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How to host a large dinner party in a small space

Last November I threw a potluck Friendsgiving. What made it a little tricky (and very nerve-wracking up until) is that I share a one-bedroom apartment with a platonic friend where I live in the living room. I was worried that we wouldn't fit, or that we wouldn't be comfortable, or that the pole would get in the way, etc. Here's how I made it work…

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Throw this party: The Pollinator

I'm throwing a party that I've named "The Pollinator." The basic idea is that I want to widen my social circle, so the price of admission is that every single attendee bring a guest that I either do not know or do not know well.

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Throw this Seinfeld-inspired, shame-free Regifting Party

We've talked about what to do with gifts you don't want on Offbeat Home & Life before. One of the suggestions is to regift — that wonderfully taboo idea many of us are familiar with thanks to Seinfeld. Thanks to my extended family's incredible generosity but general cluelessness about what I want or need for Christmas, every year I find myself with a bunch of gifts that are very nice, but not quite what I want. After some conversations with friends in the same boat, I decided that regifting shouldn't be a dirty word. It should be an excuse for a party!

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How kitty sweaters, virtual fires, and friends saved the day I had to work on Christmas day

Last Christmas was a lonely one for me. I was separated from my family and I had to work. My heart was broken. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. After my Christmas fate was sealed, I told my group of besties about how sad I was about missing my favorite part of Christmas for work. We then decided to have our own Christmas celebration after my shift was over. The name for our shindig was not original, but it meant the world to me: Friend Christmas.

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How do you celebrate birthdays that fall on, or close to, holidays?

We welcomed our sweet baby boy in to the world last year on Christmas Eve. My husband's birthday is the 28th, so he's not a stranger to being forgotten at Christmas time. But in this Pinterest-crazed day and age, I feel kind of put-out that we won't be able to have big birthday celebrations, as almost everyone will be busy with Christmas festivities. Any suggestions?