No Holiday Meal Is Complete Without These 11 Items

If you’re hosting a holiday meal this year, chances are you’ve already thought about the entrees, the drinks, and maybe even a fancy pie that you can obsess over for days only to have it fall apart when you try cutting a slice. But before you pat yourself on the back for all your valiant domestic efforts, here’s a bit of bad news: You’re undoubtedly forgetting some very crucial things.

The upside? We’ve got you covered with this last-minute holiday dinner checklist, filled with everything you’re definitely forgetting — from non-boring alternatives for your meat-free friends to extra bottles of Chloe Wine. Get shopping ASAP, and look forward to a stress-free holiday (maybe — we can’t guarantee your guests will be on good behavior).

Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Appetizers

Don’t let your panic over the main course cause you to forget one of the most important parts of the meal: appetizers. There are plenty of easy-to-make (or purchase) holiday-appropriate starters, from deviled eggs and popovers to crostini and soup.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Butter

You’re definitely underestimating the amount of butter this meal requires — be it for rolls, green-bean casserole, or desserts. Grab at least two sticks of unsalted butter (unless you’re baking — in which case, get four to be safe).

Land O’ Lakes Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter, $6.09, available on Amazon.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Extra Wine

Sure, you can apply the phrase “You can never have too much wine,” to just about any occasion, but when it comes to the holidays, you really don’t want to slack on the vino. Luckily, Chloe Wine Collection has you covered with varieties that’ll appeal to everyone. If you’re looking for red, opt for the brand’s new smooth and full-bodied Merlot. For white, there’s a light Pinot Grigio packed with juicy fruit flavors. Because it’s the holidays, grab a couple bottles of Chloe’s crisp and bubbly Prosecco, too.

Chloe Wine Collection Merlot, $17.99, available at various retailers; Chloe Wine Collection Pinot Grigio, $17.99, available at various retailers; Chloe Wine Collection Prosecco, $17.99, available at various retailers.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Vegetable Sides

As much as we could subsist on cranberry sauce alone, a well-rounded holiday meal needs vegetables, too (think green-bean casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, or caramelized butternut squash).
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Alternative Options For Vegetarians Or Vegans

Don’t force the non-meat eaters in your life to fill up on sides. There are plenty of veg-forward main dishes that feel just as festive as the turkey or ham everyone else is eating — like pumpkin risotto, vegetable cobbler, and “meatless” meatloaf.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Stemless Wine Glasses

If you’ve actually managed to keep a full set of wine glasses intact, you deserve an award for being superhuman. If, however, you’re like the rest of us who only have a couple of strays remaining, be sure to have an additional set of durable stemless glasses ready.

Crate & Barrel Stemless Wine Glasses (set of 12), $29.95, available at Crate & Barrel.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Your plastic water pitcher isn’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing centerpiece, and there’s no reason your non-drinking friends shouldn’t be able to enjoy something that feels a little more celebratory. Opt for a couple fancier-looking glass bottles of sparkling water — or sparkling mulled cider for an extra-festive touch.

Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water Glass (set of 3), $23.99, available at Amazon.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Ice

That lone, semi-broken ice-cube tray that’s been hanging out in your freezer since you moved in probably isn’t going to supply you with enough ice for the evening, so be smart and stock up on plenty of bags.

Things Improved Plastic Ice Bags (pack of 12), $9.99, available at Amazon.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Festive Napkins & Extra Paper Towels

Let’s not pretend that this is a delicate and refined meal — there will be spills. You’re doing yourself a disservice to not come prepared with some festive napkins and backup paper towels.

H&M Christmas-Motif Paper Napkins (pack of 20), $2.99, available at H&M; CB2 Flora Napkin, $8.95, available at CB2; Bounty Paper Towels (pack 6 rolls), $7.99, available at Amazon.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
To-Go Containers

As much as you’re going to want leftovers the day after your get-together, your fridge probably isn’t big enough to hold onto every last thing that remains at the end of the night. Stock up on colorful to-go containers, so you can keep a little for yourself and give your guests a nice parting gift on their way out.

Crystalwave Plus 4-Piece Set, $46.00, available at Tupperware.
Designed by Louisa Cannell.
Stain-Remover Pen

Perhaps the most crucial item of them all. Having a bleach pen (or several) at the ready will help you avoid the fallout of your cousin getting a gravy stain on her white top.

Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Liquid Pen (pack of 3), $5.96, available at Amazon.