How to Host a Friendsgiving

Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving has the best food. Friendsgiving is a Thanksgiving feast with your friends. And best of all, you and your friends can have whatever foods you want. Find the perfect space to host your Friendsgiving and invite your friends. Ask each of them to choose a dish they want to bring. Make sure no two people bring the same dish. On the day of the event, set the table and provide appetizers for your friends. Introduce your friends to each other and enjoy the camaraderie that follows a successful Friendsgiving.


[Edit]Planning the Friendsgiving

  1. Decide when to hold the Friendsgiving. Most Friendsgiving are within a week of Thanksgiving, either the weekend before or the weekend after. Each scheduling decision has its own pros and cons. Weigh the decision carefully, and get your friends input during the planning stage to find out if most of your friends have a scheduling preference for the Friendsgiving.[1]
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    • If you schedule your Friendsgiving before Thanksgiving, you could use the event to test new recipes and get feedback on some dishes that you want to bring to your family gathering on Thanksgiving. Plus, your friends will probably still be around.
    • If you hold your Friendsgiving the weekend following Thanksgiving, on the other hand, your friends might still be out of town with their own families. Plus, they could be burned out on eating turkey (if you choose to incorporate it).
    • On the plus side of hosting a Friendsgiving after Thanksgiving, though, you can get turkey and lots of other Thanksgiving foods on sale.
    • If you plan to host a Friendsgiving instead of (or in addition to) attending your familys own Thanksgiving, you and your friends could schedule the Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving day.
  2. Choose a location. Youll probably have the Friendsgiving at your house, but you need to locate the best place to host the event and find ways to maximize your space. For instance, if you have an outdoor patio with a table that seats eight, but your dining room table only seats four, youll probably want to have the Friendsgiving outside on the patio.[2]
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    • Think about what the weather is usually like in your area in late November. If youre at a high likelihood of rain or nasty weather, youll have no choice but to host your Friendsgiving inside.
    • If you want to host the Friendsgiving indoors but dont have enough space, you might be able to rent furniture from furniture rental companies for the event. Even a few card tables and folding chairs can provide you with the extra seating you need.[3]
    • Alternately, you could hose the Friendsgiving at your significant others house (with their permission), or at the home of a close friend who has more space.
  3. Invite your friends. Without your friends, you cant have a Friendsgiving. There are several ways to ask your friends to attend your Friendsgiving. For instance, you could:[4]
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    • Send your friends an email or text message. Write, Hi, Im having a Friendsgiving on [insert date]. Would you like to come? If so, can you bring a dish to share with everyone else? Write me back soon with your decision and any questions.: )
    • Talk to your friend directly or call your friend on the phone. Ask your friend, Would you like to come to my Friendsgiving celebration? im inviting several friends and everyone will bring a dish to share. Are you free on [insert date]?
    • Dont invite too many people. Think about how much space you have at your home. If your dining table only seats six, invite six people. If you can make room for extra seats or a foldout table, go for it, but stay conscious of how many friends can eat comfortably at your home.
  4. Talk about what each friend will bring. At Friendsgiving, each friend should bring a dish to share. But you want to ensure that your friends dont all bring the same dish (ten pumpkin pies, for instance, might be a bit much). Coordinate with your friends to identify a dish that they can provide.[5][6]
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    • If your friends are really passionate about cooking a particular dish or type of food, encourage them to bring their specialty.
    • For instance, if your friend has a top-notch mac & cheese recipe, encourage them to make and bring that.
    • Suggest to your friends that they can also buy ready-made foods, and do not have to cook anything from scratch.[7]
    • Let your friends know how many people are coming so they can provide enough to feed the whole group.
    • If your friend is bringing their significant other, ask them to bring two dishes.
    • Think about friends with special diets. For instance, if some of your friends are vegan, ask them and a few other friends to make (or buy) vegan dishes. Friends with special diets should be able to have a proper meal, not just a single item.
    • Ask your friends to have their dishes ready to eat when they arrive at the party. Otherwise, you could end up with a roomful of friends all vying to use the oven.
    • The only exception to the free choice of dish each friend can bring is the turkey. If you decide to include turkey in your Friendsgiving, you the host should cook it and the gravy, because nobody wants to transport a big, cooked bird and a pot of gravy to another house.[8]
  5. Dont feel trapped by Thanksgiving traditions. Thanksgiving is associated with several specific foods like turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. But Friendsgiving isnt Thanksgiving. You can break the rules, or make new ones. For instance, instead of turkey, you could have sushi. Instead of pumpkin pie, get a cake. You could even choose a themed cuisine (like Chinese or Mexican) and have all the Friendsgiving food conform to the theme.[9][10]
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  6. Finalize the plans. When youve figured out when the Friendsgiving will be, whos coming, and what everyone is bringing, send your friends a mass email with all the information. You could also use an app like Google Calendar to coordinate and finalize all these details. This will give your guests the opportunity to clarify and confirm what or who theyre bringing.[11][12]
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[Edit]Organizing on Friendsgiving Day

