Being away from family can be a lonely affair, it’s an especially hard void to fill during the holidays. You have traditions you can’t recreate without your loved ones and meals that just never seem the same. This Thanksgiving, make the holiday your own with a Friendsgiving.
It’s thought the 90s sitcom “Friends” inspired the instagrammable holiday with their potluck dinners and iconic turkey on head episode in 1998, but there’s no documented proof, only inspiring friendships. In any case, this gathering is becoming a common trend across the country. Instead of sitting alone on the holiday, friends are getting together and making it something special. Even if you have local family, some people get together to celebrate their friendships the week before Thanksgiving. After all, isn’t good company something to be thankful for? And honestly, it’s a little more fun when Aunt Nancy isn’t casting shame over my second glass of wine or inappropriate political jokes.
Here are some tips for planning a successful Friendsgiving:
If you’ve decided to host Friendsgiving, you’re the captain of the team. Most frequently, a host is responsible for the turkey and gravy, because…have you ever tried transporting a massive cooked bird? Not easy. Hosts also assign duties to the rest of their friends, including dishes and supplies. If you have a friend who can’t even cook ramen, ask them to bring paper plates, napkins and drinks. These are your friends, you don’t need fancy plate ware, and why have the extra cleanup? You can also assign a friend to come up with the “fun” aspect for the event and another friend for décor, especially the festive table. Ask each friend to bring either an appetizer or dessert for a well-rounded eating affair. Don’t forget to-go containers. The best way to organize these responsibilities is on a sharable google spreadsheet.
A typical Thanksgiving consists of turkey, gravy, stuffing, vegetable, vegetable casserole and rolls. This isn’t Thanksgiving, though, it’s your Friendsgiving, and if your friends don’t like turkey, don’t make it! If a friend makes a kick-butt macaroni and cheese, have them bring it! If everyone is a huge fan of sushi, then there will be sushi! The best part of Friendsgiving is that all traditions are out the door! Hello, Jello shots and Krispy Kreme donuts. Just make sure the dishes account for any dietary restrictions or allergies, so nobody is left out of the feast.
You and your friends are most likely parents, so to make this get together a fun occasion for every age, plan a few kids’ activities. Although activities are strictly age-dependent, a coloring station is always an easy go. If you are having a large gathering, consider each parent chipping in for a bounce house rental. This will be a hit and kids will be tuckered out by dinnertime. A fun, festive game to play is “turkey baster race.” Kids simply push a feather across the table while pumping a turkey baster. It’s good for all ages, simple, silly and fun. For even more fun, ask each adult to write on a card what they’re thankful for, then pick a card out of the batch and guess who wrote it. It’s a fun way to celebrate the goodness of the day without putting anyone on the spot.
The best part about “Friendsgiving” is spending the day with your friends, the people you enjoy outside of family gatherings, so make the most of your day together and customize it to your interests.