How Houston Apartment Renters Cope with Thanksgiving
By Adam Busch
Art by Austin Smith
Almost one out of three Americans live in a rental, so when considering a holiday like Thanksgiving which is unique for drawing families together, one has to wonder how apartment residents deal with the large gathering.
With the pressure of family coming in, possibly from out of town and out of state, having a smaller space compared to that of a house certainly plays a large role. Add in the traditionally large feast and living in an apartment complex with other renters and you begin to see factors piling up that those that live in houses do not typically face.
According to a survey conducted by RentLingo.com, a company that creates expert reviews of apartments, about 34% of apartment residents will celebrate Thanksgiving at their apartment while almost double that, 60%, of Houston house residents will celebrate at home.
Brandon Hastings, a Houston apartment resident, plans to drive to his mother’s house to celebrate with his family. When asked how he would feel about hosting Thanksgiving in his apartment he said, “That’s out of the question. With a one bedroom apartment, I really do not have enough space to have family come over.” He does plan on hosting in the future once he lives in a house though.
However, there are the apartment residents that do host Thanksgiving. It makes sense, but RentLingo’s survey found that these people generally host much fewer guests for Thanksgiving than those that live in houses, however, the difference is striking. Apartment residents hosted on average 5.6 guests while the majority hosted less than that. Meanwhile, house renters hosted an average of 10.8 guests.
A lack of space was a major source of inconvenience for apartment renters according to the survey, with 50% saying a lack of seating, kitchen space, and guest room being a significant inconvenience. Meanwhile, for those celebrating in houses, these issues were experienced by less than half, despite having more people over. On a side note, those celebrating in houses felt inconvenienced by family drama (23%) nearly twice that of apartment residents (12%).
However, there are other options to get around having a little amount space and still celebrate with those important to you. By having a progressive dinner, a dinner that is spread out across multiple houses or apartments, one can host Thanksgiving in their home without having to worry about accommodating the entire meal. By separating the dinner, course by course, among multiple homes, those with tiny areas can host in a unique way and still be with a large group of friends and family during the holiday.
Progressive dinners work best when each apartment or home is within walking distance or short driving distance so that the entire evening will not last too long. Each host prepares one portion of the entire meal. So, friends and family can meet at one apartment or home for drinks, move to the next for appetizers, the next for the main feast, and end with desert at another. These types of dinners are great for keeping the energy of the evening lively and flowing and the movement is excellent for digestion.
Despite those that want to host or would like to host Thanksgiving, some find that living in an apartment means that one is obligated to leave for the holiday. Houston and apartment resident, Tiffany M. Harris, says that she is going to visit family for her Thanksgiving. When asked about living in an apartment and hosting Thanksgiving, Tiffany said, “When you are in an apartment, I think by definition, you are further away from your family, so you want to go visit them during the holiday.”
Despite all of these factors that make the holiday difficult, the majority for both apartment and house residents still found that Thanksgiving was not too stressful. So, although apartment residents may not find it practical to host large Thanksgiving celebrations at their homes, they’re able to overlook that and focus on the most important part of the holiday: spending time with family and friends.
by Guest Author