10 Chic & Functional Holiday Hosting Essentials

For a Life of Style + Substance

From multi-purpose serveware to anti-wrinkle napkins and seasonless taper candle holders, here are 10 stylish hosting essentials that work for almost any occasion! Floor Standing Candelabra

10 Chic & Functional Holiday Hosting Essentials

Holiday entertaining season is upon us! From Friendsgivings to cookie exchanges to cocktail parties, events are filling up the calendar fast. If you host regularly, you know that some pieces pull double duty, offering up both style and function. From multipurpose serving dishes to anti-wrinkle napkins and seasonless candle holders, you can put these pieces to work for almost any occasion.

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There’s nothing we love more than a multipurpose entertaining piece. You only have to store one item, yet you’re ready for everything from a child’s first birthday to a New Year’s Eve cocktail party. This Williams Sonoma cake stand and punch bowl offers both uses, and it looks lovely perched on your countertop filled with everything from baked goods to fresh fruit to holiday ornaments.

The glass stand puts your favorite cake or sweet treat on a literal pedestal, keeping it fresh under the glass dome. Then, when it’s time to invite friends over for a holiday evening, flip the dome over and nestle it into the pedestal. Voilà — an elegant glass punch bowl!

Plus, we’ve declared this “the year of the cake stand” — it’s our favorite new vessel for serving dips!

Cake stand/punch bowl, $70, at Williams Sonoma | Image: Williams Sonoma

No one wants cold drinks dripping all over their new dining room table or drinks getting warm before the party’s over. Frontgate’s beverage chill station collection offers durable double-walled stainless steel beverage tubs in various sizes to keep your bubbly and beer ice cold for hours, and it allows guests to serve themselves without having to ask for fresh bottles. You can use it to store fresh cocktail garnishes or even for a seafood tower for your fanciest occasions!

Beverage chilling station, $169 to $729, at Frontgate | Image: Frontgate

Make any occasion a little more special with hand-blown, vibrantly-hued glassware. Estelle Colored Glassware took the internet by storm during the pandemic when we all wanted something colorful and whimsical to brighten our days. We still love Estelle’s gorgeous wine glasses (and coupe glasses, and just about anything else we can get our hands on) for entertaining. Sold as sets of two or six in a variety of colors, they’re perfect for your book club, wine night, or any other festive gathering.

Estelle Colored Glassware, $95 to $205, at Tuckernuck | Image: Tuckernuck

Don’t waste another minute trying to find your cheese knives! This multi-level wheel (yes, inspired by a wheel of cheese!) not only looks like a piece of art, but is also highly practical. The board swivels out to offer tiers for serving cheese, meats, and delicious accompaniments like nuts, jams, and more. It has a small drawer where you can store the matching set of utensils, and best of all, it takes up very little room when not in use.

Cheese board, $47 to $81, at Uncommon Goods | Image: Uncommon Goods

When you’ve whipped up your great-grandmother’s famous sweet potato casserole, you want to serve it ASAP. So, skip the step of transferring it to a serving dish! These farmhouse-inspired stoneware baking dishes come with a metal stand designed to help you get your dishes from oven to table in a hurry. Plus, with sturdy wooden handles, you won’t have to remind everyone not to touch the hot dish!

Nine by 13-inch baking dish, $34.99; 8 by 14-inch baking dish, $39.99 | Image: Target

Hand-cast aluminum black taper candle holders lend a minimalist yet timeless look to your table. Designed by interior designer Leanne Ford, these are simple yet sophisticated candles you can use all year long. Buy several sets of the 11-inch and 18-inch candle holders with slim stems and a sleek tulip-shaped cup, and scatter them across a long farmhouse table or mantelpiece for a dramatic presentation. Simply swap the candles to suit your occasion!

Set of candle holders, $52.90, at Crate & Barrel | Image: Crate & Barrel

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Cloth napkins give any occasion an air of elegance, and these anti-wrinkle cloth napkins make entertaining easy. You won’t have to worry about ironing and folding them perfectly after each use! Simply pull out the polyester-and-cotton blend, 20-inch square napkins, give them a shake, and they’re ready for dinner. You can machine wash them, and though they fabric is anti-wrinkle, you can still run a warm iron over them in a pinch.

Set of cloth napkins, $25.99, at Wayfair | Image: Wayfair

These sleek Gharyan Stoneware Coffee Cups are handmade by Tunisian artisans in a rounded shape that feels organic and sculptural. They make a statement for that after-dinner coffee or gift for your overnight guests over the holidays. The trendy matte finish comes in terracotta, black, or white, and the 3.7” height holds 10 ounces of your favorite hot beverage. The beauty of it? There’s no need to handwash them, as they’re both microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Coffee cups, $16, at West Elm | Image: West Elm

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Nothing will make you feel more pulled together than serving hot tea, coffee, or mulled wine in a beautiful teapot. This rustic earthenware teapot looks like it was plucked right out of an Italian nonna’s kitchen, and you can use it as either a teapot or a vase for your holiday arrangements.

Entertaining overachievers can round out their collection with a creamer vessel, sugar pot, and mugs, all available from Anthropologie.

Teapot, $88, at Anthropologie | Image: Anthropologie

Lazy Susans have been a kitchen essential since the early 18th century and are still a staple. They’re a practical way to keep ingredients and accoutrements accessible to everyone at the table without the constant refrain, “pass the salt.” Try one for cocktail fixings at the bar, condiments on the appetizer buffet, or even garnishes and side dishes at dinner.

This beautifully crafted and Fair Trade Certified™ version is made of mango wood and acacia, inspired by European antiques.

Lazy Susan, $99, at Pottery Barn | Image: Pottery Barn

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10 Chic & Functional Holiday Hosting Essentials

Candle Artificial Heather Bien is a Southern writer, Richmond native, and aspiring gardener. She loves small-town travel and homemade lattes.