The Stress-Free Guide to Impressing Everyone as a First-Time Host

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Hosting can already ignite anxiety and panic (and then some) for most people. Add in first-time hosting duties, and that's a recipe for stress. So how do you A) create cool holiday vibes without going overboard, B) wow your guests, and C) do it all without a meltdown?

The answer is D: Tap our curated round-up of stress-free essentials to accomplish all of the above. From finding the right serving dish that says modern-yet-traditional to getting dressed for your big debut, you'll have a blueprint for ultimate host status.

Whether you hang it over your mantle, on top of your dining room table, or over your front door, this 72-inch artificial garland instantly brings those festive feels to life without having to snake a real (ahem, shedding) 40-foot garland around your house. Bonus: Use Target's same-day pickup feature to snag it as a last-minute centerpiece.

Once you've got one set of twinkle lights up your sleeve, you're set for years to come. These minimal globes add a touch of holiday magic to the air, but can also be used for festivities all year long.

Instagram loves a good letterboard, so create your own welcome sign that introduces your family and friends to the holiday event of the season. Plus, you'll have everyone in the room reposting you.

Now that you have the decor basics down, it's time to set the mood. Bring in some warm, cozy vibes with this whiskey and oak candle (with a crackling wood wick!) for a punch of hygge. All you need is one candle and the ambience is good to go.

Another must for hosting is to always (and we mean always) have some soft music playing in the background. Do the least amount of work for a major mood-boosting payoff with this Bose Wireless Speaker—just hit play on that holiday playlist and enjoy.

If you're a first-time host, you might not have any family-facing plates you're proud of—but these grown-up dinner ones are your answer. The subtle detailing gives off an instant cool factor and won't clash with anything as your style changes.

A bar cart is a definite if you're hosting a boozy affair, because who wants to be stuck playing bartender while your friends and fam are sipping and mingling? (Plus, having a designated spot for drinks shows that you, like, totally know what you're doing.)

Outfit your bar cart with this all-in-one mixology kit to cross bartending gear off from your holiday hosting list once and for all. You'll never ask, "Where is the cocktail shaker?!" ever again.

Every household needs a set of cheers-worthy glasses to whip out for special occasions, and these are the staple glasses to keep in your pantry. They add an elegant flair to your toasting moment.

You've got your glasses and plates, now let's add a serving dish. This durable, ceramic serving platter is the ultimate vessel for your signature holiday meal (even if you secretly ordered in).

To round out your hosting essentials, you can't forget about you. Picking out an easy-to-move-in but still elevated look is key, so try a black jumpsuit you can dress up with a bold set of earrings and a statement shoe. Did you just become a holiday hosting pro?