Top Must-Haves for Holiday Entertaining

When my husband proposed to me, he did so in the living room of our first home.  He had a small area decorated with balloons that spelled out “Welcome Home” and champagne for us to toast with afterward. 

Since then, we have continued creating many beautiful memories together as a family in that exact home, hosting holidays and celebrating loved ones. While hosting seemed daunting at first, I soon realized that with the right tools and preparation, opening our home to others became less intimidating!

So whether you are new to the realm of hosting or a seasoned professional searching for ways to spruce up your upcoming event, we have just what you need to help make your next gathering memorable!

Christmas porch
Image courtesy of

Step One: Create a Grand Entrance

When setting the stage for your guests of honor, I believe the best stage is your front door.  One of my favorite ways to spruce up our home, especially before entertaining, is by purchasing a new welcome mat. 

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

A wonderful option is the personalized framed doormat from Pottery Barn. With two color options, three different sizes, and personalization options, you are sure to make a statement right from the start!

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

When it comes to home decor, you can never go wrong with a year-round wreath.  Simply spruce up for each season!  Add fall leaves and acorns for fall, red ribbon for the holidays, or some artificial Easter eggs in the spring! Or go for the blinged-out holiday wreaths. Here’s a great selection.

stovetop potpourri
Image courtesy of

Step Two: Fill Your Home with the Scents of the Season

Growing up, I always knew the holidays were coming based on the fragrance within our home.  Whether it was the burning of an autumn-scented candle or the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies in the oven, our best holiday memories are often tied to our sense of smell!

Another way to fill your home with the scents of the season is to put on a pot of this stovetop potpourri before your guests arrive

dutch oven
Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Pro Tip – if making this Stovetop Potpourri is on your holiday hosting agenda, make sure you register for one of my favorite kitchen items: the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round OvenNot only is this item a kitchen staple that is sure to come in handy when hosting, but with many colors to choose from, you are sure to find one that fits your home’s overall aesthetic and matches your holiday decor.

Set the Table
Image Courtesy of Mark & Graham

Step Three: Set the Table

When creating my wedding registry, I took every opportunity to personalize any decor item possible.  I absolutely love these Mark & Graham Plaid Dinner NapkinsYou can customize these with your initials or with the initials of your guests of honor, making them a party favor they can enjoy long after your gathering has ended. Either way, these napkins will surely add a special touch to your event’s decor. 

dinner plate
Image Courtesy of Anthropologie

While incorporating family heirlooms into your evening is a sentimental take on your festivities, watching your guests handle your great-grandmother’s wedding china can be nerve-wracking.  These Abi Dinner Plates from Anthropologie give that family heirloom feel without adding unnecessary stress to your evening!  Anthropologie has a plethora of patterns to choose from, with prints to match the holiday season as well.

Get Ready to Raise a Glass

Step Four: Get Ready to Raise a Glass!

Ding-dong, your guests have arrived!  The time has come for you to pop open that chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot and toast to an unforgettable night ahead with your loved ones.  Below are some of our essential barware items that are sure to elevate your dining experience. 

*It is important to note that when hosting an event and serving alcoholic beverages, you must remind your guests to drink responsibly and be willing to make arrangements for them should they decide to have a little too much fun.  An exceptional host always keeps their guests’ well-being in mind!

wine decanter
Image Courtesy of Pottery Barn

A sophisticated way to amp up your table decor and overall dining experience is by incorporating a Wine Decanter into your evening.  According to Hope Family Wines:

            “A wine decanter is a glass vessel used to help aerate wine. It typically has a smaller neck and a wide base to allow as much surface area of the wine to come in contact with the air as possible. To decant a wine, you must slowly pour the wine from the original bottle into the glass vessel (decanter) without disturbing any sediment at the bottom of the wine bottle. ”

We love the sleek look of this Aerating Glass Wine Decanter from Pottery Barn, and of course–don’t forget the personalization option!

However, if you’re like my husband and enjoy crafting some on-theme cocktails, we have the perfect barware set for you!

barware collection
Image courtesy of West Elm

This brass Archer Barware Collection from West Elm is the perfect addition to your holiday hosting tool set.  With all you need to craft the perfect cocktail for your guests, this collection will surely add a beautiful touch to your evening festivities. 

drink dispenser
Image courtesy of Crate&Barrel

This Dax Drink Dispenser is an elegant way to display your beverage of choice, perfect for water, tea, or lemonade.  What we love about this particular dispenser is the variety of stands available with your purchase, so you are sure to find one that fits your style!

Image courtesy of The Cellar at Macy’s

Step Five: Dinner is Served

When it comes to hosting an event, I am a big proponent of the mindset that you can never have too many serving dishes.  The Cellar Whiteware Serveware Entertainment Collection from Macy’s is a beautiful choice for displaying your hor d’oeuvres upon guest arrival.  With a variety of serving dishes to choose from, you’re sure to find a piece in this collection to fit the menu of your upcoming event.

A beautifully crafted salad is one of my favorite eye-catching dishes to showcase when hosting an event. What better way to display such a dish than with this Acacia Serving Bowl from Crate and Barrel?  This serving bowl is such a versatile item to add to your kitchen’s repertoire and can be used in various ways throughout your hosting journey!

dessert tray
Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Last but not least, we must remember our after-dinner delicacies!  We love this Open Kitchen 3-Tiered Stand by Williams Sonoma to elevate the sweetest part of the meal!  Whether you are serving a variety of desserts, single cupcakes, homemade cookies, etc., this stand will come in handy with each event you host because, come on, who doesn’t love dessert?


Time to entertain

When it comes to hosting your next event, our most significant advice is to truly soak it all in and enjoy this moment with your loved ones in your home.  Hosting an event can be a stressful undertaking, but creating memories with those you love is as simple as can be!  Whether your turkey is overcooked or your mashed potatoes are on the lumpy side, these are minor compared to hearing stories shared of favorite holiday memories from the generations who have come before you! 

Also, check out our Simple & Delicious Holiday Recipes blog for the perfect menu for your next event!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The ideas are ours, but we may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

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