Shopping·13 min read

22 Home Essentials for Hosting This Holiday Season

the best products for holiday hosting
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Food52, ComingSoon, Anthropologie
November 16, 2023

This post was originally published in November 2021 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Oh, and if something's out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) at time of publication.

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.

Dinner plates

A set of dinner plates or cereal bowls…

Every tablescape needs a little pop of color. We love these handmade enamel bowls and plates that remind us of our camping days. They’re made from a steel base with a porcelain overlay and are campfire-, oven-, stovetop-, and grill-safe. Pair them with the large rectangle tray or basin, and give yourself a pat on the back. ($64+, Food52)

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Coasters so pretty you won’t have to ask your guests to use them…

These are made from premium acrylic, have a non-slip base, and can withstand high temps — perfect for mugs of tea or hot chocolate. You’ll get a set of four in ombre orange, green, blue, and pink. Just be sure to peel off the protective covering to reveal their full beauty. ($6.99/set of 4, Amazon

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Sake set
Coming Soon

A sake set for two…

You’ll get one carafe and two glasses handcrafted from green or pink soda-lime glass. Snag two more glasses on their own for larger parties. Not a sake drinker? This is a festive way to serve any drink of choice, including water and juice. ($170, Coming Soon)

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Small-batch incense that’ll remind you of your travels…

Elevate the ambiance in your home with these slow-burning incense sticks. They were developed alongside master perfumers to capture scents from places around the world, from Tuscon to Stockholm. They burn for around 30 minutes and are handmade on the island of Awaji, Japan. ($50, Abask)

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An aesthetically pleasing game of tic-tac-toe…

Even the grown-ups won’t be able to turn down a game after dinner. It comes with thick acrylic X’s and O’s they’ll love placing, and comes in either bright pink or black. ($220, Anthropologie)

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Bed Threads

Scalloped placemats in cute color combos…

Show off your sense of style with these trendy placemats. They come in seven color combinations so you can match them with your dishware. The durable linen construction is machine-washable, so with proper care, you can hang onto these for years. ($80/set of 4, Bed Threads)

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Candle Holders

Delicate candle holders for a soft-lit evening…

Set the mood with these simple taper candle holders. You’ll get a pack of four in varying heights to place in the center of your tablescape as the final touch. The borosilicate glass works well with any tablescape. Psst…snag these colored candles to switch up the vibe for your next party. ($26.99/set of 4, Amazon)

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Baking mats

Reusable mats for all your baking needs…

These silicone mats will perfectly line your pan and are a great replacement for foil or parchment paper. They’re nonstick, dishwasher-safe, and also work as a prep board if you’re rolling dough and working with flour. ($16.90/2-pack, Amazon)

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Reusable silicone storage bags that’ll replace single-use bags…

Goodbye, plastic. It was (not that) nice knowing you. Great for food storage, these bags are airtight. Plus, you can put them in the freezer or microwave. Just pop leftovers inside, pinch them closed, and place in the fridge. If you hate stacking Tupperware, these are for you. You can also use them for carrying snacks while on the go. ($36.01/4-pack, Amazon)

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nontoxic cookware

A chic, nontoxic cookware set to complement 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. Plus, the set comes with a minimalistic storage unit to keep things looking neat (and IG-ready) for when the doorbell starts ringing. Psst...Skimm’rs get a $25 gift card when they spend $95+. Dinner is served. ($355.50 for a limited time, Caraway)

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A pumpkin-caramel candle

A candle with notes of all the season’s favorites…

In case you opt for store-bought pies, this candle will make up for the lack of pecan and pumpkin scent in the air. Even better? It has a burn time of 60-80 hours so you can enjoy long before and after the celebrations. ($28.50, Homesick)

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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. Now all that’s left is cheese and crackers. ($35.99, Amazon)

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 paint palette
Uncommon Goods

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. ($39.95, PhoneSoap)

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A fully stocked kitchen apron
Hedley & Bennett

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. Your holiday outfit will stay clean and you won’t have to hold back while whipping up your feast. ($105, 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
InspiredByZara on Etsy

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

No awkward interactions between those family members who may 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. ($6.77, InspiredByZara via Etsy)

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veggie chopper with multiple blades

A tool that’ll save you all that time spent trying to dice an onion…

This thing can chop, slice, grate, and spiralize. It’s got six blades total, a peeler, cleaning brush, finger guard, and bin so your ingredients won’t be all over your kitchen countertop. Less time prepping = more time to eat. ($19.99, 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 want to keep those items cold too. Cheers to that. ($30.99, Amazon)

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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. ($13.99, 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. ($8.98, Amazon)

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