Celebrate Friendsgiving

Friends are the Family You Choose

Article by Sue Baldani

Photography by BanAvenue Photography

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

For those who may be far away from their families or not able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them for other reasons, consider having a Friendsgiving instead. Invite those people who have made a positive impact on your life and who you would love to have seated around your holiday table. After all, the day is about being thankful and sharing with others.

Influencer and lifestyle blogger, Alley Leto decided to gather some friends together for a boho-styled Friendsgiving in her backyard and shared some tips to make your event a worry-free affair.

Alley notes that the unofficial holiday of Friendsgiving seems to have popped up in the mid-1990s. A combination of the words “Friends” and “Thanksgiving”, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Friends come together to celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks for one another. Some say this “holiday” may have started with the show Friends. Although the gang had Thanksgiving together every year the word “Friendsgiving” was never used! A quick search on the internet offers several theories so it’s unclear how this fun unofficial holiday all got started.

Alley encourages hosts to think outside the box when it comes to the menu. There’s no rule that says you have to stick to traditional Thanksgiving foods, although some people might be upset if they don’t find a turkey on the table.

Also, decide how you’ll get all the food on the table, whatever it may be. Will you do all the cooking, or will you roast the turkey and have your friends each bring a side dish? Or, will you ask guests to bring a bottle of wine or dessert? Maybe you would prefer to sit back and relax and have the entire dinner, from appetizers to dessert, catered. You could even go a step further and hire someone who can serve and take care of cleanup, which is exactly what Alley decided to do.

“Friendsgiving should be a relaxed event where you can sit back and have a great time with good friends,” says Alley.

Alley teamed up with Rollin’ Local catering and Flourishing Fern to create a non-traditional, fall menu for her guests, all of which was sourced locally. Guests enjoyed pasteurized deviled eggs, roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup, mixed greens salad with a fig dressing, spiced butternut squash and mushroom lasagna and a panna cotta for dessert.

If you are invited to a Friendsgiving and it’s not clear on the invitation, Alley suggests asking the host(s) what they would like you to bring. If no food is needed, then bring a bottle of wine or a small thank you gift such as flowers or a candle.

To find out more about Alley and to check out her blog, go to LifeofAlley.com

 Friendsgiving should be a relaxed event where you can sit back and have a great time with good friends

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