I wrote this post in 2011 about hosting in a small space, and while much of it is still true, as our family has grown, it's getting harder and harder to still make our condo work for family gatherings. Last night we had our son's family birthday party (the friend birthday party is this weekend). We cleaned the house, made dessert, prepped everything for the enchiladas, and about an hour before the party was about to start we brought out the old dining room table. When we turned the formal dining room into a playroom, we stored our larger dining room table under our bed with the legs off. For parties, we bring it out and set it up in the playroom, although we haven't done so in a really long time. Yesterday we dragged it out, set it up, and realized there was no way we were going to get 12 people around that table. So we brought the kitchen table out to the dining room as well, and ate at one huge long table. It worked out fine, but anytime anyone needed to get through to get seconds or use the restroom, people had to scoot in or get up. And then having those huge tables set up meant that we had to cram into the small living room for S to open presents.
Everything was fine, and our family seemed like they had a great time. S was so happy, opening his presents and blowing out the candles (with help from his little brother, of course). I absolutely would rather cram everyone into our tiny house than not host a party, for sure. Even when it's tight and cramped, it's usually cozy and homey at the same time. And there's something about looking back on old photos of our sons' parties and seeing how our spaces have evolved. If this really is our last year in the condo, then that might very well be S's last birthday party in the condo, which makes me feel a little nostalgic and sad. And at the same time, though, I recognize that these kids of mine only grow bigger and taller with each passing year. Our extended family has grown since we bought the condo, too, through marriages, and I'm sure someday my boys will have some cousins as well. So while we can always find a way to make it work and host parties in a small space, I do look forward to someday having more space to host our family and friends.
We'll see how birthday party part 2 works out this weekend! There are going to be an awful lot of kindergartners coming over!