Making Room at the Thanksgiving Table for a Crowd

Thanksgiving tableOne of the best things about the holiday season is spending it with family and friends. It’s wonderful to open your home to loved ones and host the meal, but it can be stressful if you’re worried about space. When your standard dining room or kitchen table seats four to six people, you’ll need to adjust. It just takes a little creativity and flexibility.

Serving Thanksgiving dinner buffet-style is probably the most efficient way to feed a large group. If you have a large kitchen island or if you have space to use the counter tops, line up the serving dishes in a way that your guests can easily navigate to fill their plates. Another idea is to set up a long table in another room for the buffet.

If your dinner guests are a mix of adults and children, the age gap provides a natural way to divide your seating arrangements. Kids eat in the kitchen, for instance, while adults occupy the dining room. If even more seating is required, consider whether there’s space to add another table to the kitchen or dining rooms. If not, feel free to expand into other rooms in the house. Push living room furniture against the walls or move pieces out and set up as many tables and chairs that will fit comfortably. Don’t worry about doorways — let the tables flow to the next room. Open concept floor plans, like those you’ll find in our new construction communities, are great for entertaining.

If you need to improvise eating surfaces, an inexpensive folding table, hidden from view by a beautiful tablecloth, will do the trick. We bet your guests would never know! Holidays don’t have to dictate any kind of formality, either. Keep the buffet casual; encourage your guests to relax and sit wherever they’d like.

Chairs can take up extra space, which makes it more difficult to add just one more place setting where you might need it. If you have a bench or two (you could make one!), let the children sit on them since they need less elbow room. Position tables on the diagonal to maximize square footage make the room feel larger.

Ultimately, Thanksgiving is about family and friends. Don’t try to be perfect, don’t let stress about space overwhelm the joy of the holiday. Make memories and give thanks while surrounded by the people you care about. And if you hear about a friend or co-worker who plans to spend the holiday alone, extend an invitation because the more the merrier!