Feeding a Crowd? Trays for Eating on Your Lap

Growing up, we had these lightweight woven trays that we used at family gatherings when there wasn't enough room for everyone at the table (a big stack of them sat on top of the refrigerator). With Thanksgiving approaching, we went looking for them. Turns out, they're hard to find! But we found something similar, plus a few more good options.

Some of these are more expensive than others; ideally, if you're handing them out to a big group, you want something inexpensive. But a couple of fancy ones might do if you live in an apartment and use trays during small dinner parties.

• 1. Square wood tray, $22 from West Elm.
• 2. Polywoven Tray, $5.98 from Amazon.
• 3. Bentwood Tray, $12.95 from Crate & Barrel.
• 4. Brown Bamboo Serving Tray, $9.99 from Party City.
• 5. Natural Bamboo Tray, $5 at Pier 1. (Tiny photo, but this is what we were looking for!)

What do you use when you have people on every couch, chair, ottoman, and stool? Paper plates? Nothing—just let them juggle their dinnerware?

Related: In Defense of Watching TV While You Eat