Many individuals view their first holiday hosting adventure as a rite of passage. It can be extremely exciting; however, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. People who live in apartments understand that it is difficult to have any sort of gathering in such limited space. It may even limit the number of guests that they decide to invite. It could be a tragedy and will probably be taken as a direct, personal insult, if anyone is left off of the guest list.
It is amazing how little space is in an apartment and just how much several small items take up. Some rearranging can provide the space needed to make everyone comfortable. First decide what will be needed and what will simply be in the way. Move both large and small items into another room for the time being. Ensure that there is plenty of seating. Perhaps a neighbor can lend a chair or two, if there is not enough present.
Another idea is to use a tote to store small unnecessary items. Go through all of the communal areas and place these items in the tote. Put the lid on and the tote can be used as a surface area for the gathering. Simply put a piece of decorative cloth or even a towel over it. This creates an instant end or coffee table for the guests to set drinks on.
Move the couch and chairs against the wall to provide more room, but still allow seating for everyone. Those who wish to sit will not have to move every time someone needs to get up. Not everyone wants to sit the whole time, some prefer to stand and the freedom to mingle. Store any unnecessary furniture in another room, if possible. It also provides an area for dancing, if the mood strikes.
One of the first steps to holiday gathering in small apartments is to throw certain traditions out the window. Traditionally the family may sit at a large, elegant dinner table to eat. It is not absolutely necessary that the guests be seated at a dining room table. As long as there are places to sit, they will be comfortable. This can be kitchen, comfy living room, or foldable office chairs.
Serving surfaces do not have to be traditional either. It may not be possible to lay the dinner spread out on one large table. In this case, consider all of the possibilities and do not dismiss anything. The living room coffee table can be covered with material featuring holiday designs to place drinks or desserts on. Kitchen counters work well to place side dishes on. Large, main courses can be left in the baking pan and placed on the stove. Simply carve it and ensure there is serving utensils readily available.
Totes and storage items can easily be converted into serving surfaces. Use small table cloths to cover totes to serve dishes or to place clean plates and flatware. Footstools, desks, and bookshelves can also be transformed into usable surfaces. A little imagination and decoration plus good food and no one will notice. If guests do, they most likely will not care because they will be busy digging into the scrumptious dinner. After all, good food, warm laughter, and loving company are what holiday gatherings are really about.