Will you be traveling this holiday season? Are you staying in an RV, cabin or hosting Thanksgiving in any modestly-sized accommodation? While holiday dinners can be difficult in the most spacious areas, there’s no need to be stressed. Here are some simple tips you can use to throw a fantastic Thanksgiving feast in a small area.
- Realize that your friends and family aren’t expecting something out of a lifestyle magazine – While everyone wants to be comfortable, they probably aren’t expecting anything glamorous if they’re eating in a studio apartment or RV. Thanksgiving dinner is generally casual and relaxed, so don’t worry too much about everything being perfect. Keep decorations to a minimum. If you can make people fairly comfortable, they’ll be plenty happy.
- No formal seating required – Seating is one of the biggest concerns when hosting a large dinner. Benches and armless chairs are your friends here, if available. They take up far less space and can seat more people. If needed, you can use an ironing board for a serving table or set out floor pillows for extra seating (better to use for after dinner rather than during). You can also try diagonal dining. Setting up your main table diagonally will maximize floor space and give your dinner a non-traditional look.
- Let in the light! – Naturally light as much of your space as possible to give the space an open feel. Natural light is best, but candlelight also offers a very relaxed atmosphere (if you can, avoid overhead lighting). The more natural light you let in, the better.
- Write down cooking times to avoid clutter – One of the trickiest parts of prepping a large meal is the cooking times of different foods. Turkey, of course, can take hours, while certain side dishes may only take a few minutes. If you’re preparing a feast in a small space, it will be extremely helpful if you write down exactly how long everything will take so you can keep pots and pans stashed away until needed. Avoiding clutter is one of your main goals in this scenario.
Your other option is to cook as much as possible before the big day. If you have all of your side dishes ready, making only the main course will be relatively easy. Certain side dishes (cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes, etc.) will taste just as good if they’re left overnight, but be wary.
- Use space-saving accessories – If you have cake stands or tiered plate holders, use them! Stackable trays and serve-ware can keep surfaces free of clutter. Try to go vertical rather than horizontal as much as possible.
Keep it simple, relaxed and don’t stress! – Put on some soft music (quiet enough so the guests can talk) and remember that this is a casual time, and spending time with friends and family is the most important part. Have fun arranging your space! If you follow some of these tips and take a little time for preparation, your Thanksgiving will go off splendidly. Enjoy!