We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for our families twice while we lived in our 2000 square foot home. We had lots of space and were able to setup two large tables with enough seating for everyone in the spacious dining room / family room. This room did not have any dividing walls, so it was a big open space and worked well for serving Thanksgiving dinner.
We also had plenty of space for guests to mingle before dinner. We had a living room, big kitchen, breakfast nook, and a big back patio.
The house was great for entertaining, although we didn’t entertain as often as we thought we would. It’s common to think that you will do a lot of entertaining and throw a lot of parties when you are moving into a big house, but none of the people I know actually did, including us.
Now we’ve moved into a smaller apartment. As far as apartments go, it’s pretty big, but compared to the house it’s much smaller. It’s 1200 square feet and is divided into thirds. One third is the master bedroom and bath, one third is the living room, dining area, and kitchen, and the other third is the second bedroom and second bath.
As far as space to entertain, it’s mostly limited to a combination living room / dining room, kitchen, and porch. Our daughter’s room will probably serve as a retreat for the kids, so we can count that too.
When we downsized I assumed that was the end of our Thanksgiving dinner hosting duties. Apparently I was wrong. My mother-in-law usually hosts a very casual affair, and we have come to really enjoy it – as opposed to the very structured dinner my family always held. We are on the outs with my family due to a toxic grandparent issue so dinner with them is off the table this year, and probably for the foreseeable future. For whatever reason, this year my mother-in-law decided she wasn’t hosting Thanksgiving.
I was a bit surprised when my wife, Dream, decided to step in and host this year. It total we will have 15 people ascending on our tiny space for Thanksgiving this year. We’ll have 7 adults and 8 kids.
We’re going to stick with the laid back style and set plates out buffet style. We’ll line the counter/bar which is accessible from the dining room side. If we run out of room there (which we probably will) we plan to use the remaining counter space in the kitchen.
We are planning to have a few coolers full of drinks. The coolers will have to be borrowed from family as we only have a couple of small collapsible coolers that wouldn’t work very well in this situation. We plan to place the coolers somewhere on the tile somewhere near or in the kitchen. We may put another cooler out on the porch if we have enough coolers.
Seating will be on couches, dining room chairs, and in some folding chairs that my mother-in-law can bring. We also have a papasan chair and a patio chair on the porch. We won’t have enough table space, so it will be an eat on your lap kind of dinner, which is fine with this side of the family as they will probably be watching football while they eat.
We don’t smoke, but we’ll need to provide ash trays outside for family members that do. When we were in the house we ended up with cigarette butts all around the driveway, so we want to avoid that in the walkway outside.
We’re going the easy route and ordering a pre-cooked turkey dinner from Publix. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s going to make things a lot easier. It comes with a turkey and a few sides, and I believe all we have to do is reheat it in the oven. That will allow Dream and I to make a few of our own favorite sides without having to fuss with cooking the turkey.
The plans are laid out. Now we just need to get family to bring everything that we don’t have. Here is the list.
I think what might work best is if I go pick these things up ahead of time. That will relieve some of the stress from Dream’s parents having to remember to bring this stuff, and from us having to worry that things get forgotten in the rush of them getting out the door.