When we think of family, we usually picture the people who’ve raised us, been there since childhood years or otherwise played an integral role in our early development.
However, as years go by, we form many meaningful relationships with people who are otherwise unrelated to us. Those can be fellow students, coworkers, people you share hobbies with… Some bonds become so strong, we even go as far as calling them our second or third family. So it’s no wonder that certain family holidays have developed spin-offs dedicated to friends. One of such is Friendsgiving.
Simply put, Friendsgiving is Thanksgiving but celebrated with friends instead of your immediate or even extended family. Its popularity has been slowly growing and is often credited to the famous TV show “Friends.” Unlike Thanksgiving, however, Friendsgiving has fewer restrictions and solid rules so it really varies from one group to another.
The ambiguous nature of this celebration can make it a bit hectic and stressful, especially on the ones who commit to hosting it. That’s why we wanted to put together a quick guide on how to throw a memorable Friendsgiving party and not lose your head in the process.
We drew inspiration from the talented creative Elizabeth Van Lierde (College Housewife) and her backyard party with mouthwatering food, eye-catching table setting featuring our table linens, and good company to top it off!
Remember it is NOT about the food
It just so is that big annual holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, put a huge focus on food. Although founded on different religious and cultural principles, these occasions often become a reason to stuff yourself with delicious food, often way too much of it…
The beauty of Friendsgiving is that food is a secondary focus. The main goal here is to unwind, catch up, have fun, and spread love. That’s why Friendsgiving dinners are often organized potluck style meaning everyone brings something to the table, literally.
If you’re throwing your Friendsgiving party after Thanksgiving, tell people they’re welcome to bring leftovers. That way you’ll still have a taste of the original feast and won’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours. Otherwise, assign meals to each guest: keep the main course to yourself but it’s totally fine to ask someone to bake a pumpkin pie or take care of appetizers.
Taking cues from Elizabeth, you can totally go for a rich cheese board, a lighter main course with a fresh salad, and a variety of desserts that your guests take turns in preparing or decorating.
Utilize everyone’s talents
Another thing about Friendsgiving is that you probably have people coming from all walks of life with very different skillsets. Use that to your advantage and utilize their talents. Is someone really good with time and task management?
Ask them to help you plan out the guest list, the shopping list, prep tasks, etc. Someone has a really good taste in music? Ask them to make a playlist. Is there a cocktail connoisseur in your midst? Ask them to be responsible for the drinks. Well, you get the idea!
Play games, share traditions, make memories
As mentioned above, Friendsgiving is not stuffing yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie until your zipper breaks. You’re surrounded by people you love and maybe don’t get to see that often so use that time to learn what new is happening in their lives.
Having cards or pieces of paper where people could write down what they are thankful is also a good idea, and you can keep those note in a jar and read them the next year when you’re all together again. It can become a beautiful tradition that will have you gathering and celebrating Friendsgiving year after year.