Are you thinking of hosting a Friendsgiving party this year? Well then, do I have some Friendsgiving ideas for you! This will be my third year hosting at our house, and it truly is one of my most favorite events to plan and enjoy!
I start getting texts and inquires early each fall from past attendees asking if we’re going to host again this year. And my answer is always of course! Not to toot my own horn, but Friendsgivings at my home are kind of amazing. So, when I say I have some great Friendsgiving ideas, I’m not fibbing! Grab your coffee, a notepad, and let me share all the secrets to a great Friendsgiving!
5 Friendsgiving Ideas just for you!
1. pick a theme/decide on a mood
Do you want your Friendsgiving fancy? Black tie and all glam? Or is it relaxed and casual? Are kids invited, or it is adult only? Do you want to go with a fun theme or certain colors? The sky is the limit here and you can switch it up each year to keep it interesting.
We’ve always done semi casual gatherings. I want everyone to be comfy! We dress up, but not super fancy. More like dinner date apparel. I’ve decorated before with a fun banner and feature wall, and that was super cute!
This year I’m going with blush pink and gold decor, and I can’t wait! These are some of the items I’m getting for our party! Budget friendly tip: Balloons are some of the best ways to decorate and make a feature wall without breaking the bank.
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2. Decide on who brings what for dinner
I usually cook the main dishes, like turkey and ham, myself. That way someone doesn’t have to worry about transporting a huge turkey and trying to keep it warm. Knowing what I’m cooking, I then sit down and write out everything else that is usually included.
Typical Thanksgiving dinner:
- Appetizers (deviled eggs, cheese board, stuffed mushrooms)
- Green Bean casserole
- Mashed potatoes & gravy
- Cranberry sauce
- Assorted salads (Brussel sprout salad, broccoli salad, pea salad, Waldorf salad)
- Pies (pecan pie, chocolate pie, pumpkin pie)
- Other desserts (Brownies, cookies, blondies)
- Drinks (Wine, soda, specialty cocktails, apple cider)
If I know someone attending makes a great pie or special dish, I offer them that option first, and so on. I then opened it up to what people would like to bring. I’d shoot out a group text or in a Facebook Invite say, “I need three salads, 30 rolls, mashes potatoes, 3 pies, and so on. . . who’d like to bring what?” My guests knew in advance they’d be responsible for bringing food items, since it was included in the invitation. Once everything is assigned, I take any additional stray items and make them myself. Usually I whip up an extra dessert or salad that could easily be made a day in advance. Better to send people home with leftovers than not have enough food!
*pro tip: Purchase ahead of time some cheap food storage containers to send leftovers home in. Tell everyone to just keep the containers and not worry about returning anything!
3. Games and things to do
We always have a $5 buy-in for poker that the guys, and a few ladies, sit down and play while the food is getting ready. I’ll have people arrive around four, and we’ll plan to eat around five. This gives everyone time to snack on appetizers, grab a drink, mingle and catch up, and just unwind a bit. This also gives the stragglers time to show up, because we all know those friends that always run late. (No judgment here, I’m usually one of those friends!)
We also like to have other board and card games sitting around so people can grab them whenever. My goal of Friendsgiving is not just to feed everyone, but to relax, enjoy, play, and chat. I usually have a festive playlist on in the background, drinks are flowing, and we’re all in good spirits!
4. Create an atmosphere of cozy
Have a fireplace? Make sure its roaring. Even if you have to open a few windows to keep the heat down. It’s the affect and cozy feeling a fire gives that makes people want to stay awhile. Place low sent candles in visible areas but away from all the commotion. This is a great time to whip out the battery powered candles. No worry of fire if one tips over with all the guests everywhere. And, we don’t want to compete with all the yummy smells from the kitchen with a strong scented candle. We’re just looking for the relaxing vibes candles give off. Here are a few great options.
Strategically place some oh-so-soft throws over chairs and the backs of couches. You’ll be sure to look over and see a friend wrapped up snug as a bug at some point in time during the evening.
5. Let friends help prep and clean up with you
Friendsgiving is about having friends hang out, and that includes doing dishes and cleaning up. Don’t take all the responsibilities on yourself. When someone asks to help, let them get involved. The sooner the food is put away and the kitchen clean the sooner you can get back to enjoying your guests!
There you go! These are the essential Friendsgiving ideas and and tips to make sure your party is one your friends will talk about and look forward too the whole next year! Make sure you’re following along over on Instagram where I share Friendsgiving in real time, as well as all the fun DIY and party planning I do throughout the year!