Thanksgiving Hosting Must Haves

Hosting a holiday like Thanksgiving can be overwhelming the first or even second time. It takes practice, but you can do it!

We do quite a bit of entertaining. I love our families and it’s meaningful for me to have everyone in our home making memories and sharing a meal together. 

Our get togethers are always casual! And I like to try and keep the dirty dishes to a minimum if possible. But that said, I like details and I think small things can make your buffet and table special. 

I put together some of my must-have things that I keep on hand or put on my list before I host:

*Hint To Shop: Click on the bold words in the post or the thumbnail photo below the post!

Meal Prep & Buffet Helpers

Tin foil pans are something that are always in my pantry. You can make the turkey in them, put the bones and skin in after you’ve carved the turkey, I’ve kept my stuffing warm in the oven in them, etc… Get them in a bunch of sizes!

A large Turkey Roasting pan with a rack really comes in handy if you’re in charge of the turkey. The turkey is heavy and it makes it easier to handle. The rack keeps the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan and helps it cook more evenly.

Get yourself a good knife set. You won’t be sorry when it comes to carving, slicing and dicing. 

I like these cutting boards. They are light weight, have handles, and a dark color so they don’t show food stains.

Have food tongs – big and small – for buns, for the salad your sister-in-law brings, for the pickles…

Serving bowls! Covered and uncovered for the potatoes, green been casserole, stuffing, salads, all the goodies.

My buffet always has a relish dish on it filled with pickles (sweet and savory), olives (black and green), pickled asparagus, you could even put your cranberry sauce in it if it’s got dividers.

A cute, large turkey platter to serve the turkey. This is such an adorable platter, too.

I like to have a cute gravy boat, butter dish & salt and peppers on my table/buffet. Here’s another cute, affordable option. If the kids drop and break it, I’m not too sad. 

I like to have lots of serving spoons/servers on hand for all of the food and desserts (don’t forget the pie server)

These cutie little ladles come in handy for SO many things. Stick them in your gravy boat, your cranberry sauce, your peas, corn, anything!

Make sure you have a bread basket for the buns! This one comes with a cloth insert.

Get yourself a coffee pumper pot. You’ll thank me later! It makes me feel like a REAL grown up. I put hot cider in mine with cinnamon sticks.


Fancy plastic silverware is one of the details I like on a holiday. It looks like real silver, but no one has to wash it!

Here’s a fancy plastic Gold Silverware option. This set comes with plastic plates, cups, napkins, I used this one for my sister’s shower recently.

If you go real silverware, I like this flatware set. It’s affordable! 

If you use real plates for holiday entertaining, I really like this dish set. I have similar, but mine are sold out.

If you do paper plates, I like these square plates. They just make it feel a little more special for a holiday. And they free up the dishwasher!

I use insulated cups for hot cider and coffee. They have covers! 

Nice drinking glasses and water glasses can be a nice touch for your Thanksgiving table. I have a cupboard full of these! They come in three colors.

Nice stemless wine glasses are a must. I like my wine in a glass. Stemless lessens the chance of me having an “accident”. Here’s a smaller pack of 2 stemless option *These would make a great hostess gift, too!

Have some table cloths on hand for the card table and your extra seating. Easy clean up!

These cute little turkeys  hold tea lights for your dinner table. Safer than candles.

Tea light (battery powered) 

Ethel's Daughter hosting Thanksgiving

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