Just because you don’t have a big place doesn’t mean you shouldn’t GO big on Thanksgiving. Invite those guests. Here’s how it can work:
Improvise a big table
If you can get everyone at one “table,” go for it. You can cobble together a big space from several smaller tables. Or you can get truly creative, and bust out something along the lines of door-resting-on-two-sawhorses—with a tablecloth over it, of course. If you don’t have one room that will fit all that tabletop, scatter tables throughout the apartment. Call ahead to borrow enough from friends.
Or go picnic style
Don’t have enough space even to seat everyone at a table? Focus on getting enough seating, and just warn people that it will be a plate-on-the-lap occasion. It’s festive! Throw them a cloth napkin, at least, so the ordeal feels vaguely classy.
Set up a bar area
People will want drinks, so make sure they’re not tripping over chairs or getting between you and the oven during every refill. Set up a bar in the most out-of-the-way spot you can. Worse comes to worst? Tub + plug + ice = one giant cooler.
Have a place for coats
Same go for jackets as drinks: have a place to stash them, even if it’s just on your bed. Things will be crazy enough without huge overcoats draped over your little makeshift chairs.
Make it work even in a little kitchen
Cook early and often; anything that you can make ahead is something you won’t have to worry about on Thanksgiving Day. Side dishes and desserts are easy options. If you must cook many things on the Day, outline a strategy with whatever non-traditional cooking appliances you or your friends own: crockpots, portable stovetops, etc. HAVE A PLAN so you don’t have a heart attack. Still worried? Martha’s minions have extra tips for cooking in a small kitchen.
Assign dishes to guests
Another way to get around inadequate cooking space: get guests to bring food. Assign dishes to the competent and reliable cooks among the party.
And remember, if YOU’RE happy and having fun, you’re guests probably will, too! Happy Thanksgiving.