How to Pull Off the Best Friendsgiving Ever

November 03, 2018

How to Pull Off the Best Friendsgiving Ever

For those who live far from family, this alternative Thanksgiving is the be-all and end-all.

Friends, feasting, festivities, and fun: Is there anything more fitting than all of these together under one roof? For those who live too far from family to come home for Thanksgiving, this friendly alternative is the be-all and end-all as far as holiday meals go. But preparing food (divvy it up or potluck style?) and making room for everyone (musical chairs!) can become a logistical headache.

But don’t worry, with the right planning and attitude, you can host (or attend) a perfectly put-together party. Here are our tried-and-true tips on making the most of your Friendsgiving.

Divide and Conquer

While letting guests bring whatever their stomachs desire might seem like the easiest way to go, you don’t want to end up with four portions of cranberry sauce or not enough mashed potatoes. Plan out a list of Thanksgiving food items and have people sign up. That way, you know exactly what’s on the menu and everyone is tasked with a dish they can really perfect. As the host or organizer, you can see ahead of time who’s making what and assign similar dishes to the same person (someone making brussels sprouts may want to take on broccoli, too!) accordingly.

Have friends who can’t cook? Let them take care of the cocktails or help with decor.

Keep It Simple

If you have early bird guests, try having cured meats, cheeses, fruits, olives, and nuts on hand. Anything that doesn’t require cooking or more than simply removing it from the packaging will be especially helpful. Having a gorgeous charcuterie board can also double as decor (think centerpiece).

DIY Desserts

Yes, desserts are important, but in the case that oven space isn’t available, stick to non-baked items. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with store-bought cookies if you add your own personal flourishes! Baking and decorating tools are here to save the day—and space.

You can also easily procure a perfectly perfect pie from the freezer section of your favorite store, or ask a talented baker friend to bring one. If you must go full-on Rachael Ray and bake your own masterpiece, do so one or two days in advance. Consider a premade crust to save time. You can also put an unbaked pie in the freezer weeks ahead and bake it a day or two before.

Bring in the Best Seats

Make folding chairs and cushions your BFF. Accommodating every person is key, especially if you have late stragglers. And for anyone who has to leave early, simply fold up and put away chairs no longer in use.

Sneak In Surface Space

Perhaps creating a buffet line is the most fitting for your party. Folding tables can come in handy for those few extra dishes your neighbor from upstairs brings over at the last minute.

Top Off with Tradition

Just because you’re not having a traditional Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t go around the table and express your gratitude for the great company and food! This special turkey (one that won’t get eaten!) has paper feathers that each person can write their messages of gratitude on and then read aloud.

Be Flexible (and Don’t Forget to Have Fun!)

As always, what makes the best get-togethers are prep work, cooperation, and lightheartedness when things don’t go perfectly. And let’s not forget the tunes! No party is complete without music. All you need is a speaker that can connect to a smartphone and voilà, your party playlist can come to life.

Happy Friendsgiving to all!

–Tran Pham

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