But throwing a holiday party can be some work. The key to making it easy and fun is to stock up on a few hosting essentials.
You’ll use them again and again anyway! The product recommendations below come from The Sweethome, an awesome website whose editors research and test household gear. They just published a huge guide to what to buy before you host a party and agreed to let BuzzFeed feature the essentials.
2. Booze that isn’t too expensive but isn’t too cheap.
Sweethome spoke to respected bartenders like Dale DeGroff to get the best budget-friendly bottles. So helpful. And they are…
3. ICE SERVICE. (And definitely call it that.)
FIRST OF ALL, you need a bunch of ice to throw a good party, so figure your ice situation out in advance.
FOR A SMALL PARTY: If you like to drink cocktails, get a couple of Tavolo King Cube Ice Trays. An ice bucket is nice too because guests can serve themselves (always a stress reliever), and for that Sweethome chose the Oggi Lustre Stainless Steel Ice Bucket, $30.
FOR A BIG PARTY: Buy 2-3 bags of ice. Dump two of them in a cooler to keep beer and wine in, and attach a bottle opener to the cooler with a string. Sweethome picks Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme cooler, $46. Then take the third and put it in an ice bucket and set some tongs or a cup in there so that no one touches the ice with their hands.
4. Cups for adults.
Solo cups make even the nicest drink taste sad and gross. So get some clear plastic cups if you are going to use disposable.
BEST PLASTIC CUPS: Chinet Cut Crystal Tumblers (Pack of 108).
BEST GLASSES: You can find Sweethome’s full picks for glassware here, the most versatile and necessary of which is a rocks glass. So get these: Reed & Barton Crystal Old Fashions (Set of 4), $60.
5. Meat Accessories
You’re gonna need these.
BEST ROASTING PAN: Cuisinart MCP117-16BR MultiClad Pro Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster with Rack, $74.
BEST INSTANT THERMOMETER: CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer, $18.
6. A punch bowl that maybe isn’t just an ugly mixing bowl.
A punch bowl that is also a cake stand is the best thing ever.
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