As the weather gets colder and we head towards holiday season, hosting a party gives you a good reason to connect with your friends and family—and to stay inside. It’s important to do it with grace to make sure your guests feel welcome and have a positive experience. In addition, it is essential to stock the right items so you can make a good impression. Here are five must-haves to entertain your guests.

Music creates the ambience and the tone for your event, so keep a playlist going. Even though Songza is no more, streaming sites such as Spotify, Tidel, and Apple Music are all great alternatives. Having background music can get people in the mood and feeling great quickly.

Next, make sure everyone is fed (a lot). When I was growing up, my Persian mom would overestimate how much food to serve. Her theory was that if people weren’t well fed, the party would be a bust. The same goes for beverages (especially the boozy kind). With all that in mind, it’s important to have an outstanding presentation. Plastic cups are so college years. Yes, they’re easier to clean up, but let’s show off your inner Martha Stewart and throw a party with class and maturity.

dishesNice dinnerware goes a long way. My mom loves to host parties and as a result, she’s collected a lot of it. She has various styles, which she brings out depending on the theme of her gathering. I love this Ocean Blue Round set by Brilliant. It has a nice pop of colour, but it isn’t too feminine or masculine. This set includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, four soup plates, and four mugs. Plus, it’s microwave and dishwasher safe.

flatwareFor any dinner set, you’ll obviously need flatware. How else are people going to eat your delicious food? My mom hates flatware that isn’t consistent, so she buys two sets so she can serve as many people as she invites. She feels that if the flatware isn’t the same, it communicates that we aren’t respecting all the guests. When I was younger, I thought this sounded crazy, but as I get older, it completely makes sense. At a restaurant, you don’t see a table with different types of forks and knives. I like this Brilliant Urban 20-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set because it’s simple yet classy. It comes with four dinner forks, four salad forks, four soup spoons, four dessert spoons, and four table knives.

 

drinkdispenserAlong with serving great wine and cocktails, it’s wise to help your guests stay hydrated. I’m obsessed with drink dispensers, especially this mason jar style from Brilliant. It’s pretty big, containing 7.6 litres. I love the idea of having a nice water station that has slices of fruit such as apples and oranges. Alternatively, mint and cucumber are other great additions to water. And it definitely makes you look fancy.

napkinAnother fun accessory is the Vacu Vin Napkin Holder. It prevents your napkins from flying away and keeps them all in one spot. It has a weighty cylindrical design that rolls off the top when it is removed.

This is for the Toronto Maple Leafs fan who loves to buy home décor. I’ll allow you to get these Sportula Toronto Maple Leafs Stainless Steel Coasters, only because since they’re not made from paper or plastic, they come across as stylish instead of tacky.

What’s your favorite hosting tip? Leave your comments below.