Let’s face it: Cooking and eating are a big part of our holiday celebrations. But what’s for dinner across America? That depends.

Ham, turkey, and roast beef are somewhat traditional favorites, but there are also regional favorites. Oysters, ham pie and biscuits are popular in Virginia (reflecting their English roots).

The Midwest often shows its Scandinavian heritage with offerings of lutefisk and mashed rutabaga or turnips. Gulf Coast areas often offer up shrimp and other seafood as appetizers.

In more rural areas (or in areas where hunting is popular) you might find fare such as elk or quail on the table. Family heritage and traditions often influence the culinary choices. What’s for dinner at your house?

Thinking Ahead to the Next Holiday Season

Regardless of what you’re serving for dinner at your house, having a comfortable place to enjoy your meal is an essential. We often have much larger groups over during the holidays. How can you make your home a place family and friends want to be?

Three rooms in particular play an important role for holiday entertaining: Your kitchen, dining area, and family room. Are those three rooms in your home optimized to allow guests to eat and interact comfortably? One way to tackle those three key areas at one fell swoop is to consider a remodeling project that transforms your home with an open design plan.

By eliminating some walls (make sure you have a professional – like us – working on this to ensure you’re not taking out a load-bearing wall) you’ll open the space up dramatically. The space in those three rooms will actually feel bigger (even if you don’t add square footage). Plus, family and friends can easily move from one space to another—and nobody gets stuck alone in the kitchen.

It may be too late to make this kind of change for this holiday season, but it’s the perfect time to start thinking and planning. And with January 1 coming up—you’ll have a New Year’s resolution that you’ll really want to keep!

Tips for Holiday Entertaining in a Smaller Space

What can you do if you’re entertaining in a smaller space and don’t have time to remodel before your guests arrive? Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your smaller space.

  • Flexible Table: Consider purchasing a table that can be expanded with leaves. It’s small for everyday use and can be expanded for larger groups.
  • Buffet Style Serving: If you don’t have enough room for a big spread use a buffet or folding table to hold the food and serve it buffet style.
  • Think Vertical: Create centerpieces that are tall and dramatic (but thin) that won’t take up valuable table space. Keep things uncluttered. It accents the space you do have.
  • Decorate For a Small Space: Use plenty of light and reflective surfaces (mirrors and metallic surfaces) to make the space you have feel more expansive.