Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And if you’re hosting for the first time, you may be a little overwhelmed. Sure, you could go the paper plate and plastic cup route. But if you want to create a beautiful and luxurious tablescape, there are a few thanksgiving entertaining staple pieces that you need.
I searched the internet high and low for some of the best pieces for you to have on hand. These are investments that you can hopefully buy once and reuse every year if your house is going to be the go-to gathering spot.
I’ve fallen into the trap of buying tons of really design-specific things every time I want to host even a simple brunch. You get the colorful plates, the special platter, the cool wine glasses. But when you buy these things haphazardly, what you end up with is a ton of stuff that may not match.
And guess what that means. Next time you’re hosting, you may have to buy the same thing that you already have just in a different style.
So if you’re building up an inventory to reuse over and over, I would recommend going more simple and neutral on these pieces. And that’s what I’ve included on this list. There are plenty of other small ways to switch up the design every year.
I understand that some people’s staples may be a little bit bolder than other. For example: to me, orange is a neutral color. So I also included some pieces for my bold people in each category as well.
I included a variety of styles so that you can get whatever fits your vibe. And even if none of these products speak to you, feel free to use this checklist to make sure that you get everything you need to wow your guests.
So let’s dive right into the staple pieces you need to entertain this Thanksgiving and for years to come.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #1: cheese boards
“Charcoochie” boards are all over tiktok right now. But they’re no fad. For those who have a passion for entertaining, having a nice cheese board to display cheeses, meats, and other appetizers on is essential.
Whether you’re doing a casual friendsgiving with some apps or hosting your whole family, put cheese boards on your “need to get it” list.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #2: nice dinner plates
Like I said before, you could do the paper plate route. But some nice dinner plates make a huge difference in how beautiful and intentional your setup looks.
Whether you’re doing a full-on table setting or just stacking some plates for people to grab, these plates are great options. And they’re easily one of the best investments you can make if you’re building up your entertaining staple pieces. If you keep it neutral, you can pull them out year after year and change up the design with other, smaller details.
Because plates are so breakable, here’s a really cute, BPA-free plastic plate option for the kid’s table.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #3: serving platters
You obviously need something to serve the food on. So stock up on some beautiful matching serving platters to make all the food that you spent so long cooking look as beautiful and appetizing as possible.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #4: glassware
I’m a huge glassware junkie, so I’m always collecting tons of mismatched glasses. Doing a more eclectic style of glassware is definitely an option if you’re trying to achieve that vibe.
But if you want your dinner to be a little more polished and formal, glassware is a great way to do that.
Again, glasses are a really breakable thing to put on each table setting, especially the kid’s table. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetic. Here are some beautiful, but equally importantly durable, acrylic glasses from West Elm.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #5: chargers
Who doesn’t love a good charger? Even if the rest of your table setting is pretty plain, a charger immediately elevates the look. Here are a couple beautiful yet neutral chargers that can easily fit into any design scheme you have for the occassion.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #6: nice silverware
If you want to take it a step further than the clear plastic cutlery, get yourself a nice silverware set to either stash aside for special occasions.
(Full confession: I bought some gold silverware for a friendsgiving and just started using it as my everyday silverware, too. Get that bang for your buck)
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #7: champagne bucket
Okay so it doesn’t have to just be for champagne. But for me, some kind of a sparkling wine is necessary at every dinner party. I won’t argue about this.
Whether you’re going to fill it up with wine, beer, or La Croix, having a nice bucket to hold drinks in not only lets you display drinks in a pretty way, but it also keeps people out of your fridge. So it doesn’t matter if it’s an absolute mess after all the meal prep.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #8: candle holders
What tablescape is complete without some good candles.
Since candlesticks are relatively affordable and easily found at the thrift, you can grab some new ones each year to fit your theme. But I would recommend having some solid, staple candles on hand as well.
If you know you’re never going to get sick of gold/black/silver/wood/whatever finish you like, go ahead and grab a couple so you always have some basics each year.
thanksgiving entertaining staple piece #9: pitcher
This is partially design and partially practical. I love using a water pitcher when I’m entertaining. No one wants to have to get up and go to the sink to fill their water up when it’s gone. So take advantage of this practical use and get a really cute pitcher to use every year.
Of course, you can also use this for things besides water. Sangria and mulled wine comes to mind.
invest in entertaining on a budget
This is a budget-friendly blog. So I understand that maybe not all of these are in the budget for entertaining this year. But that doesn’t mean to throw these ideas away and settle for plastic plates, paper tablecloths, and tin food containers.
You can still have a beautiful tablescape on a budget. Here are some tips:
- Shop secondhand! Thrifting is always my #1 go to for basically everything I need to buy. You may be able to find every single piece on this list after just a couple trips to some thrift stores
- Prioritize your investments. You don’t have to get everything all at once. Maybe pass on some of the less necessary things like candle holders, pitchers, and drink buckets this year. Things like glassware, plates, and serving platters are definitely a more important investment. And if you have a serving platter that’s okay, but no matching plates/drinkware, then you just whittled down the list a little more!
good luck and happy hosting!
Hopefully this was helpful and make you feel just a little less overwhelmed with the prospect of entertaining everyone at your house. If you need any more help or inspiration for your Thanksgiving hosting needs, check out the posts below!
Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based designer, writer, and content strategist. I’m passionate about the intersection of productivity and creativity. I love talking about creative habits, technology, processes, and everything in between that helps me blend the Type A and Type B parts of my brain.
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