Move over Thanksgiving. There’s a new feast in town. Friendsgiving has given November a new meaning in recent years, and it’s making the holiday even better.
Really, why have one Turkey Day feast when you can have two or more throughout the month. After all, the more, the merrier. (You have enough merriment to last through both November and December, right?)
Friendsgiving offers one major bonus over its much older counterpart: less stress. Although you can make it even more extravagant than Thanksgiving if you wish, Friendsgiving can be an easygoing, pretention-free way to celebrate the holiday with friends who may have other commitments on Thanksgiving Day itself.
To truly make your Friendsgiving especially festive and memorable this year, make it all about the fun and casual vibe while making each guest feel truly welcome and valued. Your event may even be the hit of the season and become an annual tradition in your home!
Here are some ways to make your Friendsgiving 2021 outstanding.
Formally invite guests to your casual party.
Go beyond the basic email or text message and send formal, print invitations. The invitations will add a more official tone to the event while setting the stage of the theme. Follow up with phone calls and texts to make sure people received the invitations and to see whether or not they are planning to attend.
Create a themed hashtag.
Ask your guests to use the hashtag when they post images of the event on their social media accounts. If all goes well, you might end up using that same hashtag for years, essentially creating a “social media journal” of your Friendsgiving traditions.
Post a signup sheet online for people to identify what they’re going to bring.
This is a good way to avoid 10 variations of green bean casserole. (Does anyone actually enjoy that, by the way?) You may wish to list general categories of dishes you would like to see at your potluck and then ask people to sign up for them. That way, you avoid double-dishes while giving your guests leeway to make the dish as creative as they would like.
For friends who prefer not to cook, don’t forget to include the “other” things that you will need, like plates, napkins, drinks, ice, olives, pickles, and so on.
Oh, those drinks…
You may wish to make it BYOB event and let everyone bring what they wish. Otherwise, you can make it a themed party by suggesting a certain beverage color or certain type of beverage. You might even choose to make it a mocktail party, which is especially ideal if children will be attending.
Whatever you do, make sure you have something for everyone. Don’t forget to have enough everyday water, soda, and coffee available.
Plan to make the main course.
As the host, you get dibs on the star of the night. So, the turkey is on you! Whether you want to make a full turkey or the turkey breast alone, if you add your own special take on it, the main course is sure to become a fan favorite.
Design beautiful place settings … or don’t. It’s your party.
If your event is super casual or you don’t have space in your home for a full dining table, feel free to set everything out and have guests eat on the couch in front of the TV or while standing around the kitchen. Gather some bean bags, pillows, and blankets so people can even sit on the floor if they choose.
If you are looking for a more elegant party, create place settings for each guest. Pinterest offers endless ideas for beautiful Friendsgiving place settings.
For example, this simple touch can make your guests feel warm and welcome. Make sugar cookies by hand, and use icing to place each person’s initials on one of them. Tuck each one into a mini gift bag and seal it. Slightly decorate the bag with a Thanksgiving-themed touch, and place the cookie on the top plate to decorate each person’s place setting.
Add Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving-themed décor throughout your home as well to enhance the festive vibe.
Your guests need something else to do.
Your company is the best! It’s doubtful anyone will need anything other than delicious food, drinks, and laughter with you and your other guests. But … you know, just in case … you should have some other fun things to do for the rest of the evening.
Combine Friendsgiving and Game Night, for instance, or have a classic Thanksgiving movie playing in the background. (“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” anyone?) Consider a casino-themed Friendsgiving and make it a Poker Night. Remember to also have games and toys available for young children if they’re expected to attend.
Consider a competition for the dish of the night.
Just to make sure your guests add a little zing to their dishes and enjoy your Friendsgiving event even more, offer a small prize for the top chef. Create secret ballots ahead of time that people can use to vote for their favorite dish of the evening.
Alternatively, create a contest for a particular food or drink item, such as hot chocolate, and have your guests sample each one to see which one takes the cake.
Send them home happy.
While you’re buying those bags, invest in a few larger ones that you can use as goodie bags. Fill them with various treats such as homemade cake pops and candies, and personalize each one.
Think you’ve had enough of the food for one day? Instead of snacks, send your guests away with a mini mani/pedi kit, cooking utensils, a deck of cards and a pair of dice, or whatever else you think your guests would enjoy and that fits the theme of your party.
However you plan your Friendsgiving 2021 event, we hope it’s filled with lots of fun, love, and laughter. And just think, you get to do it all over again on Thanksgiving!
Have an amazing November!