If you’ve never hosted Thanksgiving (or any other large-scale, holiday-related shindig), you probably have a good reason. Maybe the idea of assembling 20 of your closest friends in a cramped apartment makes you nervous about losing your security deposit. Perhaps you don’t think you have the right equipment for it, or you and your Postmates habit can’t fathom putting together a full menu. The good news: You’re probably overthinking it. A new study from Article reveals how people really feel about entertaining—and it turns out the whole thing can be a lot more casual than you may have thought.
Article’s report looked at the most-searched-for questions on Google pertaining to hosting, then polled its Instagram audience to see what people actually think. A whopping 62 percent said they prefer a “low-key hang” to something more formal—which should help dispel those rumors that being the perfect hostess entails immaculate table settings and an army of fancy canapés.
Some other findings that make the case for the chill dinner party: 60 percent of respondents preferred serving premade, big-batch cocktails over made-to-order beverages, and 59 percent said the perfect amount of guests is four to six, max. Time to whip out the spiced apple sangria.
But the most beneficial thing when it comes to stress-free entertaining might just be setting the proper scene—and that, too, can be simple. Consider picking up a few key versatile furniture items that you can easily convert to entertaining essentials when the time comes. After all, 84 percent of survey respondents said that was better than having to push the bulkier items against the wall as soon as guests arrive. (We’d have to agree.) Go the stackable chair route or choose a multipurpose rolling cart; either way, you’re covered.
See more ways to make entertaining low-key:
We Asked 11 of the Chicest People We Know for Their Best Hosting Tips
12 Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes You Can’t Mess Up
Step Aside, Bar Carts—This Is the New Chic Way to Store Your Booze