Spending the holiday season in your first apartment is exciting! Even if you plan to go home for the holidays, there are lots of holiday party hosting opportunities for dinners, game nights, gatherings and gift exchanges throughout December.
Hosting people in a small space may seem intimidating, but fear not! Here are 5 tips to make holiday hosting in a small space a bit less stressful.
Go Minimal On Decor
Over-decking the halls is going to make your apartment appear smaller than it is. Keep things simple and clean with subtle greenery, white lights, and uncluttered surfaces. Start with a few LED micro light strings in glass jars, like these strings for $11.99 from Amazon.
Or hang a beautiful, simple wreath in front of the window. Williams and Sonoma has a bay leaf wreath for $29.95. You can also pick some greenery from a nearby tree seller and make your own wreath.
If you’re worried you may not have enough space to host your guests, rearranging the furniture will create more room for your event. Store unnecessary furniture and decor items in your bedroom, or if you are friends with a neighbor, in their place. (Just make sure to invite the neighbor!) Create an open living room by moving chairs and couches against the walls, or move your dining table into the living room to create more space for dining. You can also repurpose existing furniture. Ottomans can become extra seating, a bookshelf can become a bar area, etc.
Skip The Yankee Swap
Games where your guests will need to sit in a circle in close proximity to each other can be uncomfortable in a smaller space. Also, something like a Yankee Swap where there will be gifts and tons of wrapping paper and boxes can make things feel more crowded and messy.
Use Plastic Dishes
If you’re hosting more than 3 people, it’s best to keep the good crystal wine glasses in the cupboard and opt for plastic instead. With several people in a small space, chances are someone may bump into something at some point and you don’t want your best dishes or grandma’s crystal to get broken.
Opt For Finger Foods
Having a full sit down dinner and moving hot dishes in and out of your kitchen can be tricky in a smaller apartment. Finger foods are fun and easy, and can be left on the counter or table for your guests to enjoy throughout the evening. If you want go beyond cheeses, hummus and crudites, check out your grocer’s freezer section for hot hors d’oeuvres that you pop into your oven for a few minutes. They usually have at least spinakopitas, mini quiches and the perennial favorites, pigs in blanket.