Hosting dinner for the holidays can be a daunting task — and an expensive one. Even if you already have the basics like plates and silverware, you’ll still need serving items and decorations to make it all come together, at least if you’re an aspiring Ina Garten like me. This year, I’m cooking Thanksgiving for about a dozen people in my Bushwick apartment. Here are the 15 hosting essentials I bought for the occasion, all on Amazon and all under $50.
A Deceptively Expensive-Looking Tablecloth
This will make my Ikea table look fancy, and since it’s $7, I won’t care if it gets messed up.
A Chic Gravy Boat
Anchor Hocking Gravy Boat
Because what is Thanksgiving without gravy?
Dessert Plates That Look Like Real China
Susty Party Plates (Pack of 50)
These are heavy duty, and since there are 50 of them, you can use them for dessert and for snacking a few hours after dinner when another wave of hunger hits.
Joy Looker Tongs (Set of 3)
Since I’ll be cooking for what will feel like a decade, I’m going to serve the food buffet-style rather than plating it. These tongs will make the presentation feel a little more special.
Vases to Spruce Up Your Place
Hosley Vases (Set of 3)
I once saw a designer on HGTV transform a bland room by demanding her assistant get three vases instead of one. I’ll be putting these on my table, coffee table, and side table to pull the room together.
Plastic Glasses That Don’t Break
Tossware Plastic Glasses (Set of 12)
I actually bought these for my rehearsal dinner toast a couple months back and was impressed with the quality. They’re perfect whether you’re serving tap water or champagne.
Serving Boards for Snacks
Totally Bamboo Cutting Boards (Set of 3)
Put cheese and fruit on them before dinner.
Shiny Plastic Silverware
Cutlerex Gold Flatware (130 Count)
I refuse to wash more cutlery for dessert, so this gold flatware will do the trick.
If You Want Real Wineglasses
Libbey Stemless Glasses (Set of 12)
They work for red and white wine and are slim enough that they won’t take up much storage space.
Reusable Dinner Napkins
Utopia Dinner Napkins (Pack of 12)
Don’t make the mistake of giving people paper napkins. You can wash these and reuse them every time you host.
For Making the Napkins Look Luxe
DII Napkin Rings (Set of 12)
Even if you get the cloth napkins in white instead of a color, these napkin rings add an upscale touch without much effort.
Simple Candles to Add Ambiance
Yankee Candle Clean Cotton Candle
Don’t tell anyone, but I tape the top down and soak these in water for 20 minutes so that the label comes off. Yankee Candle Company? What are you talking about? This is a chic French brand you’ve never heard of.
Bowls for Every Side
Dowan Serving Bowls (Set of 2)
They’re real porcelain, so they’re hefty enough to hold any sides I’m serving.
Lifver Porcelain Serving Platters (Set of 3)
The set comes with three different sizes so you can use them for different courses. The biggest can fit a whole turkey.
For Pouring Wine The Fancy Way
Le Chateua Wine Crystal Decanter
Of course you could just pour from the bottle, but what’s the fun in that?
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