Friendsgiving is a new holiday that is a mashup of friends and Thanksgiving. Instead of sharing a meal with family, it is shared with friends instead, or a fun addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast. So, how do you throw the best Friendsgiving party?
Giving Thanks- A Gratitude Board
In a traditional Thanksgiving meal, people go around the table and list what they are most thankful for. Yet, at a dinner table, surrounded by friends, it is easy to forget why you are thankful for having them in your life. Why are they so special to you?
To tell your friends why they are so important, place several chalkboards with some chalk by your entrance. Place each person’s name on the top of the chalkboard. As people arrive, encourage them to write down things they appreciate about their friend.
Once they are done, you can choose to give the chalkboard to the friend and/or take a picture and text it to everyone as a wonderful reminder.
Planning For the Meal: Where to Start?
The key to a successful event is having good food, and a lot of it. People may decide to bring their own food/beverages. However, if you are hosting, you should plan to make the main dish accompanied by a few sides. Your friends are then able to fill the gaps in the menu.
If you are incorporating a pot-luck style meal, it may be wise to have a sign-up sheet prior to the event so people know what to bring. This eliminates having six of the same dish, and it may make it easier for those with dietary needs.
When planning what to serve, create simple dishes that don’t require you to spend excessive time in the kitchen. Your time should be spent with your friends.
Keeping It Even Simpler…
Who has time these days to even make a complex meal like Thanksgiving? If you are short on time, or the main goal is to relax and spend time catching up, consider having your Friendsgiving catered. All it takes is a quick phone call to place your order. Then, all you may need to do is pick up it up.
Furthermore, it doesn’t even have to be like a traditional Thanksgiving meal (although it can). There are many places that provide small drop offs. They will give you full or half trays that are perfect for celebrations and get-togethers. The best part is, there is no mess to clean afterwards.
Furthermore, if you have guests that are vegan or vegetarian and you don’t know what to cook, this is a viable solution. It is especially practical for those with dietary concerns as well.
Instead of a Dinner, Host a Friendsgiving Brunch
If everyone is stuffed from Thanksgiving, suggest a light brunch instead. You can either create pumpkin inspired dishes or go out as a group to a restaurant. This way, there is no preparation, no decorating, and no clean up.
Setting the Table: Set a Fun Color Scheme and Easy Decorations
This isn’t the traditional, formal, Thanksgiving meal. A Friendsgiving meal is a relaxed meal that is enjoyed in the company of your friends. Therefore, the preparation and presentation doesn’t have to be complicated.
Keep things simple and have an enjoyable time. Select colors that are fun such as orange, navy, and grey. Don’t be concerned about not putting out plates. Oftentimes, disposable cutlery or dishware is perfectly fine for a laid-back party.
To maintain that atmosphere of casual relaxation, keep the party alive by doing a potluck-style meal. Find a large table, and layout all the dishes buffet-style. For heated meals, put them on hot plates so they remain warm, or you can reheat in the microwave every so often.
This way, friends can get up when they are hungry, or for seconds when they want. They can also graze all night long and you don’t have to serve anyone. Keep in mind that when you do a buffet-style, you should also label your food. This is so people know what they are eating. Also, if some of your guests have allergies, this should be noted as well on cards.
To create cards, you can use old wine corks and card stock to make elegant labels. Cut a grove into the cork by using a utility knife, write the name/information on the card stock, and put it into place on the cork.
If crafting isn’t your thing, and you don’t have time, you can also buy pre-made place cards.
Make Room for a Pie Bar
Autumn is well-known for pies: sweet potato, pecan, pumpkin, or anything else you can imagine. Decide that you will do the main meal, and everyone else (or maybe just a group of people) can bring their favorite pie/dessert. They can also bring additional toppings as well.
You can also set up a DIY ice cream bar as well using festive fall flavors and toppings.
Activities at the End of the Friendsgiving Meal
Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be entirely about the food. Make it memorable by making a time capsule to celebrate your friendship for years to come. Place things into it that remind you of this year’s fond memories. Then, next year, plan to open it and discuss things from the previous year. It is a great way to bond, and it sets up an annual tradition.
You can also choose to decorate pumpkins. This can be an opportunity to become very creative. Buy several white pumpkins and tools for people to decorate them with. The pumpkins can be a take-home gift.
Do be sure to warn your friends in advance about cutting a pumpkin, if you go that route. Carving it can be quite messy, and you don’t want them ruining their favorite outfit, either.
If crafts aren’t your thing, you can also have a games night wherein you do a scavenger hunt with a prize, play Jenga, do a puzzle together, or play any board game.
Friendsgiving is always a fun time to spend with those you care about. Make it a special tradition every year as your friends are worthy of thanks, too.