For the past several years, my husband and I have hosted a "Friendsgiving" the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. It has been a fun tradition to carry on and we're happy to see that more and more people are celebrating Thanksgiving with friends every year. If you are planning on hosting your very own Friendsgiving, here are some things to think about...
As fun as it sounds to invite everyone you know, you've got to make sure that everyone will have a place to sit. You can't very well eat Thanksgiving turkey and sweet potato pie standing up surrounded by party guests. If you are inviting friends with children, make sure to make a plan for them too — a kids' table or maybe a fun craft for them to do!
2. Pick a date.
This is easily the busiest time of the year so make sure you plan wisely. I'd stay away from Thanksgiving weekend since many people are traveling during that time. We always do a Saturday or Sunday evening, the weekend before. (Friday nights aren't great since turkeys take so long to cook!)
3. What's for dinner?
In my opinion, it's only Thanksgiving if turkey is the star of the menu. As the host, you should be in charge of preparing the bird. Make sure to find a simple and not-too-out-of-the-ordinary turkey recipe so that your guests will enjoy it. As for the rest of the meal, divvy up who's bringing what. Don't just say "bring whatever" or you'll end up with three different green bean casseroles and nothing else. (Yes, I've made this mistake.) Think about appetizers, bread, sides, desserts and drinks. It's a feast, so make sure everything is covered!
4. Send an invitation.
Don't just send a text message or email about your Friendsgiving feast. Make it official with an official invitation that requires an RSVP. Send something in the mail, or use a web-based service to send something out. Sites like Evite and Paperless Post even have Friendsgiving themes for you to choose from!
5. Plan your decor.
Your Friendsgiving will be a lot more intimate if you create a lovely ambiance. Tablecloths, a few candles, and a pumpkin centerpiece or two can be a really easy and affordable way to decorate for your event. Don't forget about dinnerware and cutlery, too! If you need ideas, browse Pinterest! There is so much inspiration out there for every budget.
6. Make a playlist.
There's got to be some nice music playing in the background, especially if you want people to stick around. Gather some easy listening tunes and put together a perfect playlist for your Friendsgiving meal. Better yet, listen to some albums on vinyl for a bit of nostalgia!
7. Plan ahead.
Friendsgiving isn't just another dinner party. Make sure you start setting up and getting ready more than the day before. You will be spending most of the day of cooking your turkey, so anything you can get done ahead of time will help you out tremendously.