  1. Tally your plates and flatware. Before inviting a bunch of guests to your house for Friendsgiving, ensure theyll all be able to get a plate. Count your knives, spoons, plates, bowls, and forks. You should have at least one for every person who is attending, plus one of each for you.[13][14]
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    • If you dont have enough flatware and plates, purchase some sturdy disposable plates and plasticware for the event.
    • You could also ask a friend to bring a few extra plates and flatware sets for the Friendsgiving.
  2. Have snacks and appetizers available. Hors doeuvres and appetizers provide an opportunity for friends who dont know each other well to mingle and chat. They also provide a little something to stave off hunger if some of your guests are running late and you dont want to start the Friendsgiving dinner without them, or if some of your dishes arent quite ready on time.[15]
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    • Pre-made snacks and appetizer platters are readily available at most grocery stores. You might consider getting a meat, cheese, and crackers platter, or a fruit salad.
    • Veggie trays with carrots, celery, and pepper sticks and ranch (or another veggie dip) is the perfect appetizer for healthy friends.
    • Have a variety of appetizers ready to appease the various tastes of your friends.
    • Since snacks should be ready to eat as soon as guests arrive, its best to provide the snacks and appetizers yourself unless you have a very trustworthy and reliable friend who you are sure can arrive before anyone else. If you arrange for your trustworthy friend to bring the appetizers and hors doeuvres, let them know that youre counting on them.
  3. Set the table. There are many ways to set the table. You could cover the table with an elegant and decorate tablecloth, or you could just leave the bare wood of the table showing. You could place candles or flowers in the center of the table to set the mood, but if youre cramped for space, you could just reserve your table space for the dishes you and your friends will enjoy.[16][17]
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    • You could set placemats in front of each seat.
    • You could also wrap silverware in a napkin and place it in front of each seat for a more formal dining experience.
    • Experiment with different styles before the Friendsgiving and find one that works for you. Use your knowledge about your friends and their preferences to find something that will make the event enjoyable and memorable for them, too.
    • If your cuisine has a theme, your table-setting should conform to that theme, too. For instance, if your Friendsgiving theme is Japanese food, you might place a small bust of a geisha or a folding fan in the middle of the table.

[Edit]Having a Great Friendsgiving

  1. Let your guests seat themselves. Friendsgiving should be a low-key affair. Theres no need to seat your friends in a formal seating arrangement or use a seating chart to decide who sits where. When your friends come in, say, Make yourself comfortable and sit wherever youd like. Well eat soon.[18]
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    • If some of your friends dont know your other friends, introduce them and share something about each with the other that would be of interest to them.
    • For instance, if your friends Joe and Susan dont know one another, say to Joe, This is Susan. She is an astronaut. Then turn to Susan and say, This is Joe. He writes about astronauts.
  2. Provide alcohol. As the host, youll be responsible for ensuring your guests all have enough to drink. You probably already know your friends drinking habits, but if you dont you could just ask them at some point before the Friendsgiving what they like to drink. If your friends dont drink much (or at all), then you dont need to have much. But if your friends like drinking during dinner parties and get-togethers, provide an appropriate amount and variety of booze.[19]
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    • If you find the cost excessive, you could also ask each of your guests to bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer along with their dish.[20]
    • In addition to alcohol, of course, your Friendsgiving should have soda, water, and juice available for people who dont want to drink.
    • Dont forget to stock up on ice for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
  3. Dig in. All the dishes should be placed on the table and passed around, or arranged on the kitchen counter for buffet-style self-service. If your food is arranged on the counter, fold a notecard in half along its vertical axis, then turn it sideways to create a small sign. Write the name of the dish and the name of the person who made it on each card.[21]
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  4. Schedule some activities. After dinner, invite your friends to join in card games like 21, poker, or hearts. You and your guests might also enjoy a rousing round of Trivial Pursuit or charades. Think about what sorts of activities you and your friends enjoy and provide the opportunities to do them at your house.[22]
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    • To keep the Friendsgiving in the spirit of Thanksgiving, you could provide everyone with a small piece of note paper and a pen and invite them to anonymously write something theyre thankful on the notepad and drop it in a jar. During or after the meal, pull out the pieces of paper and read what each person is thankful for.[23]
    • You could also take an informal vote among your friends for the best dish of the night. Dont vote for yourself![24]
  5. Send leftovers home with your guests. If you have anything left over at the end of the night, invite each of your guests to take some leftovers with them in resealable containers or plastic bags. This will ensure they have a little something for the road.[25]
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    • You might also be able to obtain some disposable takeout containers from certain restaurants. Just approach the restaurant managers and ask if you could have a set of eight or 10 takeout containers and lids for your Friendsgiving.
  6. Have a good time. If youre having fun, your guests will, too. Even if some small inconvenience occurs a friend spills their wine on the table, or drops gravy on the carpet just stay cool and dont let it get to you. Instead, focus on the big picture you and your friends are enjoying a great meal, great conversation, and having great fun together.[26][27][28]
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