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Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

Small space living has its merits, and many day-to-day disadvantages can be mitigated with a little decorating creativity.


However, when the holidays come and you get that urge to host a holiday fete that would make even Martha Stewart proud, it can feel near impossible to make your dreams a reality when living in an apartment. With Thanksgiving nearing and stuffing on sale, you are no doubt wishing you had the space to host a grand dinner this year. All's not lost, it really is possible to host a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for your friends and family right from your small abode. Just follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to the scent of a delicious meal wafting in your home.


Share the Load


The popular phrase “many hands make light work” should be your guiding mantra this year. Don’t take it upon yourself to do everything that a Thanksgiving feast requires. Chances are, your friends and family are more than happy to help take up the slack. Ask for help with desserts and side dishes so you can focus on the main course, or go a step further and ask your friend with the large oven to bring the turkey. There’s no shame in delegating when everyone gets to enjoy the meal’s splendor! After all, the main event isn’t just the food, it’s the joy of spending time together, and no one wants to visit with a stressed-out host or hostess.


Go Non-Traditional


Traditional Thanksgiving fare can require a lot of pomp and circumstance, a large kitchen, and some genuine culinary skills. If you find yourself lacking in one--or all--of these areas, don’t be afraid to opt for something more reasonable for your current status in life. Go for a Thanksgiving brunch early in the day. Make tea sandwiches with cranberry sauce, cream cheese, and deli turkey, set out quiches and more traditional Thanksgiving sides. Everyone will enjoy the variety and it will be much easier to manage without a ton of cooking. If you don’t like the idea of brunch opt, instead, to host a “Snacksgiving” this year. No one can turn down snacks and appetizers (they’re often the best part of the meal anyway). They’re easy to make ahead of time or have guests bring the day of; this means you’ll spend more time around the table and less time in the kitchen.


Decorate with Focus


In a small space, it can be tempting to decorate everywhere since guests will have a view of multiple spaces in the house. In a small space, however, this can do more harm than good. A plethora of holiday decorations can easily make a room feel smaller and less inviting. Instead, opt to decorate one focal point in your space that will direct guests’ eyes. Counterintuitive as it may sound, this will serve to open up your room while still rendering it festive and charming.


Get Creative With Seating


The biggest obstacle a host or hostess may face when entertaining in a small space can be the issue of seating. Chairs take of floor space (both during the dinner and in day-to-day living) which means you may not be able to fit enough chairs in the traditional sense. Don’t let this stop you from hosting a killer Thanksgiving. Use sturdy coffee tables, 5lb buckets, and ottomans to fill in the gaps. Don’t be afraid to encourage your guests to get cozy. Use a bench to have more people fit closer around the table. If these options don’t seem promising, purchase, rent or borrow folding chairs. There’s something to be said for having a few chairs that can fold out of the way when not in use.


Clean as You Go


Experts agree that cleaning as you go is the very best way to tackle the mess surrounding the Thanksgiving feast. Plus, for those in studio apartments, it is an important courtesy to ensure that your guests don’t have to look at unappetizing dirty dishes during their meal. If you feel there is too much cleaning to handle on your own, ask for help! There’s always a few family members or friends who will happily don your yellow dish gloves to help your day run more smoothly.


Hosting for the holidays can be a huge undertaking for any person, and hosting while living in a small apartment definitely adds its share of obstacles. It’s certainly not impossible, however. With a little pre-planning and these helpful tips, your Thanksgiving dinner will be a surefire hit.


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