17 Home Essentials for Hosting This Holiday Season

Published on: Nov 18, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
the best products for holiday hostingPhoto: Food52 | Design: theSkimm

The holidays are right around the corner, and that means cooking, hosting, and (unfortunately) cleaning. Maybe you’re having people over for Thanksgiving, or you’re opening your home for a holiday party or dinner in December. Whatever it is, we know that playing host can be pretty stressful — from making sure there’s enough food to keeping everyone entertained.

That’s why we’re here. We rounded up smart products to help you ace the whole ‘mi casa es tu casa’ thing. So you can get off your feet and actually enjoy time with friends and family too. You deserve it. 


 festive Thanksgiving plates
Festive Thanksgiving plates that are definitely IG-worthy…

Turkeys and gourds and foxes, oh my. Set the mood with adorable plates that are perfectly themed. Everything about them, from the autumnal colors to the collection of wildlife, is seasonally on-brand. ($11.20, Anthropologie)

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nontoxic cookware
A chic, nontoxic cookware set to compliment your signature holiday dish…

The one everyone begs you to share the recipe for. This colorful cookware can help you really show it off. Each pan is designed with a chemical-free, nonstick ceramic coating. So you can spend less time cleaning and more time hostessing with the mostess-ing. Plus, the set comes with a minimalistic storage unit to keep things looking neat (and IG-ready) for when the doorbell starts ringing. Psst...it’s usually $395, but Skimm’rs can save over $50 when they shop now. Dinner is served.* ($336 for a limited time, Caraway)

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A pumpkin-caramel candle
A pumpkin-caramel candle for your tablescape…

That also happens to be organic and safe for pets. It’ll burn for up to 40 hours and is free from pesticides, paraffins, preservatives, and petroleum. What we really love about these small-batch candles? They are made by a woman-founded business that uses a coconut-soy wax blend. Aka the candles are pet-friendly. Goodbye, ruff life. ($25, Companion Candles)

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A fun activity kit
A fun activity kit that has 45 games and ideas to entertain little ones…

So the adults can spend some extra time chatting without too much pestering from the kids table. The kit uses easy-to-find household items (cups, toothpicks, ice) and comes packed with timed challenges, team activities, puzzles, colored markers, and more. It’s meant for all ages, so the entire family can get involved. Once you’re done with dessert, you’ll be able to keep everyone together and laughing thanks to this kit. ($24.99, Little Bridges)

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A cheese board
A cheese board and utensil set for those charcuterie lovers…

Consider your app game upgraded. Now you can be properly prepared when it comes to serving a group. This set comes with two boards with inserts, so you’ll be able to group things like nuts and grapes neatly. You’ll also get six sampler forks, two ceramic bowls for dips and sauces, and a set of utensils and knives. So everything you need to set the scene. Now all that’s left to get is cheese and crackers. ($42.99, Amazon)

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 paint palette
And a paint palette serving board that’s truly adorable…

Calling all creative thinkers — this platter is for you. It’s the cutest option for hors d'oeuvres, and includes six colorful bowls for any and all items. Since the serving board is curved and includes a thumb hole, it’s easy to carry around. Which will be convenient when you decide to make a few rounds around the room to say hello to guests. ($38, Uncommon Goods)

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A black truffle oil
A black truffle oil that’ll take your dishes to the next level…

Think black winter truffles infused into olive oil. Add it to pasta, pizza, fries, mashed potatoes, and popcorn. It’s more of a finishing oil, so once your meal is complete, add a few drops and presto. Flavors = enhanced. PS: It’s not spicy, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it’s vegan. ($24.99, Truff)

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A UV sanitizer
A UV sanitizer for everyone’s phones that’ll neutralize bacteria in minutes…

Stop using disinfectant wipes. This sanitizing box kills 99.99% of germs living on the surface of your phone, all while charging your device. We suggest keeping the box in your entryway. When a guest walks through the door, they’ll pop their phone into the box. With bulbs on the top and bottom, they’ll get 360-degree disinfection. ($79.95, PhoneSoap)

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A fully stocked kitchen apron
A fully stocked kitchen apron to wear while cooking…

It’s got a chest pocket for your phone or pen, an easy-access loop to hang tongs or towels from, and two hip pockets. The strap ties are extra-long so you can tie them in the front or back. The fabric is durable so it can handle a good washing and is great for messy hands that need a thorough wiping. Consider it your must-have accessory. Your holiday outfit will stay clean and you won’t have to hold back while whipping up your feast. ($95, Hedley & Bennett)

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Compostable and eco-friendly home essentials
Compostable and eco-friendly home essentials to stock up on…

Like bamboo toilet paper, bamboo paper towels, and compostable tall kitchen bags. The toilet paper is tree-free, three-ply, and septic-safe. The paper towels are also tree-free and come in a six-pack. When you’re clearing the table, throw trash into one of the compostable 13-gallon bags. They won’t leak and they’re made from plants. Do a little good for the earth. (Shop all options here, Repurpose)

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Pumpkin place cards
Pumpkin place cards so everyone at your table knows where to sit…

No awkward interactions between those family members who mayyyy not get along that well. Now you can have a seating plan that works for everyone. The place cards come in the form of a digital file. Once you purchase, you’ll be able to download immediately and start editing. PSA: Owning a printer is key here, or you can do that work at your local library. ($5.46, InspiredByZara on Etsy)

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veggie chopper with multiple blades
A veggie chopper so you don’t need to spend too much time slicing mushrooms…

Put the knife down. This multi-chopper has four interchangeable options: a spiralizer, a ribbon blade, a small dice blade, and a large dice blade. So you’ll be able to cut tomatoes, onions, and carrots like a pro. Sigh of relief sold separately. ($29.99, Amazon)

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A double-walled ice bucket
A double-walled ice bucket with tongs and a garnish tray…

For the guests who enjoy a good cocktail, having some basics on hand is a must. This bucket will actually keep ice cold, but thanks to the internal reservoir, melted water is stored away from the cubes that are left. The tongs can rest on the side of the bucket, and the garnish tray can nestle inside if you wanna keep those items cold too. Cheers to that. ($30.99, Amazon)

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A few woven pumpkins
A few woven pumpkins to up your fall home decor…

It’s nice to have your table decked out, but don’t forget about the rest of your space. These little pumpkins to the rescue. They’re very cute and come in a few different sizes, so you can cluster them together on an entryway table or mantel. ($5, Target)

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A jar opener
A jar opener that’ll do the hard work for you...

Before the holidays, install this tool underneath a cabinet via the adhesive backing and three included screws. It can be used to open jars and bottles of all sizes. It’s also a great solution for anyone with limited use of their hands. The magic lies in the metal teeth that’ll grip lids with ease. There’s no gravy jar (or cranberry sauce jar) that can’t be opened. ($14.87, Amazon)

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A fume-free oven spray
A fume-free oven spray that’ll cut through grease and baked-on foods…

Cooking is tons of fun when you’re enjoying the meal, but not so much when cleanup rolls around. To help cut down your time spent scrubbing, use this fast-acting spray that only needs 30 seconds to work. Just let it sit and then wipe away the residue with a damp rag — no need for added cleansers or soaps. It also works on barbecues. Check out that shine. ($7.99, Amazon)

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*This denotes a sponsored post. 

If you buy anything from this article, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) when we published. Thanks.

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Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla