thanksgiving table
Holidays and Special Occasions

5 Items Every Thanksgiving Hostess Needs

These five items every Thanksgiving hostess needs aren’t for the casual Thanksgiving hostess. If you know you’re only hosting one year and then it’s back to your mom’s, there’s really no point in storing this stuff. But, if you have the “good kitchen,” you probably want to make things easier on yourself. Instead of rushing out to buy the same things every year, just keep them on hand. Trust me. I’ve been hosting either Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners since 2008, and I cannot tell you how many times I realized I had nothing to cook a turkey in the day of the holiday. On the plus side of that, I did learn to use a dutch oven in my oven. Anyway, here we go.

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Items Every Thanksgiving Hostess Needs

1. Good Dishes

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
We’ve moved twice since we got these yet we still have the original packing material.

You don’t have to go out and buy the fanciest dishes around. You don’t even need to buy Thanksgiving themed dishes, although I did find these turkey ones at Neiman Marcus if you’re interested in going that route. My good dishes were picked to go with some Peruvian pottery my husband and I bought on our honeymoon. Yes, of course a honeymoon in Peru is romantic. But it does mean my dishes are hardly Thanksgiving-y. It’s still better than serving on mismatched plates or terrible-for-the-environment paper plates. Don’t care about the environment, only cost? If you host twenty Thanksgiving dinners, you’ll wind up spending just as much replacing your paper items. Think about that.

2. A Roasting Pan

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
Yum, turkey is my favorite.

I already mentioned I somehow always forget a pan big enough to roast a turkey. That won’t happen anymore! I’m taking my own advice and using a real roasting pan. You can pick up those aluminum ones at your local grocery store, but again, what’s the point of doing that every single year? I know it’s a little extra storage, but trust me, a roasting pan is one of the items every Thanksgiving hostess needs. Plus you can do lasagnas in them, and those aren’t just for special occasions. Oh wait! Are you a turkey fryer, not a turkey roaster? Then completely ignore this item, and try not to burn your house down. 🙂

3. A Real Tablecloth/Runner/Place Settings

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
This is not my table. Mine is currently covered in a plastic tablecloth for a baby shower. Irony?

Please don’t put out a plastic tablecloth if you host Thanksgiving every year. I know I use them a lot in my blog – in fact I have a whole post dedicated to them – but that’s because I don’t want five hundred real tablecloths sitting around my house. I do, however, have permanent place settings for Thanksgiving and a real tablecloth for Christmas. You don’t need to have a big table. You don’t have to have fall-themed placemats, although they are amazing.  But you should have your table looking nice.

4. A Pie Server/Cutter

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
I have a more pie shaped one somewhere, but I can’t find it. Seriously you guys, don’t move once a year.

You don’t need a pie pan, or a recipe for pie, or even to be in charge of dessert yourself. But everyone eats pie on Thanksgiving, and if you ask someone else to bring the dessert, there’s a good chance that’s what they’re bringing. Make things easy on everyone and have a pie cutter ready to go. I have a traditional one and it’s served me fine, but there are some really crazy contraptions out there if you want to have perfectly even pieces.

5. A Tradition All Your Own

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
My tradition is making someone else clean the “good kitchen.”

Okay, okay. Technically this isn’t an “item,” but I’m putting it on my list of items every Thanksgiving hostess needs anyway. Do you want to say what you’re thankful for? Have your kids make turkey hands? I think if you’re going to be the one doing the bulk of the work every single year, you get to create your own traditions and everyone else has to go along! If you don’t already have one and need some ideas, check out this list of traditions. Now you’re set to host a great Thanksgiving every year!

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas

Items every Thanksgiving hostess needs #thanksgiving #entertaining #thanksgivingdinner #dinner #thanksgivingideas #hostingideas
items every Thanksgiving hostess needs
fancy thanksgiving table

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  1. When the sink is full to the brim with dirty dishes, serve dessert on the disposable “china” plates—without sacrificing the sophistication the holiday calls for.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Excellent idea! Then you don’t have to worry about extra cleanup after you’re stuffed full of pie. 🙂

  2. robin rue says:

    I completely agree. I would also add that a big platter is needed. You need a place to put all that turkey, right? 🙂 Awesome list.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Good call. Unless you all want to take turns grabbing handfuls of turkey right off the bone. Lol

  3. These are all necessities for sure. I wont be hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I do a big family Christmas eve party and all of these will be really helpful for that as well.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Yes, these ideas should go for both. Good luck with your party and enjoy having Thanksgiving off!

  4. These are all great things for hostesses for any holiday. I don’t even own a roasting pan, because every time I mention needing one to host a holiday someone gives me theirs to borrow.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      A rotating roasting pan, now there’s an idea.

  5. I’d add big platter and serving utensils. Love the list, so many little things we forget about while prepping for the big meal.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      For some reason I assume everyone has serving utensils already, that’s a good addition!

  6. Kristina says:

    Great list! I’ve been looking for a new table cloth for thanksgiving dinner. A pie serving knife is something I need too and don’t have!

  7. My mom is hosting thanksgiving dinner at our house this year, and I’ll definitely have to share this post with her! These are some great suggestions.

  8. I can’t believe Thanksgiving will be here is less than a month! It is so crazy to think that! I love all your tips and it is so true definitely need good dishes to be a great hostess.

  9. We don’t have thanksgiving here in Australia BUT we do have Christmas coming up and these tips definitely apply there too!

  10. Those are awesome tips for people hosting Thanksgiving this year! It’s really important that you have everything you need to make sure that the dinner runs smoothly!

  11. I am not having Thanksgiving this year but your essentials are good to remember for any big party we moght have. I luckily have dishes and a roasting pan for an occasion if it comes up.

  12. Great list, totally agree with you on this one. We gotta make things look presentable and a few utensils/serving spoons would be nice too.

  13. These are definitely the essentials! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving isn’t a thing in Australia, but I’ve always admired the tradition!

  14. Nice post! I never let anyone else clean my kitchen. Even after our housecleaner comes, I redo the kitchen. I don’t know why, it is just a thing.

  15. I have never celebrated a thanksgiving before but I do believe that any good hostess should have some beautiful dishes for the occasion. A pie cutter sounds like a great idea too!

  16. It’s been so long since we last hosted a Thanksgiving party at home but I agree with everything that you mentioned here. It’s important to have good dishes and table clothes around!

  17. I went without a pie server one year and ended up destroying a made-from-scratch pumpkin cheesecake. The most depressing Thanksgiving finale ever. Hahahaha. Never will I EVER go without one again. 🙂

  18. reesa says:

    Funny, on my list of things to stock up on for the holidays is a pie server. I love this list!

  19. People look over the importance of holiday traditions. Always having a tradition every holiday always sets the mood and makes it feel real.

  20. Jeanine says:

    Here in Canada we already celebrated our thanksgiving. This is a great list for me to remember next year too! I’d love to do a beautiful table setting like this!

  21. I hope I never have to host thanksgiving!! Its not my type of food! lol. But I do need some of these things in my kitchen though!!

  22. Angela says:

    This is a great list! I always host Thanksgiving, so I do have these things in my house!!

  23. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of all the traditions. I love getting together with family, busting out the good plates and enjoying a ton of food and lots of pie.

  24. This post was amazing! One of my favorite things in life is to have gather around our table. Creating those traditions that are all our own make our table special and unique!

  25. In our new neighborhood, all the neighbors we’ve met so far have beautiful tables with preset dishes and tablescapes. It’s so inspiring for holiday entertaining! This is a great list of tips.

  26. TColeman says:

    All of these are definitely necessary. I can not wait to host Thanksgiving this year!

  27. I actually never hosted for Thanksgiving before, but these are definitely good recommendations. Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to keep them in mind in the future.

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