12 Essential Products to Buy for Holiday Entertaining

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Cheeseboard on holiday table.

Photo: Food52 / Image Treatment: The Spruce

‘Tis the season for jam-packed social calendars—and we would venture to say that the busy holiday season brings high chances of you hosting a party or two.

Whether you’re planning a seated meal or something more low-key, a little refresh on the essential products in your hosting arsenal is probably in order. We've rounded up a few ideas of things that might not be on your list, but definitely should be.

Here are some essential products you need for holiday hosting and entertaining, from decanters to decorative serving boards. Happy shopping!

Fun Servingware

Whether you’re serving light bites or a full spread, festive servingware is a fun and functional way to elevate your tablescape. Frontgate’s Antler Collection is perfect for adding a bit of seasonal whimsy to your display. 

Frontgate Antler Serveware Collection

Frontgate Antler Serveware Collection

Frontgate

Wooden Serving Boards

Any wooden serving board is a hosting must-have—whether you smear them with butter or go the more traditional route with classic charcuterie. These oak boards in varying sizes would look perfect set along a table, adorned with whatever small bites and spreads will most appeal to your guests. 

Le Regal French Oak Serving Boards

Le Regal French Oak Serving Boards

Food52

A Festive Ice Bucket

Even as the temps drop outside, cold drinks still call for ice. Save yourself the fridge space and invest in an ice bucket. Rather than the usual stainless steel tub, spring for something more festive in gold, rose gold, or copper—or try this marble-inspired option.

S'well Stainless Steel Ice Bucket with Tongs

Stainless Steel Ice Bucket with Tongs

S'well

A Welcoming Scent

Scented candles are a no-go when it comes to tablescapes, but they’re practically a requirement for other areas of the home, especially the entryway. This cypress and pine-scented beauty from Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is the perfect way to welcome your guests inside with a seasonal scent. 

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia 2-Wick Snowflake Embossed Ceramic Cypress & Pine Seasonal Jar Candle

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia 2-Wick Cypress & Pine Seasonal Jar Candle

Target

Red & White Wine Decanters

Depending on your crowd, serving wine can be slightly intimidating. Do you have the right glasses? Is your white chilled to the perfect temp? This pair of decanters removes some of the guesswork. Use the tall and lean decanter for mature wines, while the short and wide one is better for younger wines that need more room to breathe. 

Richard Brendon The Old & Young Wine Decanter

Richard Brendon The Old & Young Wine Decanter

Food52

Wine Charms

Every party reaches that point in the night where it's impossible to keep all the glassware straight. Rather than revert back to your red cup and black marker days, keep it classy and festive with these bejeweled wine charms. 

Joanna Buchanan Celestial Wine Charms

Joanna Buchanan Celestial Wine Charms

Joanna Buchanan

Reusable Dinner Napkins

Fabric napkins are a must for any seated dinner, and sustainable textile brand Geometry has tons of festive prints to carry you from autumn into winter. Their reusable napkins are a perfect size, easy to clean, and best of all, are made from post-consumer recycled materials. 

Geometry Dancing Petals Napkins

Geometry Dancing Petals Napkins

Geometry

Food Picks

Perfect for buffet-style displays or passed hors d'oeuvres, food picks are an oft-overlooked addition to any food spread. These little bees are an adorable way to change that—and much better than plain old toothpicks.

Terrain Bee Brass Picks, Set of 8

Terrain Bee Brass Picks, Set of 8

Terrain

Brass Candlesticks

When it comes to tablescapes, you can get away with next to nothing as long as you have plenty of candlelight. Just be sure to vary your heights from tiny votives to extra-tall candlesticks and your ambiance will be on point all night.

Terrain Classic Antiqued Brass Candlestick

Terrain Classic Antiqued Brass Candlestick

Terrain

Napkin Rings

Even if you’re not setting a formal table, napkin rings are an easy way to make it look like you’ve gone to a ton of effort to create a simple but elegant tablescape. They’re also small enough that you can go as kitschy or as classic as you please without making too much of a statement.  

Alpha Living Home Harvest Fall Leaf Napkin Rings Assorted - Set of 12

A set of 12 gold leaf-shaped napkin rings on a white background.

Amazon

Stunning Table Runner

Table runners aren’t required, but they do give the impression of a finished, final look, with or without the tablecloth underneath. Opt for something simple and timeless to carry you across seasons.

Vitalizart Cheesecloth Table Runner

Vitalizart Cheesecloth Table Runner

Amazon

Food Tags

Most dinner parties involve some sort of buffet-style element—whether it's your cheese to kick off the night or a dessert bar to close down the meal. Mini signs are a great way to designate what's on the table, and if your guests are likely to bring a dish of their own, buy a multi-pack so you can easily fill in blank tags on the spot.

OleOletOy Store Mini Chalkboard Signs

OleOletOy Store Mini Chalkboard Signs

Amazon

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