The essentials that every holiday host should have on hand

Last Updated November 2019

The best host is always thinking 10 steps ahead. To ensure you’re fully prepared and ready to do your job to the best of your abilities, it would make sense to start planning out the details now.We’ve put together a list of the essentials you’ll want around to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered this holiday season.

For your hosting needs

Candles are always a popular item during the holidays, but you can take this gift idea to a level beyond wax and wicks with this attractive candle holder gift set. Not only does it provide a safer way to burn candles, but it makes a great home accent piece during the Christmas season and all year long.

$559.00 at Amazon

There are a lot of tasks to do to prepare your home for holiday get-togethers, but keeping your floors clean doesn’t have to be one of them when you let a robotic vacuum do the work for you. Features like reliable WiFi connectivity, a revamped motor that delivers powerful suction, and an innovative brush system that cleans carpet and hard flooring surfaces make the Roomba 960 a stand-out model with a loyal fan following. This intuitive robot even knows when to return to its charging station for a reboot, and navigates the twists and turns of your home like a pro. 

from $119.95 at Amazon

Having out-of-town family members and friends stay at your place during the holiday season can be fun, but not everyone has a guest bedroom. If you find yourself alternating guests between your sofa and recliner, it’s time to invest in an air mattress like the Dream Series that boasts a patented internal pump that makes the task of inflating and deflating a breeze. With a slip-resistant bottom and 40 comforting air coils, your guests will feel right at home. 

$59.99 at Amazon

Cheese is always a popular food to serve to guests at parties, but you need the right accessories for perfect presentation. This host-helper is a cheeseboard and so much more, thanks to the grooved edges for placing items like crackers, toppings, olives, and more. The bottom features a concealed drawer for stashing knives, forks, and other utensils. This multipurpose server is made of natural bamboo that's durable and sustainable, and even comes with four serving utensils.

$9.99 on Amazon

If you’ll be serving wine at holiday gatherings, it’s always a good idea to provide a way for your guests to identify their glasses. You can easily personalize them with wine glass markers that are made to write on smooth glass surfaces. You’ll get five fun colors in this pack that have a pretty metallic finish when dried. They can also be used on other glass surfaces, such as bottles and mirrors, providing a unique way to leave thoughtful messages. Grab a set now from Amazon and you'll pay only $9.99.

$21.99 at Amazon

Candles provide a nice ambiance for holiday celebrations, but the flames can be dangerous and the wax can be messy. You don’t have to worry about either of these potential issues when you use flameless candles instead. These mechanical candles look like the real thing, but emit light that’s powered by battery instead of fire. What’s more, the lights have technology that make them flicker just like candle flames. 

$24.76 on Amazon

You can give your table an elegant look just in time for the arrival of your guests when you cover it with a stylish tablecloth like those made by Lenox. The company makes several styles that are crafted of textured polyester and cotton with a leaf pattern that gives them a high-end look, plus they are machine washable for easy cleanup when the party’s over. Several shapes and sizes are available on Amazon.

$16.99 at Amazon

Bringing out a classic game during a holiday gathering is a sure way to liven up the action and keep the conversation flowing. The anticipation and excitement generated by Jenga is why the game has become a go-to favorite for party-goers. This game is even more thrilling when the crowd cheers on players as they carefully try to pull out the next stacked block without bringing the structure crashing down. There’s a lot of fun to be had for only $6.88, which is marked down 54% on Amazon.

from $75 at Macy's

From elegant events to large family parties, premium barware will add a touch of class when it comes time to serving cocktails to your guests. Waterford makes a line of gorgeous crystal barware pieces that are sure to impress as they sparkle with the season. The Lismore Collection includes a wide range of glasses, tumblers, decanters, an ice bucket and pitcher, all with the diamond and wedge cut patterns that catch the light beautifully. 

$54 at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you are hosting a party, you’ll want your home to smell as festive as it looks. Fortunately Nest makes a diffuser set that radiates the scents of the seasons. This festive set includes three scents - Sparkling Cassis, Holiday, and Birchwood Pine - that invoke warm thoughts and pleasant memories. The set comes nicely packaged, so it’s also worthy of gift-giving. You’ll find this lovely collection of diffusers on Saks Fifth Avenue for $54

Gifts for guests to bring hosts

Coffee connoisseurs always appreciate gifts related to their favorite beverage. They may be used to receiving coffee sets, mugs, and even makers, but a pour-over model is a unique gift that will put a whole new twist on their favorite roasts. In fact, many enthusiasts of this simple brewing method say a Chemex brings out coffee’s boldest flavors. 

Various at Wine Access

If you are heading out to a party this coming holiday season, taking a bottle of wine for your host is a thoughtful gesture. Wine Access provides an easy way to shop for quality wines online, and offers a wide selection from whites to reds to sparkling wine that’s perfect for toasting those special moments that come with the season. 

$29 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Chances are that the host of any holiday party that you will be attending this holiday season will appreciate a box of chocolate. But you can take this treat to the next level by giving one with chocolates crafted by the world-famous chocolatier Godiva. You’ll find an impressive set that is stocked with dark, milk, and white chocolates with selection of delicious fillings including fruit, caramel, and nuts. This impressive chocolate collection comes packaged in a pretty gold box topped off with a shiny blue bow, so it’s ready for giving.

As the holidays approach and parties are being planned, you can expect to encounter many memorable moments that you’ll want to capture. Smartphones are great for taking pictures, but an instant camera like the Instax 9 Mini will add the gratification of having your memories in hand as soon as you snap them. That’s because it prints photos instantly, just like vintage models. However, this isn’t your father’s instant camera, because it also offers a selfie mirror, brightness adjustment, and easy-to-use automatic functions. We think you’ll also appreciate the compact design, and that it’s available in several bright colors.