PEOPLE! Thanksgiving is MY holiday. The food. The friends. The family. The stretchy pants. I. Love. It. All. Naturally I want to celebrate 18 times in the month of November. But my fam isn’t about that life. Therefore I’ll just attend 16 Friendsgivings.
I volunteered my cousin’s house AND signed him up to host a Friendsgiving for one set of our friends a few weeks ago. That Friendsgiving is coming up and when talking to him last night I could hear the stress in his voice about the things he needed to do. At one point he said ‘maybe I should just go read your blog’. So here’s to you, Matt. A full list of things you need to do to prepare for Sunday! And for everyone else, here are some tips on throwing the most epic Friendsgiving ever!
1. Pick a date and invite your friends – This should be easy. Pick a date that works for you and make a list of friends you want to come. From there you can send out an invite. Paperless Post has some great Friendsgiving options, and most of them can be sent for zero dollars. You could also create a little invite image in Canva and text it to your friends. OR you can just text your friends and tell them to be there. That’s what I did!
2. Plan a menu – Unless someone is super adamant on bringing the turkey, I think that the host should be the one that is responsible for the turkey. Side note, I’ve never made a turkey before, but I saw that Boston Market has a turkey meal right now. So if things go bad I’ll head over there real quick, stay tuned.
Back to the menu. Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving is one of those times where people just know that they should bring something. So don’t feel rude when asking your guests what they plan on bringing. Once you’ve taken a poll of what people want to make, find the gaps of what is still needed. Think about the gravy, desserts, rolls, butter, wine, other drinks (but if you pay attention to my blog, you would already have other drinks on hand)! Either ask a friend if they want to take one of those left off items, find a recipe, or order it from a restaurant. If you’re in Dallas, Eatzi’s and Central Market have great options!!
3. Plan your table – This could go one of two ways. I’ll explain both ways below:
- Set your table with fun place settings. Lay down a festive runner. Add a centerpiece, this could be just a bunch of small pumpkins or maybe one large pumpkin, or you could add an actual floral arrangement (I’ll post a tutorial on how to make your own floral arrangement later this week). Place some candles on either side of the centerpiece if there is room. I found some really great candle holders at Ikea last week that were very affordable. From there you can go ahead and preset your table with your plates, forks, knives and glassware that you already own. I suggest getting a themed cloth napkin to match your table design. World Market is typically my go to when it comes to napkins because they have so many options. Lastly, if you feel like being extra fancy, you can put out place cards and assign seats to everyone! Paper Source has some really cute options right now.
- If you’re like me and have a pretty small apartment and have over invited, there is no way everyone is going to be able to sit at the same table, plus I don’t want to buy extra plates to accommodate everyone. So paper plates it is. You can still decorate your table (or not), but just don’t set a seat for every single person. Target has some really good paper plates that I purchased for my Friendsgiving. My other go to is Swoozies, and they have these SUPER cute plates that I think I’m going to grab for my cousin’s on Sunday! Just make sure that you don’t forget the forks, knives, napkins and cups as well! REALLY important detail, don’t forget the dessert plates and forks. I repeat, do not forget the plates and forks for the dessert.
4. Day of prep – When the day finally comes make sure that you take my tips on how to prepare your home for guests. Put your turkey in the oven along with your other dishes. Try to get this all taken care of before your guests arrive, so that you’re not cooking everything up until the last possible second. Just in case someone needs to use the oven real quick to reheat their dish. Go ahead and lay out all serving utensils. Most of your guests will bring their dish in it’s own container, but it’s nice to have serving spoons just in case. Target has really great plastic ones that would be just fine. Also make sure you have enough ice for all of the drinks.
5. Enjoy your guests – remember that these are your friends and they will love you always. So just enjoy your time with them and don’t stress over the little things, they really don’t care.
- Plan an activity, whether there is already a football game on, or maybe you have a fun game you want to play. Do something so your guests don’t just eat and leave.
- (Spoiler alert to my friends coming over on Tuesday) I may or may not make favors for each of my guests, but I always enjoy writing them a handwritten card to tell them why I’m thankful for them and their friendship. And when I say favors I mean maybe a small bag of cookies, or a little loaf of bread.
- Bring out to-go containers. Personally I have 4 Thanksgiving meals next week, I DO NOT need the leftovers. I grabbed these to-go containers from World Market to send home with each of my guests. It’s a win win all around.
- Be cautious of others dietary restrictions. If you know that someone doesn’t eat a certain ingredient or item, maybe mention it to your other guests so that they are aware as well!
- Create a festive cocktail. I’m pumped to try this recipe I found on The Defined Dish and serve at my Friendsgiving on Tuesday!
That’s it guys, your simple tips on hosting an epic Friendsgiving! I would LOVE to see what you all do at your own Friendsgivings. So, please send me so many pictures of all the things you do!
PS. I’ll post a tutorial on how to make a fall centerpiece from Trader Joe’s flowers later this week!