Friendsgiving Made Fun and Easy

How to host a Thanksgiving gathering of friends, even at the last minute!

Friendsgiving has become increasingly popular over the past decade. With family around the country, work schedules that don’t accommodate traveling, the high cost of air travel, and a pandemic that forced everyone to stay home, the tradition of celebrating Friendsgiving is here to stay!

Your Guest List

Friendsgiving’s guests can include nearby friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and neighbors who may be alone for the holiday. Create a welcoming invitation verbally, in the mail, or through email so guests feel comfortable knowing what to expect; include a potluck side dish/dessert list.

Side Dishes and Desserts

Assigning side dishes helps the host’s time and budget. Homemade or store-bought vegetable casseroles and quiches are easy, along with traditional root vegetables and mashed potatoes. As host, roast a turkey or make turkey kebabs or legs for simple serving!

Make a Signature Cocktail

Prepare a large pitcher of a Friendsgiving cocktail ahead—a popular seasonal cocktail is the apple cider Moscow mule, garnished with apple slices and cinnamon sticks for serving. Invite friends to bring their favorite wine, mocktail, craft soda, or microbrew.

Dessert Ideas

Store-bought pies or a treasured family recipe are great desserts. Guests can bring dessert hot by wrapping bricks in foil and heating with the dessert in the oven—just pack bricks and dessert to-go on moist towels in a cooler.

Simple Yet Stunning Table Decor

Friendsgiving decorating doesn’t have to break your budget. A table illuminated with candles, small gourds, colorful fall leaves, sugar pumpkins, and pinecones is all you need. For flower lovers, sunflowers or mums always complement the buffet or dining table.

Game Ideas

Playing games can generate laughs all night. Jenga, Pictionary, Uno, and non-traditional games like Feather Plucking can keep the festivities rolling. Supply a bag of feathers, and have guests roll dice to select how many feathers they must put in their hair or clothing. When all feathers are used, then roll to pluck that many feathers off one another. The one with the most feathers at the end of the game must do the dishes as the surviving turkey!

Preparing Your Home

Don’t stress—just clean and declutter the rooms your guests will occupy: the kitchen, dining area, and living room, either DIY or hiring a housecleaner to save time. Don’t forget to clean, stock, and add décor to the bathroom, and add decorative touches such as candles and gourds wherever guests may roam.

Have a Dress Code

A Friendsgiving “dress code” is a fun idea. Word your invitations to include “dress casual for our game of flag football” or “Pilgrim hats will be provided,” or you can go for formalwear or as informal as a pajama party!

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