7 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free ‘Friendsgiving’

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with friends and family to enjoy good food and company. 'Friendsgiving' parties have become increasingly popular in recent years. Friendsgiving features all the good food and gratitude of a traditional thanksgiving dinner, but with the "family" you choose! Whether you're a seasoned pro or hosting Friendsgiving for the first time, here are some tips for hosting a stress-free Friendsgiving.

Get The Word Out & Set The Date

If you want to have a Friendsgiving party, you first need to let your friends know that it's happening and that it's a valid alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving they've been going to all their lives. Narrow it down to just the people you can't do without, then work with them to identify mutually convenient times and dates. 

Happy Friendsgiving Invitation 
Friendsgiving is a time to unwind, so don't get bogged down with rules. Consider Friendsgiving an additional Thanksgiving celebration, a time to catch up with friends and revel in the season's joy. It's best to send out invites as soon as possible after Halloween, preferably a few weeks in advance, so that guests may confirm their attendance and you can plan accordingly.

Plan The Menu & Consider Making it a Potluck Friendsgiving 

When the invitations have been sent out and the date has been decided, you may begin making preparations for your Friendsgiving meal. Create a shopping list of everything you'll need as early as possible. If you're unsure how much food or drink you'll need, buy a little extra and store the excess in the freezer. 

If you don't like cooking, consider making your 'Friendsgiving' party a potluck dinner. The rule of thumb is that the host should be responsible for the main dish, whether tenderloin, beef, turkey, or ham, whereas the guests can bring the side dishes or a favorite beverage.  

Friendsgiving Dinner

If you plan on going this route, we recommend including a statement on the invitations about what is needed for drinks, desserts, appetizers, and sides and having each guest respond with what they are comfortable bringing. This will ensure you don't end up with too much of one thing. 
The main event of the dinner party should be the meal itself, so there's no need to go overboard with hors d'oeuvres like stuffed mushrooms and shrimp cocktails. And of course, everyone wants to save room for delicious desserts such as pumpkin and apple pie. Instead of the hassle of making pies we recommend serving simple, healthy desserts such as Chai Apricot Oat Cookies or Pretzel Crusted Pumpkin Bites to satisfy the guests sweet tooth after the main course.   

Pretzel Crusted Pumpkin Bites
Determine The Flow 

Plan the party arrangement properly to avoid excessive crowding and congestion while you're busy in the kitchen; after all, you know the layout of your home better than anyone else. The beverages should be away from the kitchen to keep guests away from the food prep area until it's time to eat.   

Include Games 

Have some games or icebreaker methods prepared if you've invited a large group of people who don't know each other. If you're running late on dinner preparations, throwing out some simple games like Four Square or a deck of cards can keep folks entertained while you finish up. Then be sure to join the fun when you can... hosting shouldn't be all work for you!

Friendsgiving Card Games

Incorporate Music 

What vibe are you hoping to achieve with your dinner party? When picking the proper tunes, we recommend keeping the mood upbeat and engaging, starting with a lower level so attendees can engage in meaningful conversations and knowing your audience so you can curate a playlist that will match their preferences.  

Don't Forget About The Drinks  

Rather than serving the usual wine and beer, try whipping up a batch of seasonal punch to spread even more joy. You can try a Cider Mule or Mixed Berry Lavender Fizz mocktail. If you include alcohol, keep a close eye on intake. If any of your Friendsgiving guests have too much to drink, offer them a clean spot in the house to sleep or call them an Uber or Lyft.  

Cider Mule with Collagen

Don't Be Afraid To Create New Traditions 

Friendsgiving has no established norms or customs, so feel free to create your own. Since it is your party, you can decide how the food will be presented. Do you want to serve Chinese food or tacos instead of a traditional roast turkey meal? Go ahead. There are no rules, so feel free to have fun with it! After all, it's about enjoying time with the people you are thankful for and make you smile.

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