Throw a Friendsgiving feast

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Friendsgiving is a usually casual Thanksgiving feast with those who you consider family. But it’s casual designation doesn’t mean no rules exist. Here’s a guide for the host and guest that will help your Friendsgiving be fabulous.

Host
A Friendsgiving is meant to be a fun gathering of your closest mates, but the term can apply to any Thanksgiving meal shared between friends, colleagues or even acquaintances. Friendsgiving can be held any time in November. Hosting your dinner on a night other than the 4th Thursday may allow more friends to attend. Thanksgiving Day can work for Friendsgiving too; be sure to coordinate everyone’s schedules well ahead of time.

A Friendsgiving is a blessing for many who may not be near family. Part of the holiday season is good will. Consider inviting one of these “orphaned” guests.

Guests feel obligated to bring something. It is futile trying to convince a guest to show up “empty-handed.” It’s easier to keep some suggestions in mind. Flowers, prepared foods like a finger food appetizer or a baked pie, wine, and creamer for after-dinner coffee are examples of no-fuss things guests can contribute to the meal. You may even ask your crafty friends to bring balloons or other fun decor items they can set up themselves.

Guest

An invitation to a Friendsgiving is a boon. Who doesn’t want to have a fun Thanksgiving meal with friends? The first rule of being a good guest is to be more of a help than a hindrance to the host.

For Friendsgiving, this means helping your friend pull off the best event she can. Before you buy or bring anything, check with your friend. She or he may not have a Monopoly Marathon in her vision of a great Friendsgiving. A tureen filled with your grandmother’s chicken soup may be a nice thing but it can throw your host’s menu and timing completely out of whack.

You’re friends, so be frank. Ask the host what is needed, what would be helpful, and what would be frivolous but fun to have. Make sure whatever you bring requires absolutely zero participation from the host. Flowers need to be in a vase. Appetizers need to be made and put on your own beautiful serving tray (which you can clean at home later). Games and drinks must be pre-approved by the host and drink mixes and their fixings must be completely provided by you. If you want to bring a special gift, contribute a new set of salt and pepper shakers to the host’s existing set. Gravy boats and butter dishes are also chinaware items that hosts often go without. If you know your friends’ china model, take a look through a catalog for some dishes or accessories you can add. These are helpful gifts that will go to good use.

Decor and… costumes?

Friendsgiving isn’t your great-aunt’s gathering. It can be as filled with as much informal fun as you want. Turkey-day decor can include streamers, a photo booth, balloons and more. A costume party may spontaneously erupt, especially if plenty of props are provided. Pilgrims, farm animals, foods and dining accessories are all Turkey-day costumes ideas up for grabs. A simple “Costumes encouraged” on your electronic invitation sets that goofy craziness in motion. Have a few funny hats or aprons around for those friends who don’t catch the memo.

Food

 

The best thing about Friendsgiving is it can be casual or formal. If you’re going casual, having at least two or three traditional Thanksgiving foods helps to raise the day above the usual pizza night hangout. You can have your turkey or ham on paper plates, but definitely include meal items that are part of a typical Thanksgiving feast.

“Finger foods” is a great theme for a large gathering of friends. Paper plates and finger foods are perfect noshes for a big crowd. Sliced turkey rolls, turkey cranberry wraps, potato skins, steamed edamame pods, apple pie bites, pumpkin nut cups are good options for a no-utensil Friendsgiving. There are thousands of finger foods to choose from, but try to keep within the Thanksgiving taste palette to make the day feel special.

Friendsgiving for all

Family can come to Friendsgiving, just as friends can come to Thanksgiving. The feast is about bringing the friendship back into the meal. A low-stress, chill day of fellowship and feast is the goal of Friendsgiving, and that can be achieved by all.