Thanksgiving Dinner: How to Make Room for Everyone
At Thanksgiving, we want to invite everyone we can to share the holiday, but sometimes our dining rooms don't accommodate everyone. Here are 4 ideas to make room for everyone.
You don't have to keep everything in the dining room and kitchen. Get creative with every room. Set up the bar cart or table at the entryway or foyer. It's the perfect way for your guests to start the evening: as they hang their coats, they can grab drinks and the party starts as they walk through the door. Everyone comes in feeling welcome and ready to mingle.
If you have room next to the bar, set up an appetizer table next to it. If you don't have space at the foyer, consider putting the snack table in front of the stairway or a room you want guests to steer clear of. This gracefully blocks them from them from entering rooms you want to keep private. Having snacks set up outside of the kitchen allows guests to help themselves as they need to and the kitchen doesn't get crowded with people while a hot turkey comes out of the oven.
When seating is at a premium, keep the food separate from the table and serve it buffet style. If you have the space, pull the table away from the wall so people can serve themselves from both sides. When it comes to what goes on the table, the first urge you might have is to put the plates and silverware on the buffet so people can take plates as they get their food, but consider setting the table and have people take plates from their settings. This prevents a bottleneck at the buffet table, and you won't have people reaching over others to grab a fork or knife they forgot to pick up. If it's possible, raise some of the edibles using cake stands or camouflaged blocks of wood. This makes it easier for people to reach everything with minimal mess.
Bringing a big table in just for Thanksgiving is not realistic, but you can put one together at a low cost. You have two options: 1) extend your table by topping it with a longer piece of plywood and covering it with a table cloth, or 2) create a new table by putting together two card tables, topping them with plywood and draping a tablecloth over it to make one sturdy table. If you're short on chairs, use outdoor chairs and make them indoor chairs by adding home goods like chair cushion sets to them or putting throw pillows on the seats for cushions and slipping on holiday chair back covers. Alternatively, using a bench adds plenty of comfortable seating at the table.
No matter how big or small your dining room is there's a way to make room for all your friends and loved ones to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. With a few adjustments and additions, your whole house can be part of the festivities.