This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Are you like me and love to host holiday gatherings at your house?
Having family and friends over brings you so much joy and you just love being hospitable.
There’s just one small problem- You have no large dining room, or table, to fit everyone.
That’s totally us, too. We have larger extended families so trying to fit everyone around our small 3-person table is impossible. So what are you supposed to do?
After living in this house for almost 8 years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that’s helped us host our large family for holidays and still make everyone feel comfortable. Here’s how to host a holiday dinner with no dining room:
Make good use of the space you do have
So you don’t even have a dining room. Where in your house can you serve dinner to a large group of people?
While our kitchen has a very small space for a table, our living room (or great room, as it’s also called) has a huge open space. We have couches lined up against the walls with room for chairs.
There’s plenty of room in the middle for all seven kids on John’s side of the family to play or hang out. And that’s especially helpful for Christmas, because we have space for all the gift-opening!
If your living room is the space you choose, make the room convenient for your guests. Clear off end tables and coffee tables for drinks and appetizers. Re-arrange the furniture to create a more open space. Even designate a room in your house as the “coat room” to avoid cluttering your living room.
What we’ll do sometimes is get out two card tables from the shed and put them together so family can sit together. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be fancy! Just a simple tablecloth and decoration will do nicely.
The nice thing about card tables is that after everyone’s done eating, you can take them down pretty quickly to open up the room for more socializing.
Utilize your entire kitchen for food and dinnerware
Do you have a lot of counter space? Line your counters with food so you don’t clutter up the makeshift dining table. For our family, buffet-style is the way to go. It keeps the living room clear so we have more space to just hang out.
Use a separate table for just dinnerware. Put all plates, glasses, silverware, and napkins in one place for easy grabbing.
Cook with all kitchen appliances for convenience
Let me tell you, I couldn’t live without some of my kitchen appliances. I don’t know what I’d do without a slow cooker or roaster. Using them allows you to do more in your oven and on the stove to make sure all your food finishes around the same time.
Also, cook and prep things ahead of time to save on space and stress! There’s nothing wrong with making all the dinner rolls or crescent rolls at once earlier in the morning. Just throw them back in the oven for a couple minutes and they’ll be just as good.
I had to do that recently because I needed the oven for about 3 different things. First I baked my crescent rolls 90 minutes before dinner, and then set them aside to bake everything else. After a couple minutes back in the oven, they were nice and warm again!
One thing that helped the stress levels was that most of the work was done for me thanks to Sam’s Club. Cooking for a crowd means lots of food, so I headed to my local Sam’s Club to get my supplies.
On the menu this night was:
- Parmesan Crusted Cornish Hens using Tyson® Cornish Hens (I used my roaster instead of the grill and they turned out fantastic)
- Smoked Sausage Holiday Crescent Wreath using Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausage (This was a huge hit!)
- Crescent rolls
- Roasted green beans
- Pumpkin pie
It was SO much food, and it created a ton of leftovers- which if you read my blog often, you know that “leftovers” is my favorite word.
Sam’s Club made it convenient for me to find what I needed fast and efficiently. Most of the big stuff was right on the endcaps so I didn’t have to go hunting, which was nice because I was shopping while Allison was in school. It also helped that a lot of this was on sale!
I saved a ton of time in the kitchen because most of the work was done for me. This let me spend more time with my family instead of worrying about finishing up this or that recipe.
The ultimate goal for you is to enjoy time with your family. It doesn’t matter how big your house is or whether everything matches perfectly- What’s most important is that quality time, and sometimes we forget that when we’re rushing around in the kitchen or house.
Hopefully now you see that it IS possible to host holiday dinners, even if you have no formal table to serve your guests. Everyone’s still happy, and that’s what matters!
What are your tips for hosting for the holidays? Share in the comments below!
Monday 19th of November 2018
Love this post! We used to have to many people come for thanksgiving that we had to set up tables in the garage! Now we are able to eat in the house using a few card tables and all the counter space!
Tuesday 20th of November 2018
That's awesome! I think this year we're setting up 4 card tables and a small kids table in our living room. =) Full house!
Sunday 18th of November 2018
Above all, it is very important to be relaxed at the moment of receiving the guests, so that after so much work, it is a meeting that everyone can enjoy. Having everything organized can help to make the evening perfect and relaxed.