wax. But certain parts of the country - namely the midwest - had some more interesting stains to contend with. Read the full press release here.