Between crazy flight costs, busy schedules and winter weather, it’s not always possible to travel home for Thanksgiving. And even if it is, sometimes you want to celebrate with your friends, too.
That’s where Friendsgiving comes in. This new holiday lets you share a meal with friends in lieu of family, or as a supplement to traditional Turkey Day feasts. We’ll show you how to plan the perfect Friendsgiving menu, set a casual holiday table and embrace the true meaning of the season.
How to Plan a Friendsgiving Menu
The key to a successful Friendsgiving party is two-fold: good food, and lots of it. Ideally, all guests will bring a dish (or drink!) to pass. But if you’re hosting, we suggest supplying the main dish and a few sides, then let your friends fill in the gaps.
Editor’s Tip: Even if you love green bean casserole, you don’t want six dishes of it showing up at your Friendsgiving. Make sure to send around a potluck sign-up sheet before the big day so everyone knows what to bring. This way you’ll avoid duplicate dishes and make it easy to cater to dietary restrictions.
When planning what you’ll serve, aim for simple recipes that don’t require a ton of time in the kitchen. (Need some ideas? These Thanksgiving recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less!) After all, you want to be able to enjoy your friends, not spend the whole party scrambling in the kitchen. Opt for slow cooker or make-ahead dishes, and don’t be afraid to buy a few things pre-made, too. We’re particularly partial to this slow cooker turkey breast and a batch of easy-peasy biscuits. When combined, the duo makes a delicious sandwich! Find these recipes (and more!) in our collection of Friendgiving party ideas.
How to Set a Friendsgiving Table
When setting the table, simplicity is key. Remember that you’re here to have a good time, not impress your mother-in-law. Stick to a fun color scheme—such as navy, orange and gray—and don’t be afraid to buy disposable dishware or cutlery.
Keep the casual feel of the party going by serving the meal potluck-style. Guests can get up whenever they’re hungry or need a refill, and all you have to do is relax. Whenever you opt for a buffet, it’s a good idea to label all of the dishes. Old wine corks and cardstock make for pretty labels (plus, you now have an excuse to drink more wine). To make the labels, simply cut a groove in the cork with a utility knife, write the dish name and any allergens on the card and secure in place. If you’re not up for a crafting project, find out where to buy pre-made place cards (and all of our other amazing Friendsgiving decor) here.
How to Give Thanks: Gratitude Board
It’s easy to forget how thankful we are for our friends. Set up a reminder with a gratitude board. All you need is a chalkboard and some chalk. As guests arrive, have them write down a few things that they’re grateful for. After the party, take a photo of the board and send it out in a group text message or email so that you can always remember the good times.
Want More Ideas? Find Your Thanksgiving Style.
Transform your table this holiday by planning your Thanksgiving feast around one of our fun (and delicious!) themes. Take our quiz to find the perfect menu, stunning tablescape decorations and more—all based off of your personality.