If you're anything like us, the fact that Thanksgiving—and the entire month of December—are right around the corner caught you by surprise even more than usual this year. And if you've found yourself having agreed to hosting duty with no plan in place whatsoever, never fear: We've rounded up years' worth of tips on holiday hosting in small New York apartments, the better to help you throw together a successful last-minute bash at the last minute.
Now, all you have to worry about is preventing the inevitable political squabbles at the dinner table.
QUESTIONS OF ETIQUETTE
- If you're hoping to host a party without making enemies of your neighbors, besides keeping the noise level down, be sure to give them (and the doorman) a heads up ahead of time; make sure your guests are well behaved while in the building; and learn other easy fixes to head off strife before it happens.
- Skip the flowers and give your host or hostess a more creative gift, like "smart locks" for their doors or a glow-stick menorah (ideal for the former raver in your life). Alternately, opt for foodie-friendly gifts like a book of recipes from the city's best street carts, or a portable cold brewer.
- Rather than forcing your guests to remove their shoes (no one likes this), consider bringing in some extra carpeting to keep the noise manageable for your downstairs neighbors when you have people over.
- In the spirit of holiday generosity, try giving back or volunteering over Thanksgiving weekend. And be sure to help your host with the post-meal cleanup.
EXTRA HANDS ON DECK
- Any kind of outsourcing to make your life easier is always a plus. Consider having food, decor, and booze delivered directly to your home, hiring a TaskRabbit to tie up loose ends, and other tech-savvy workarounds to typical hosting hassles.
- This is also no time to be running out at the last minute for ingredients you forgot. Instead, enlist a grocery delivery app to do the (literal) heavy lifting for you.
MAKING THE MOST OF SMALL SPACES
- If you're hosting in an apartment that seems too small, simple steps like clearing out the clutter, moving your furniture around, and planning a simple decorative scheme in advance can work wonders.
- Need to create a "guest room" in your apartment for out-of-town visitors? It may be time to switch to a loft bed.
- Failing that, you can give guests the illusion of private space by putting up a simple screen, and providing them with privacy and fresh towels, hotel-style.
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