How to Host a Holiday Party in a Small Space

It’s that time of year again: Christmas music everywhere you go, the contact sport of last minute gift shopping, and everyone wants to know when you’ll throw your own holiday party. Maybe you’ve been shopping for a new downtown Winnipeg apartment, or you’re just worried your friends and family will feel like sardines. How can you make the most of the room you have and host a party to remember?

The first step is optimizing your layout. Playing Tetris with your furniture can free up tons of floor space and even make the place look and feel bigger than it is. Try to open center space by moving couches against walls and moving your dining table to the corner of the room. Arrange the extra chairs around the coffee table instead or stack them for people to grab as they need. If your hallways are wide enough, consider putting a couple chairs against the walls for people to stop and chat away from the noise of the main party area, or just to rest their feet while they line up for the bathroom. Especially if you’re not planning on having a four-course meal, use your newly accessible table as a drink and snack station rather than a centerpiece. This way, people have space to move around, hang out away from the bustle, and pass by without fear of getting stuck in conversation –especially if it’s a family reunion. You’ll also prevent them from getting hungry by giving them free access to food and beverages.

Next, decorate for the space you have. If you’re getting a tree, consider a small artificial or LED tree instead of a full-sized one or the real deal. One huge advantage is that they’re compact, so you can put them up on a table or even your counter if they’re small enough, and you can just shove them away in a closet once the holidays are over. You also won’t have to deal with hauling outa sappy, needle-spreading mess, and buying a whole new tree every year. Use white, bright lights, like fairy lights instead of typical coloured bulbs to make the space seem more open and inviting. Less is more for things like wreaths and bows. Hanging a single sprig of mistletoe by the door is a cute conversation piece and it sets the holiday mood without being gaudy or in the way.

Finally, plan activities around your home, not just the generic house party. You have less space, and likely fewer seating areas. Maybe you just have one TV that would be uncomfortable for everyone to crowd around. Be conscious not just of who is coming and when, but what you have available to entertain them. Consider turning your TV to face the open room so people can watch the burning log as they chat. If you have party games lined up, try playing standing games like Charades that require more movement and fewer seats.

No matter what or how you celebrate, there’s no reason that your festivities shouldn’t totally rock just because you have less space. Think outside the box, and have a safe and happy holiday season!