While it’s not an official holiday—yet, at least—Friendsgiving is a great way to stretch out the holiday season and get in some quality time before the season ramps up and everyone’s schedules get packed with family events, work parties, vacations and other celebrations. Get ready to roll out the red carpet, or, maybe just a welcome mat, for your best pals and create unforgettable memories. Here are some hosting hacks that will make your Friendsgiving one for the books.
Timing Is Everything
So, when should you throw this shindig? Here’s the scoop: think about Friendsgiving as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season following Halloween. It’s all about gathering your closest buddies and giving thanks for each other. To get the timing just right, aim for a week or two before the official Thanksgiving Day.
Why? It’s like a delicious pre-game before the main event, and it helps maximize your guest list in case everyone already has family or travel plans before the actual Thanksgiving. Plus, it gives you ample time to recover from the turkey coma and enjoy it the second time around. So, mark your calendars accordingly and get ready to host the Friendsgiving of the century.
RSVP: The Magic Word
Now that you’ve got the date locked down, it’s time to talk about RSVPs. When you’re hosting Friendsgiving, you want to make sure you have a good headcount. Why? Because you want to avoid the nightmare scenario of running out of stuffing or cranberry sauce.
Send out those invites early and ask your friends to RSVP. Give them time to think about it, but not too long! Invites can be anything from cute digital e-vite you email to a group text with a link to a Google form.
Theme It Up
While Friendsgiving is already a theme in itself, adding a little extra flair can take your party to the next level. Think about it: you can go traditional with a rustic, farmhouse vibe, or you can get wild and host an “International Fiesta” with a culturally inspired menu, especially if your group comes from a diverse background. Unusual? Yes! But this could be the start of a beautiful tradition that makes you the glue of your group.
Additionally, choosing a theme not only makes your Friendsgiving memorable, it also gives you some direction when it comes to decor and menu planning.
The Perfect Venue: Your Home Sweet Home
Your casa is where the magic happens, where the Friendsgiving memories will be made. But before you start panicking about your less-than-spotless floors or that weird stain on the couch, take a deep breath. Hosting Friendsgiving at your home is all about creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.
First things first, declutter. Tuck away those stacks of magazines, hide the laundry basket, and give your space some breathing room. Next, set the mood with warm, ambient lighting. Fairy lights, candles, and soft lamps can effortlessly turn any space into a Friendsgiving haven.
And don’t forget about seating! If you don’t have enough chairs, get creative. Floor cushions, bean bags, and even picnic blankets can make for a comfy seating arrangement. Trust me, your friends will appreciate the effort you put into making them feel at home. You could always take the party outside for extra space and rent heating lamps or bring the fire pit to life.
The Feast: A Culinary Extravaganza
Friendsgiving wouldn’t be Friendsgiving without a delicious spread. But here’s the hack – you don’t have to do it all yourself. Now’s a chance to incorporate a bit of a potluck theme and add a really special touch. Handle all the essential main dishes, like the turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, a dessert and drinks but invite your group to each bring in something they love to share, like their mee-maws beer cheese mac n’ cheese or abuela’s chicharrones.
This helps take the pressure off of cooking everything while enjoying something new and unexpected. Make sure to assign dishes ahead of time to avoid duplicates—no one needs three green bean casseroles—and plan a well-rounded meal.
No need to go overboard—but if you wanna be extra, by all means, pop off! It is a stressful day to plan, so if you’d rather keep things simple, go for seasonal decor like autumn leaves, mini pumpkins, and gourds.
For the table setting, that can stay simple and elegant, too. A table runner with some fall-themed placemats paired with your nice dishes and glassware is plenty.
After the feast comes the fun! Keep the energy high with some exciting, yet laid-back activities and games. Set up a board game station with classics like Scrabble or Monopoly, cornhole in the yard, and you can never go wrong with a karaoke session.
Laughter is the best bonding experience, though, so as long as there are plenty of funny stories and jokes shared throughout the evening, that can be entertainment enough. After all, Friendsgiving is all about celebrating your friendship.
Cheers to Friendship
What’s a celebration without a little liquid cheer, right? Craft unique cocktails or mocktails that reflect the spirit of friendship and celebration. Create a signature Friendsgiving drink that your guests will remember. Don’t forget to offer a variety of non-alcoholic options for those who prefer them.
Before you dive into the feast, take a moment to express gratitude. Friendsgiving is an ideal time for this. Encourage each guest to share what they are thankful for. It’s a heartfelt tradition that deepens the bonds of friendship and sets a positive tone for the evening. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter that can lead to some meaningful moments.
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by Stephanie Taylor | February 3, 2023
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