Wondering what Friendsgiving is all about? Friendsgiving lets people enjoy all the best parts of Thanksgiving—fantastic food, easy desserts, football games and lots of laughs—with their closest friends.
Since we can’t always make it home for the holidays to celebrate with family, this holiday gives folks a different way to enjoy the day. For first-time Friendsgiving hosts and guests, here are some tips to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible:
1. Have someone take the lead
Do you have a “mom” in your friend group (you know the one!) or someone whose organizational game is truly on point? These folks are your best bet for hosting a good party—or, at the very least, ensuring Friendsgiving runs smoothly. Use the Plannly app to send out your invites and you’re done! Plannly will send reminders to everyone the closer the date gets.
2. Let friends pick their dishes
Whether they’re armed with a tried-and-true family recipe or terrified of serving an undercooked pie, give your friends a chance to stake their claim on a dish. A Google Doc or other shared spreadsheet (with categories like appetizers, side dishes, veggies and desserts) will make planning so much easier: Friends can simply add their name and what they plan to bring.
3. Assign turkey duty to the host
Transporting a fully cooked turkey all but guarantees a cold supper, so the bird and gravy should be make at the host’s place. This means the host is pardoned from making or preparing anything else.
4. Don’t forget the drinks
If your friends like to indulge in a glass of wine or other celebratory beverage, make sure one person doesn’t get stuck with the whole haul. Instead, have each guest bring a favorite drink or festive holiday cocktail (or mocktail) to share.
5. Make sure there’s plenty to go around
After confirming guests and significant others, the Friendsgiving organizer should send out a serving chart to make sure no one gets short-changed on mashed potatoes come dinnertime.
6. Arrive ready
You definitely don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen. Make sure your dish is as close to finished as possible before heading over to the festivities. With oven space at a premium, slow cooker dishes are a great choice.
7. Check the counter space
With so many dishes, make sure there’s enough counter space to fit them all—especially if certain dishes, like gravy or mashed potatoes, need to be kept warm. If more space is needed, look into temporarily storing appliances such as coffee makers and toasters in another room. Otherwise, ask around to see if one of your guests can bring a folding table.
8. Don’t sweat decorations
The hostess does not have to present the “most-est” decor. With all the prep, planning and cleaning, hosting a dinner party is hard work, so don’t sweat making your tablescape look like the set of a photo shoot. A harvest-colored tablecloth, some glowing candles and a few gourds are plenty festive, and they don’t take much time to arrange.
9. Stock up on the basics
More people in the house means going through basics like toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags and soap more quickly. Shop ahead to make sure you won’t run out—and while you’re at the store, it’s not a bad idea to grab some paper plates and utensils for backup.
10. To-go containers are a must
Don’t let the leftovers go to waste! Ask someone to bring to-go containers for the group, or remind guests to bring their own to make sure everyone gets a serving for the road.
With these handy tips, you’re ready to get the gang together, dig into some great food and enjoy your new favorite holiday…Friendsgiving!