As I mentioned before in my previous post, this year the arduous task of hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of my family has fallen to me and my wife. As I was writing about the best way to store and preserve all of that leftover turkey and stuffing, I recalled another hurdle that I cleared the first time I hosted Thanksgiving:
“How am I going to fit all of those family members into my dining room?”
My wife and I both have fairly large families, and since we are all in a relative proximity (pun intended), we get both families together for family holidays. All told, that adds up to between 15-20 people cramming into our home for the holiday. Like most, we have a medium-sized dining room table with leaves, providing seating for around six people. That leaves quite the gap between seating and guests, and purchasing a couple of tables and 15 chairs is problematic for two reasons:
1.) It is much too expensive.
2.) That many tables and chairs take up way too much room!
My in-laws and I came to a unique conclusion that might work for some of you as well. Instead of each of us being forced to purchase an entire set of chairs and tables to accommodate the entire family, we took a more communal approach. We each bought enough chairs to accommodate our individual families, and my brother and I each bought a table. Whenever we get together for family events, each family brings their chairs while my brother and I bring our tables!
Because my brother and I had to buy a table, we decided for space-saving reasons to purchase an adjustable folding table. The table I chose seats a total of six people comfortably, and folds down flat so I can store it easily in the attic. As far as the chairs, we decided to each purchase a set of four plastic folding chairs. These chairs are great because they can be folded for storage plus they are made from a pliable plastic material, which makes them so much more comfortable than regular metal folding chairs.
The first time I hosted Thanksgiving was a bit of an experiment – I even attempted to fry the turkey that year (bad idea). Luckily, seating all of my relatives was not an issue at all – plus set-up and clean-up were very easy with folding tables and chairs. For the next week I was actually able to enjoy the leftovers because I wasn’t worried about them spoiling. Hopefully these small successes of mine can be a little guidance for your next stressful holiday banquet.