You’re hosting a Friendsgiving this year, but you’re not exactly sure of the when, what and how? Read on for our top tips for hosting a Friendsgiving to remember!
Friendsgiving vs Thanksgiving
Since 1863, the fourth Thursday of November has been marked as a date for families all across America to gather together, eat too much delicious food and give thanks for all the blessings of the previous 12 months. Although Thanksgiving has been traditionally a family affair, in recent years, hosting Friendsgiving has become increasingly popular.
What is Friendsgiving?
Friendsgiving is a mashup of the words “friends” and “Thanksgiving”, and so the meaning is fairly self explanatory – a Thanksgiving style celebration with the family we choose – our friends. Hosting Friendsgiving gives you the chance to catch up with all of your friends together in one place. It can act as a kind of teaser for actual Thanksgiving, or even as a replacement for those who are unable to be with their families due to relocation or other factors. It’s a wonderful way to bond, share and spend some quality time with those people we have chosen to be a part of our lives.
When is Friendsgiving?
The consensus on when to host Friendsgiving seems to be either two weekends before Thanksgiving, the weekend before, or on actual Thanksgiving, depending on the availability of your specific set of friends. Since it’s not (yet) an official public holiday, you can decide when to celebrate!
Here are our top tips for hosting Friendsgiving (in person)
Below, you’ll find tips on food, atmosphere and activities. If you’re hosting virtually, scroll down a little further!
#1 Hosting Friendsgiving – pot-luck style
Hosting Friendsgiving shouldn’t be a stressful affair where you spend hours alone preparing and cooking before and while your guests arrive.
The key to a successful and relaxed celebration can lie in delegating, assigning different dishes to different friends, so that no one person ends up with tonnes to do. A nice way of figuring this out is to use an online spreadsheet, list all the dishes you’ll need for the dinner, and send it out to everyone attending. They then volunteer to prepare a dish or two each. This way you also ensure you won’t end up with multiples of the same dish, because no matter how much you like it, attending a dinner with nothing but a table covered in pumpkin pies might be a bit much!
Extra Tip for hosting Friendsgiving – As much as possible, try to prepare your chosen dishes before your friends arrive. This can be done in the morning or even the night before. Doing this means that you will have more time for hosting Friendsgiving, spending time with your guests, rather than just cooking dinner. There are plenty of recipes online that require some prep but then once your guests arrive you can just heat them up and serve.
#2 ‘Our favorite foods’ Friendsgiving
One creative idea for hosting Friendsgiving is to have a meal made up of everyone’s favorite foods. Instead of opting for the traditional turkey, (which many people will be having for their Thanksgiving meal anyway), using the pot-luck style, you can ask your friends to bring one or two of their favorite dishes for everyone to try. This can result in some crazy combinations but will give everyone a much more varied choice and is guaranteed to make for a Friendsgiving to remember! To keep the kind of thanksgiving vibe without the traditional food you can use a theme or decorations to pull it all together.
#3 Themed decor – making use of what you have
Fall is such a beautiful time of year, when the leaves turn yellow and orange, and the warm, cozy hats, scarves and gloves come out. Choosing a theme when hosting your Friendsgiving to reflect this season can be simple and effective. You can use natural materials, found outside, such as pine cones, twigs and leaves, to create wreaths or just to decorate your table. Place settings can be made from corks with toothpick placards, and mini pumpkins can be hollowed out as candleholders. You can use cushions, blankets and other soft furnishings to create a welcoming, cozy atmosphere for you and your friends to relax and enjoy together.
#4 Set the vibe – make a Friendsgiving playlist
Music can help set the mood for any celebration, and Friendsgiving is no exception. Choose a mix of “thankful” songs (Dido – Thank you, Andrew Gold – Thank you for being a friend, etc.) and songs that hold special memories for you and your friends to play in the background while you chat and eat.
#5 Hosting Friendsgiving with games
Some of your friends may not have met each other before, and games can be a great way to break the ice. Even if you do all know each other, however, it can be a fun activity to enjoy pre- or post- dinner. Our tips for hosting Friendsgiving with games would be easy options like “Charades”, “Heads Up”, or “Who am I?”.
Tips for hosting a virtual Friendsgiving
Friendsgivings come in all shapes and sizes, but you don’t need to physically be together in order to celebrate together. Most people have become very accustomed to using video calling as a means to stay in contact with friends and family over the past few years, so if your friends are scattered across the country or even across the world, it’s no excuse not to participate! Organize a date and time, as you would if you were hosting Friendsgiving in person, and get ready! There are several options of how to go about this…
Option 1 – (the more involved option)
A couple of weeks before the date, send out a menu with Thanksgiving recipes, (probably just a couple of simple ones would be best), which you all agree to cook, in your individual homes, and then when it’s time, enjoy the same food, together while apart. It can be fun to compare how each friend’s attempt turned out, and you can even make a game of judging whose dish looks the most appetizing!
If you want to go even further, you could upload your recipe as a photo and send a physical invitation to friends and family using MyPostcard.
Option 2 – (medium difficulty)
Decide on a menu together, but no recipes. This way each friend/household can make their own version of a green bean casserole or candied yams, and you can compare results together.
Option 3 – (easy mode)
Everyone does whatever they want. This can be easier as there is minimal effort involved and if Jeff decides he would rather have Chinese takeout than the traditional turkey dinner, then he can happily munch away on his General Tso’s Chicken while still participating in the festivities and merriment on screen.
Happy Friendsgiving! One last tip for hosting…
We hope our tips for hosting Friendsgiving make for a fabulous evening! But however you choose to celebrate Friendsgiving this year, just remember the three Fs – friends, food and fun. The rest doesn’t matter so much as being together and enjoying each other’s company.