Friendsgiving has become a beloved tradition, providing an opportunity to celebrate gratitude and friendship in a more relaxed setting than traditional Thanksgiving. The term “Friendsgiving” gained official recognition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as of January 2020. The choice of menu at Friendsgiving is a decision made collectively by the host and attendees, but generally, it mirrors the traditional Thanksgiving day spread. Potluck-style gatherings are common, with each participant contributing a dish to share—whether it’s a personal favorite or a recipe that evokes a sense of home. Whether you’re a seasoned Friendsgiving host or a first-timer, here’s a guide on how to do Friendsgiving right and create lasting memories with your chosen family.
Set the Mood: Create a warm and inviting atmosphere by decorating your space with autumnal colors, cozy blankets, and string lights. Consider creating a playlist of your favorite tunes or opting for a more relaxed ambiance with acoustic melodies. A well-thought-out setting enhances the overall experience and makes your Friendsgiving feel special.
Gratitude Activities: Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Friendsgiving by incorporating gratitude activities. Have each guest write down something they’re thankful for on a leaf-shaped piece of paper and create a gratitude tree as a centerpiece. Alternatively, go around the table and share your thoughts on what makes your friendship special.
Potluck Style Feast: Friendsgiving is all about sharing and coming together, so make it a potluck! Assign specific dishes to each guest to ensure a diverse and well-balanced feast. From appetizers to desserts, everyone can contribute their culinary skills, making the meal a collaborative effort. This also eases the burden on the host and allows everyone to showcase their favorite recipes.
Signature Drinks: Add a personal touch to your Friendsgiving by creating a signature drink for the occasion. Whether it’s a spiced cider, autumn sangria, or a non-alcoholic punch, having a special beverage adds a festive element to the celebration. Don’t forget to provide alternatives for those who prefer non-alcoholic options.
Games and Entertainment: Keep the energy high with fun games and entertainment. Board games, card games, or even a friendly round of charades can bring laughter and joy to the celebration. Consider creating a photo booth with props to capture the memorable moments of the day.
Dessert Bar: End the feast on a sweet note by setting up a dessert bar with a variety of treats. From pumpkin pie to apple crisps, give your friends the opportunity to indulge in their favorite desserts. This also adds an interactive element as guests can assemble their own dessert plates.
Although the Thanksgiving season often brings to mind family traditions, Friendsgiving provides an opportunity to express gratitude for the friendships that enrich our lives and to create your own customs with those dear to you; even if not connected by blood. All that’s needed is a spread of delightful food on the table and a gathering of seats occupied by the people you hold close. By planning ahead and incorporating personal touches, you can host a Friendsgiving that is not only enjoyable but also a cherished tradition for years to come. Remember, it’s not just about the food; it’s about the shared moments and the bonds that make Friendsgiving a truly special occasion.