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Tips on Hosting Thanksgiving in Your New Home

“Small cheer and great welcome make a merry feast,” said William Shakespeare. Obviously, he is saying that holiday bliss does not pivot on square footage. Thanksgiving can be joyous and meaningful wherever the love is.

Leave it to Will to reassure any senior under the misapprehension that rightsizing into an apartment means hosting Thanksgiving is, well…not to be.

Now that you are living the ultimate retirement life in a premier active adult community, hosting Thanksgiving may be a little different, but no less special. Yes, there will be less space. But with a little advance planning, your celebration will be the, um… stuffing new memories are made of.

Here are some tips for hosting Thanksgiving in an apartment.

Prep is Paramount

Cut down on kitchen crowding by preparing as much of the meal in advance as you can. Items like casseroles, desserts, gravies and other side dishes can be cooked the day before. Other elements of the meal can be cooked and frozen in the weeks before the holiday to cut down on game day stress. The less work you save for Thanksgiving, the more time – and space -you will have to enjoy your guests.

Creative Décor

Centerpieces don’t have to be massive to be beautiful. A creative and compact design can have the same impact. Add space saving holiday décor on walls and across windows to set the mood.

Creative Seating

When you rightsized into empty nester paradise, there’s a good chance your humongous old dining room table didn’t make the cut. But you don’t need a table that seats 20 to host a warm and wonderful gathering. Instead, pull up a few extra chairs to the main table, and spread the remaining guests out over a card table or two. They will actually love the opportunity for more intimate conversation in small groupings. If you are short on folding chairs, ask family and friends to grab theirs and bring them along.

Disposable Tableware

Nothing plagues Thanksgiving hosts like the sheer volume of dishes and silverware. Now that your storage – and dishwasher – space is limited, instead of dealing with the mess, and the stress of the mess, consider purchasing stylish disposable flatware, plates and napkins. The design of disposable table goods has evolved by leaps and bounds. There are a lot of lovely choices to make your meal elegant and cleanup easy.

Potluck is Popular

Whether you are hosting family, a Thanksgiving for seniors in your community, or a combination of both, your guests will love contributing to the feast. Potluck serves the dual purpose of taking some of the pressure of the host, while creating an atmosphere that makes everybody feel involved and included. When guests bring their favorite appetizer, veggie, side dish or dessert, the meal comes together with minimal effort. You may even take the concept of outsourcing one step further and order the turkey in. Just think of the time and aggravation saved before, during and after the celebration.

With the right planning and preparation, your fabulous Overture apartment will become the site of new Thanksgiving traditions for your friends and family. Now that you live in a resort worthy environment, you can top off the evening with a family sojourn around Overture’s perfectly manicured grounds. Your waistline will thank you. 

And remember, as Oscar Wilde said, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”