For some, Thanksgiving typically entails spending time with unruly relatives that can make the big day hard to bear. And if all that chaos has you wanting to forgo the familial celebration altogether, consider the alternative—host a Friendsgiving. Whether you want to skip the pains of holiday travel or ignore the politically-fueled bickering, throwing a low-key and friend-filled dinner is the type of feast your besties can get down with. We’ve put together some top tips and tricks to help you host the ultimate Friendsgiving.
Keep it Small
While your friend group might range from college roommates to cordial coworkers, try and be as selective as possible when sending out your invites. This is a time where you want to create the most comfortable environment possible and really focus on the tight-knit bonds you’ve fostered (i.e. not a time for networking). Plus, if you’re short on space, it’s a good idea to avoid any potential for overcrowding.
Assign a Menu
When it comes to the meal, who says you have to do it all yourself? A potluck-style Friendsgiving is the perfect way to get everyone involved all while taking some of the burden off your back. Now is when you can confidently throw caution to the wind and give tired traditions a break. Have your crew cookup or purchase their favorite apps, sides or desserts—whether they’re pumpkin-inspired or Mexican-flavored, your family won’t be there to judge you.
Keep the drinks (and alcohol) flowing by mixing up a big-batch signature cocktail. The idea of a free-flowing punch bowl is both budget friendly and stress-free for you, the host. Keep the ice separate and serve mugs or glasses on the side. For dinner, let your guests take the reins when it comes to wine choice—maybe that one friend whose talents are better suited outside of the kitchen.
Minimize the Mess
With any big get-together comes an even bigger cleanup, but there are some ways to spare yourself the mess. Regardless of your stance on paper or plastic, consider investing in disposable plates, utensils and serving platters. At the end of the night, all you have to do is toss everything in the trash and you’re good to go. As far as leftovers, have your friends bring any extra food home in the same containers they came in.
No need to hit up your local Hobby Lobby, everything you need to deck out your tablescape is probably already in your home. Use craft paper as a tablecloth which can double as a fun and interactive setting for your guests. Leave pencils and markers out to doodle or have everyone write down what they’re thankful for. Oranges studded with cloves also act as a bountiful centerpiece piled high in your favorite bowl or vase.