The Unexpected Holiday Entertaining Essential You Shouldn’t Host Without

Stock up now.

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A decorative holiday plate on a patterned holiday tablecloth with other holiday details

With parties somewhat back in full swing, there’s a lot more to handle this year for the holidays. Though you likely kept things small last year, in 2021, there are gatherings, dinners, and soirées to host, which means you need all the holiday entertaining essentials that go along with them. Sure, you probably have some stuff in storage from years past. But with a new season comes new styles — and, let’s be real, your stock could probably use an expert-approved re-up anyway to ensure you’re doing your guests right.

So, get your checklist ready: TZR has gathered tips from interior designers on all the stylish party necessities you should have the next time you host.

First things first: It may be boring, but Cindy Rinfret, principal designer of Rinfret, Ltd., stresses the importance of checking your bulbs, since you don’t want to be running to Home Depot the day of the party to replace them. “While you’re at it, make sure you have warm light bulbs!” she says. “Cooler light can be sterile and uninviting in a home setting." Another technical detail to sort out? “Check your stereo system and make sure it pairs to your phone or source of music,” explains Rinfret. “This is not something you want to figure out doesn’t work as your guests arrive at the house. It’s a good opportunity to pair everything or get an updated speaker system!”

Don’t worry, though; there are more fun things to prepare as well. Mary Graham and Nicole Salvesen of Salvesen Graham recommend stocking up on fresh flowers or greenery, reminding that this doesn’t necessarily have to be a big expense. “We love nothing more than visiting our local garden center to pick up little plants that are interesting and can create a really unique look on the table and around the house in little pots or repotted in colored glasses,” they say.

Speaking of decorating the table, Graham and Salvesen abide by a “more is more” rule when it comes to celebrations. “Essentials are beautiful glassware, interesting plates, and wonderful linens." Rinfret shares similar thoughts, explaining that she loves creating a festive table with all the “good stuff” she owns and anything that reminds her of the holidays. “I take out my crystal, candelabras, and fine silver. Heavier pieces make more sense in the colder months as they can feel cozy and luxurious. A fun themed plate is another great nod to the holidays,” Rinfret says.

And, of course, ensure you have plenty of candles. Graham and Salvesen recommend using a mixture of heights, and Rinfret suggests having scented candles on hand. “Not only do they give off a great scent, but candlelight helps create an ambiance.”

Holiday parties are already in full swing, so don’t waste any time refreshing your entertaining essentials. The products your arsenal shouldn’t be without, are up ahead.

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