Ideas for Hosting the Perfect Friendsgiving


November 16, 2018 | Food Lion
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Hosting a Successful Friendsgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up soon — too soon for many of us — and we often find ourselves scrambling to pull together a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If you don't have family members nearby to spend the holiday with, throwing a traditional or non-traditional Friendsgiving meal for your group of friends can be a great way to spend the day.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you when you're hosting Friendsgiving.

Sending Out the Invitations

The first step is to figure out who you want to invite to your non-traditional holiday. Ask yourself a few questions, like how many people you can fit in your home comfortably, and whether all your guests will get along with each other. Invite people who will embody the spirit of Friendsgiving — good food, good fun and good company.

Once you've got your text list compiled, it's time to send out the invites. You've got plenty of options here — you can send a traditional paper invitation through the mail, an email invite, a social media event, or even just a casual text message. Whichever one will let you contact all your guests easily is the one you should go with.

Make sure you include things like the date, time, location and a way for them to RSVP yes or no. Getting people to RSVP ensures you'll have enough food for everyone, and also that you — hopefully — won't have any uninvited guests.

Preparing the Food

You can't have a good Friendsgiving dinner without good food, but you also don't need to stress yourself out trying to make the turkey and all the fixings. You can just as easily turn this into a potluck dinner, and take most of the stress off your shoulders.

Provide the turkey and gravy, and have all your guests sign up to bring a dish. You can even include it on your invite and have your guests sign up for the dish they want when they RSVP. This also gives them more of an incentive to RSVP quickly and get the dish of their choosing.

Common dishes you might see at your Friendsgiving include:

  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce, either canned cranberry jelly or homemade sauce, depending on your guests and your tastes
  • Mashed potatoes — you can't have turkey and stuffing without mashed potatoes and gravy!
  • Green bean casserole — make up a special dish of this in honor of the woman who created the recipe, Dorcas Reilly, who passed away earlier in 2018
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Rolls
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Pie — apple, pumpkin, pecan or whatever kind you like

Now, this is a menu for a traditional Friendsgiving, but no rule says you have to have turkey and stuffing for your dinner. If you don't want to make turkey, you could even switch it up and have Chinese or Kentucky Fried Chicken for your meal. The only thing that matters is that you're surrounded by friends, and you're all enjoying yourselves.

Don't Forget the Drinks

Now that you've got your food handled, it's time to think about the drinks. If you're planning on having alcoholic beverages, consider telling your guests to bring their own favorite adult beverages. You can even create your own signature Friendsgiving cocktails. If you're not a recipe-guru, don't worry — here are some Friendsgiving ideas for a signature cocktail to get you started.

1. Apple Toddy (Alcoholic)

Make an apple toddy using:

  • Cider
  • Brandy
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Orange Wedge

2. Cranberry Champagne (Alcoholic)

This simple cocktail includes:

  • Champagne
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Lime Wedge

3. Hoppin' Hot Scotch (Alcoholic)

For guests with a sweet tooth, this will be their new favorite drink:

  • Hot Chocolate
  • Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Amaretto

4. Apple-Pie Spiced Cider (Non-Alcoholic)

You need something festive to offer the designated drivers, right? This spiced cider is simple yet incredibly flavorful:

  • Hot apple cider
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Brown sugar
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Salt

5. Warm Pumpkin Spice Beverage (Non-Alcoholic)

Another non-alcoholic option for the pumpkin lovers in the group is made with:

  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Light brown sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream

6. Pomegranate Soda (Non-Alcoholic)

Another go-to beverage to offer is pomegranate soda, made with:

  • Club soda
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Sugar
  • Maraschino cherries

Time to Decorate

You don't have to go out and break the bank for Friendsgiving decorations. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Feel free to use disposable cutlery and flatware. It'll make cleanup afterward a lot easier, which removes some of the stress of the holiday.

Other decoration ideas might include fall-themed colors, flowers or even wheat stalks, pine cones and pumpkins. Or, you can skip these entirely if you don't feel like decorating.

Friendsgiving can be a great way to get together with your friends and show some gratitude for your friendship, and it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Take these Friendsgiving party ideas into consideration, then alter them to create the perfect Thanksgiving celebration for you and your best friends.