10 Christmas Entertaining Essentials

Clear glass sphere string lights

Pottery Barn


If you're anything like us, one of the reasons you get so amped for the holiday season is because it's the best time of year to get together and catch up with friends and family. As a host or hostess, you get to bring out the fancy barware, strew twinkle lights around with reckless abandon and have a cocktail just about any night of the week. (Or afternoon, for that matter!)

To help you ready your home for Christmas entertaining, we've gathered all the essentials you need to host a festive and fun gathering this season.

  • 01 of 10

    Strings of Lights

    Clear glass globe string lights

    Pottery Barn

    Naturally, no list of Christmas entertaining essentials is complete without some string lights. Where to put them? Everywhere, of course. Hang them from the banister, coil them in a clear vase, wrap them around the fireplace hearth or drape them on your bed frame—this time of year you can't have enough.

  • 02 of 10

    Festive Serving Trays

    plaid lucite serving trays

    Mark & Graham 

    Whether you use them to adorn a coffee table during the holiday season—layered with candles and knick-knacks—or serve hors d'oeuvres to your grateful guests, we love how these monogrammed lacquered trays look with Christmas decor.

  • 03 of 10

    Champagne Coupes


    Of course, champagne is a must during the holiday season. But drinking out of an ordinary champagne glass? No way! There's no better excuse than, "It's Christmas!" to upgrade to the most glamorous barware around—the champagne coupe! We love this gold-rimmed set from Target that's worthy of a treat yourself occasion or perfect as a hostess gift, too.

  • 04 of 10

    A Vinyl Record Player

    Vintage inspired record player


    There's something about music playing on a vinyl record that can change the whole mood of a party or gathering. We love the gentle crackling and clean authentic sound, whether or not you decide to spin some holiday albums or just some classic rock.

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  • 05 of 10

    A Super-Sized Wine Bowl

    Wine chiller
    Mark and Graham

    There's something so glamorous about a wine bowl, piled high with ice and stocked with champagne and white wine. For your Christmas and holiday gatherings, consider investing in a timeless, oversized silver bowl that will invite guests to pop the bubbly and celebrate well.

    Celebration wine bowl, $149, Mark & Graham

  • 06 of 10

    Holiday Dishes & Plates

    Spode holiday dinnerware


    When it comes to holiday dishes, there's really nothing as nostalgic and traditional as the Spode Christmas Tree collection. Chances are even if your family didn't have a set, you knew someone who did. Keep the tradition alive with their classic four-piece dinner set that's perfect for family dinners or a small gathering.

  • 07 of 10

    Instagram-Worthy Board Games

    Colorful backgammon set


    Long weekends with family often mean raiding your well-worn collection of classic board games. If you want to set a more 'grammable scene for your holiday get-togethers this season, might we suggest purchasing an eye-catching version of your favorite game? Backgammon is a classic board game and we love the bright colors of this version. Why not turn your Christmas party into a game night?

  • 08 of 10

    Glass Mugs for Hot Drinks

    Glass mug
    Crate & Barrel

    Is there anything better than a hot buttered rum or a hot toddy during the holiday season? Alcoholic or not, we love the look of a hot drink in one of these clear glass mugs. The best part? Their so affordable you can stock up and enjoy toasty warm drinks all season long.

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  • 09 of 10

    Easy, Cozy Extra Seating

    Plush stool

    You can have all the plates and glasses and sparkling lights in the world, but more than that, it's important to have a few extra spots for your guests to rest their buns. We love these cozy and stylish stools from Target that can double (and triple!) as ottomans and side tables (Just rest a tray on top to hold snacks and drinks steady.)

  • 10 of 10

    Tartan Blankets

    Tartan throws
    Williams Sonoma

    Entertaining over the holiday season can mean exactly what you want it to, which means you might have a formal seated dinner for 12 or just a cozy night in with your girlfriends, a plate of cookies and a screening of "The Holiday." If you're planning a festive night in, wrap yourself (and whoever else you've invited, wink wink) in a stylish and season tartan throw.