It’s that time of year again! Your home will soon become flooded with family members and friends all clamoring about in preparation for festivities. For the rest of the year, your small dining room does exactly what it needs for your family, but add in another 20 people, and things become crowded quickly.
While buying a new house with more space for a handful of times during the year isn’t feasible for all, finding creative ways to make your home work for you is probably better suited to your needs.
Your current furniture arrangement may be suited for four people, but add another handful, and elbow room will be a thing of the past. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture in a way that will accommodate larger crowds. If you have a table with extra leaves that will allow for additional guests, bring that out and set it up.
If your dining room is open to the living room, consider switching up the spaces for the holidays. You can move your dining-room furniture into the larger living-room space, which will allow you the additional space you need for guests. Making that room swap doesn’t have to be a concrete change. You can move furniture right back to where it was once the holidays are over, or even the next day!
As nice as it would be to fit everyone in one room together, don’t panic if you can’t make it happen. Sometimes you will need to separate people into groups to make sure everyone has a seat and a place at a table. The best example of this is the “kids” table. Placing younger children at a kids table near the main table is a great way to ensure all the adults are seated, and all the children have a place to eat and have fun.
Don’t stress about having seating arrangements all figured out. Allow people to place themselves where they want and work with the crowd that way. Sometimes when you try to organize and control too much, it creates more chaos.
Some furniture may not have tons of uses. Sometimes they are meant for only one thing, but around the holidays you have to get creative, especially when you have a small space. Collapsible tables and chairs are a great way to create a dining space with little to no effort. Tables can be arranged however you need and then be stowed away until the next gathering. This option allows you to create the seating you need for everyone without the hassle of moving rooms or causing too much confusion.
Snack tables are another great portable surface that can serve as a food/beverage station or even hold overflowing dinner items. They are slim and perfect for moving about depending on your need.
One of the greatest ideas in entertaining is the creation of stations where guests can peruse appetizers, drinks, main course options, and desserts. This will allow a good flow of traffic between areas, so not everyone is stuck in place the entire meal. Having stations also helps provide more table space for guests, so the risk of knocking over a drink is much lower without hands moving around to grab food.
A big tip for stations is to not place a drink station near a door or opening. Just don’t do it. With a lot of people comes the hazards of spills and bumping into things. If you have a lot of young ones running around, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Place the drink station away from the main foot traffic, so you reduce the danger of spills.
If you don’t have furniture that would easily double as a buffet station, it’s really simple to make your own. Take two end tables and press them together, throw on a festive tablecloth and you immediately have a station ready. Be creative, and everything will work out. Holidays are meant to be fun, so don’t get too wrapped up in stress.