Just because you can't get home to have Thanksgiving with your family this year (or you don't want to, #nojudgement) doesn't mean you have to miss out on the good food, traditions, and that beloved after-turkey nap on the couch. Get some friends together and throw a Friendsgiving Feast that everyone will be talking about for weeks. Here are five tips for a successful Friendsgiving Feast:
Remember those years when your parents were so stressed on Thanksgiving and barked at you to go outside and play until dinner was ready? It was probably because they had very little help and were in charge of putting together a huge dinner on their own. Learn from this mistake and delegate all of the Friendsgiving responsibilities. Send out a group text (or get fancy and use an online sign-up site) so that everyone can sign up to bring something. This way, you're not slaving over a hot stove for hours and stressing about getting everything done on time. Along with delegating, put one or two people in charge. This way, all decisions, and communication stay organized.
Let People Choose Their Dishes
Give your guests the freedom to choose what they want to contribute to the dinner. This will prevent assigning a green bean casserole to someone who has never made it before and hoping for the best. Letting people choose allows them to have more of a say in the party prep, and ensures they're bringing their best and favorite dish to share.
If you're planning on having beer, wine, and liquor at Friendsgiving, make sure one friend doesn't get stuck with buying all the booze. Let people know it is a BYOB event or split the alcohol responsibilities.
If you're hosting, your job should be the turkey. This is a big job, so having everyone else bring the sides will allow you to focus on cooking that bird to perfection.
Make A Friendsgiving Space
If you are hosting in your home, prepare the space ahead of time. Make sure you have plenty of chairs or a seating space big enough for all of your expected guests. Clear counter space to make room for the abundance of delicious dishes. Certain dishes will need to be kept warm, so make sure you have a space for this. If you don't think you have a big enough table or enough counter space, ask a friend to bring a folding table.
Focus Less On Decorations And More On Traditions
As the host, you may have your hands full with cooking the turkey and getting your home guest-ready. You may be too busy to worry about decorating and making your dinner table look like a photoshoot. Your friends won't care whether or not there are centerpieces that look like pilgrims and turkeys, so don't worry too much about that. Instead, focus on starting simple but sentimental traditions, such as:
- Put a white table cloth out on the main table and let everyone sign it with marker. Use the same cloth every year and keep adding signatures as your friends group grows and changes
- Plan a post-meal walk with your whole group after you eat. This could be an excellent opportunity to get a group photo, talk about what you're thankful for, and burn some of that food off.
- Instead of name cards on the table, find and print out a funny meme that best describes each of your friends and use it to designate their spot at the table.
- Put together a Friendsgiving Bingo game. Create a bingo sheet and hand it out to your guests when they arrive. Fill the spaces with funny situations that are sure to happen when all of you get together. Jenny shows you a picture of her cat? Check. Does Mike mention how much he can bench? Check. Becky initiates the first round of shots? Check.
Friendsgiving Bingo is a fun way to keep your guests engaged and is sure to make for some great memories.
Have To-Go Containers On Han
Imagine saying goodbye to the last friend (and calling an Uber for Becky) and looking at all of the food you have leftover in your kitchen. Then imagine using your Tetris skills to try to make it all fit in your fridge. To avoid this, make sure you have plenty of to-go containers on hand so you can send everyone home with leftovers.
If you can't be with your family this year (or you could, and you choose to be your friends instead), a Friendsgiving Feast is a fun way to celebrate the people in your life that you are thankful for.
Have you ever hosted or been to a Friendsgiving? What is your favorite dish to bring?