It's not everyday you dust off the fine china and polish the silver. If you're like most people, you usually only bring them out during special occasions, like the holidays!

But sometimes the fine china set you inherited from Great Aunt Bertha doesn't always have the essential serving dishes needed for a holiday meal. If you're in the same (gravy) boat, you've come to the right place. Here are a few of the essential serving dishes you'll need this holiday season:

Large Square Platter - A simple, one-color square platter is perfect for serving appetizers and desserts, especially if you have a variety of each. You can find basic large square platters at most department stores. Here are a few ideas from Target.com.

Large Oval Platter - A more ornately decorated oval platter is perfect for large meat items like a Thanksgiving Turkey or a Christmas Ham. Large oval platters usually have raised edges tall enough to keep all the juices from spilling over the sides. Williams-Sonoma has several oval platters to choose from.

Basic Mid-Size Serving Bowls - These are what you need for all the beloved side dishes: mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, etc., etc. Having 3-5 mid-size serving bowls at all times is essential for the holiday hosting household (say that five times fast), you can get these bowls almost anywhere. Sur la Table has nearly 600 to choose from.

Large Modern Serving Bowl - These are perfect for when salads or pasta is the main course for the evening. Give your main courses some "flair" by putting them in something that will catch everyone's eye. Crate & Barrel has over 100 modern serving bowls to choose from.

What do you think of our essential holiday serving dishes? Have some ideas of your own? Please tell us in the comments section below.