If you live in a small urban space, you know that holiday entertaining can present a number of challenges. We have good news, though. You don’t have to shy away from hosting a big gathering, even if your home feels a bit tight. You just need a few ground rules. Plus – bonus points – you may even be able to leave the kitchen at your next party!
Four Tips for Small Space Holiday Entertaining
1. Embrace Offers of Help
When your guests offer to contribute to your party, don’t hesitate, just say yes, please!. An appetizer or dessert can take the pressure off you and make holiday entertaining more fun for everyone. You don’t have to worry about inconveniencing someone, because when people offer to help, it usually means they really want to do something. It’s not necessary for you to carry the full weight of holiday entertaining on your own shoulders. Even a more formal gatherings can benefit from the talents of the guests. Or go old school and throw a pot luck. It will leave your kitchen freed up for extra mingling, which is especially important when you’re hosting in a small space. Every square foot counts!
2. Get the Kids Involved
In an effort to relieve the stress of making it all look just right, recruit your kids! Have the little ones set the table, draw up name cards and make the signs. Children’s art will add a fun, festive touch, which keeps things from getting too formal. It will also help your children take ownership of the experience. Maybe they’ll even get into hosting their guests and showing off their hard work, instead of asking for the iPad the moment the adults arrive
Many moms want to keep the food they serve as natural and homemade as possible. Remember, though, that when you’re holiday entertaining popping by the store for pre-made dips, oven appies and desserts is not a crime. Pre-prepared food really has gotten better. The new PC Points Card that earns you rewards points whenever you shop at Loblaws and their sister stores can help make it more affordable. The points add up quickly and can be redeemed just as fast. Their reward system tracks what you like to buy and tailors their promotions and dinner ideas sent to you. This is just one example of a rewards card – there are many more. Wherever you shop, saving your points for holiday entertaining can relieve a lot of expense when you are feeding more than just your family.
4. Give Back
If Secret Santa gift exchanges are starting to lose their sparkle, break with tradition and suggest that everyone pool their resources for a greater contribution. Get your officemates or neighbours together to collect toys for a family in need, or stock up on the essential toiletries, blankets and non-perishables to be dropped off at a local donation centre. Inviting everyone to bring a donation is a great way to build community and bring a greater meaning to your holiday entertaining. Sharing this experience with your kids can also lead to great conversations and teachable moments. Plus, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of people right here in Toronto. Also, if you donate gently used toys and children’s items to a local thrift shop, you can do some de-cluttering before the wrapping paper starts flying on Christmas morning.
What about you – what are your tips for holiday entertaining in a small space? Leave a reply and let us know!