To Buy or Rent on Thanksgiving
Turkey? Check. Potatoes for mashing? Check. Ingredients for apple pie? Check. A table large enough for everyone to sit? Uhhh. If I ever hosted my family's Thanksgiving dinner, people would be sitting... well, on the floor. The kids would love it. The adults? Not so much. Here are a few tips on figuring out what to rent and what to buy to accommodate your Thanksgiving guests.
Tip #1: If you're renting one or two items like a table or a set of china, pick up the item rather than have it delivered, says Rita Bloom, an event planner with Creative Parties in Bethesda. You'll save on the hefty delivery fees.
Tip #2: Rent everything from one place. That way if you do need to have it delivered, you'll only have one delivery charge and it'll be easier to keep track of where everything came from.
Tip #3: Don't bother shopping around for different rental prices, Bloom says. If you find one item that you like at one rental place, just get everything else at that same place. "The prices are very close in all these companies," she says. "It's important to find the one item you like and stick with it."
Tip #4: If you rent a table, go with a round one rather than rectangular. They offer more flexibility in trying to fit the most amount of people, according to Bloom. A 5 ½- foot table can easily fit 8 to 12 people.
Tip #5: If you've put all your money toward getting a big fat turkey and you don't want to shell out more for a table rental, Blooms recommends buying a wooden board at the local hardware store that's slightly larger than your current dining table. It can be placed on top of your table to make it wider and longer. Just make sure you get a nice big table cloth or a piece of fabric to cover your enlarged table.
Tip #6: Consider buying disposable china rather than renting real china. These days you can get plastic plates with gold trim that look remarkably close to the real stuff.
Tip #7: Don't forget about coffee. If you have a 8-cup coffee maker but 20 coffee drinkers coming over, you'll be brewing pots all day. Most rental places have coffee makers that can handle anywhere from 25 cups to 100. (Hey, you know what happens when you eat turkey.)
Tip #8: Serving platters are also one of those things that are better bought than rented. You can pick up a large ceramic platter at the Crate & Barrel Outlet for under $15. I saw them with my own eyes.
So how will you accommodate your Thanksgiving guests? Any recommendations on a rental place? Have any of your own tricks for getting around having to rent?
By Tania Anderson |
November 20, 2008; 12:00 AM ET
Holidays and Special Occasions
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