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🍗 The Ultimate Friendsgiving Party

Friendsgiving Party

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“Friendsgiving: Noun: 1. a day to give thanks to our friends that are practically family.”

— Decorative Pillow

As we move into the busiest time of the year, Friendsgiving is a fun stress reliever of a holiday. Whether you replace actual Thanksgiving Day with the chill celebration or you just add it to the weeks before or after the big event, it’s another chance to get into decorating. Since most people use it as an opportunity to deviate from the traditional Thanksgiving menu, we think of it as a way to do the same with the dĂ©cor. Perhaps you even want to get into the festivities with a potluck-style approach: Everyone brings a candle or floral arrangement or stack of streamers. No matter your invite list, a successful Friendsgiving is all about smart preparation. Here, to get you ready and excited, are some favorite Friendsgiving ideas.

1. Pick a Theme

Since Friendsgiving is the opportunity to go rogue, why not have a really out-there design theme? Love Halloween? Keep Spooky Season going. Can’t wait for Christmas? Get a tree already! Your friends will get a kick out of the holiday overload and your own festive enthusiasm.

2. Make a Sign-Up Sheet for Dishes and Decor

We can almost guarantee that no one will get stuck with unnecessary stress if you do a little organizing. We recommend a sign-up sheet: It’ll help you with dates, times, and hosting duties, so you can make sure you don’t have too many dishes of stuffing (though is that really a bad thing?) and that no one gets left out in the chair count. Start with some Google docs and make the info pretty with fancy stationery or ornate to-do lists.

3. Add a Game Element

If you’ve invited a bunch of people who don’t know each other, have a few games or strategies ready to break the ice. Whether that means just setting out some classic games like Life or Four Square, or a deck of cards, it’s a good way to keep people entertained if you’re running behind on dinner prep. Plus, it’ll be fun after you eat when you want to keep the party going. Even better if someone in your party can read tarot cards.

4. Get Into The Place Settings

If you’ve got a big enough table or a couple of small tables, it’s a sweet touch to give everyone a place. Buy or make some place card holders (now’s the time to get out those dusty art supplies) and let your creativity run free. If you’re planning more of a picnic in the living room, create eating zones. Set out coasters and place mats, and bring out some smaller side tables so that everyone has room to put down their drinks and plates.

5. Don’t Forget About Drinks

Whether you have a really good wine source or a lot of friends with specific sparkling water preferences, beverages are important. First, make sure you have enough glasses. Ask your friends to bring a few if you don’t have space to keep extra sets—Bring Your Own Cups. Also, if you have a friend who knows a lot about good wine, give them the task of picking the range, and then split the cost. They’ll likely have great opinions on which bottle to pair with turkey and pumpkin pie. But if wine isn’t your thing, make some festive punches or sangria. One bowl = easy peasy.

6. Label The Dishes

Do you know anyone these days who can eat everything? Since you likely have at least one friend who can’t do dairy and one who doesn’t eat meat, have a little ingredient-identifying station with Post-its and pens. When your guests set their dishes on the table, they can stick a label somewhere near or on the container. No one has to repeat the question: “Does this have cheese in it?”

7. Let The Menu Stray

A lot of people do Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving, which means that double the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes (plus all the leftovers) can get old. If you feel so inclined, choose an entirely new menu. Make dishes exclusively from one new cookbook you’re excited about. Change it up and try for a Caribbean spread. Do breakfast for dinner. Even if you’re not hosting, suggest your ideas to your friends.

8. Set Out a Bunch of Cozy Items

In most of the U.S., it’s usually a little chilly this time of year (and if it’s not where you are, the air conditioning could be cranked up high). We recommend setting out all your blankets, sheepskins, and pillows, so when the tryptophan hits, there’s coziness for all. Plus, it just looks nice and inviting to have a soft oasis ready to go.

9. Get Quirky

Do whatever you want to bring joy to the season. Pack your apartment with balloons, rent a karaoke machine, set out little containers of bubbles throughout the space…the sky’s the limit. Surprise your guests when they walk in—they likely won’t forget this holiday for years to come.

10. Make a Playlist

Get your disco ball ready! Ready to DANCE! Set up a DJ station or have a few mixes ready to play during your Friendsgiving celebration. It’s worth taking photos and requests!

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