Thanksgiving is a time when families gather together to celebrate and eat lots and lots of food. However, for some couples, traveling—or choosing which family to visit—can be daunting. This year, get your local friends together and have a holiday celebration with our fabulous Friendsgiving ideas.
What is the Friendsgiving date?
If the concept of Friendsgiving is new to you, that’s ok! It’s only been around since 2007, and it happens a week before Thanksgiving Day. When families traditionally gather on the 4th Thursday in November, the Friendsgiving date is the week before.
However, the Friendsgiving date isn’t set in stone! You can celebrate it the weekend before or after Thanksgiving. The main point is to celebrate coworkers, neighbors, and friends that live in your town.
You may not be able to celebrate with your friends on Thanksgiving Day. Although you can get together and enjoy a holiday meal together. No matter your Friendsgiving date, it’s a fabulous excuse to gather together.
9 Friendsgiving Ideas for an Amazing Holiday
1. Create an inviting entryway for your Friendsgiving.
Ideas abound when it comes to decorating your front porch for fall. Pumpkins, mums, and autumn colors can create a striking effect to welcome your friends.
Place pumpkins in a variety of sizes leading up to your door. Lay them on stairs and down walkways to add color, and pepper the empty spaces with mums. So seasonal and lovely for your Friendsgiving event.
Set the Friendsgiving scene with a beautiful, autumn display outside.
2. Amp up your autumn decor.
You may be tempted to ditch the fall decorations, but hold off and keep them up for your dinner with friends. If you aren’t well-stocked with autumn decor, you can often score it for a steal in late November.
Use pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and other natural elements on your table and in your home to set the scene. Keep the feeling of fall alive even though Christmas is right around the corner.
Don’t ditch the fall decor quite yet! Save it for your Friendsgiving celebration.
3. Serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry relish aren’t just for Thanksgiving Day anymore. Incorporate these traditional foods into your Friendsgiving, too. Poll your guests to see what their must-have dishes are. You may be surprised at what some of them consider Thanksgiving staples.
Once you know what everyone’s favorite dishes are, use those Friendsgiving ideas as a springboard. Build a hearty, delicious menu around the foods that your guests crave. You can even make mini pumpkin pies!
Serve traditional Thanksgiving foods, such as pumpkin pie, turkey, and stuffing.
4. Divide up the workload.
Just because you want to organize a Friendsgiving gathering, doesn’t mean that you want to do all of the work. And you shouldn’t have to do so! Divvy up the workload to make it easier.
Most of your friends will be thrilled to help you see your Friendsgiving ideas come to life. Certain guests can help make the meal, and others can be in charge of decorating. Let your BFFs help out if they’d like. This is especially appropriate if you’re inviting other couples to your event.
Come up with a Friendsgiving menu, and divvy up the responsibility.
5. Create a gorgeous tablescape.
Did you register for china for your wedding—do people even do that anymore? Maybe you have a set passed down from your parents or grandparents. Either way, one of the most important Friendsgiving ideas is to create a gorgeous tablescape.
Having a beautifully styled setting will encourage people to linger and create a cozy feeling. Layer different textures, have a flower arrangement, and don’t be afraid of color. So lovely!
Break out dishes and glasses you don’t normally use to style your table.
6. Offer Friendsgiving ideas for the dress code.
Communicate a Friendsgiving dress code for your guests. Some families go all out and dress up in more formal looks, and others are happy to be comfy in stretchy pants and loungewear.
Figure out what type of event you’d like to have. Keep it cozy, and let your guests know what type of clothing to wear. Of course, they can dress up or down if they want. However, quite often people like to know what’s acceptable. Give them an opportunity to break out their soft, fall sweaters.
Relieve the minds of your guests by letting them know the Friendsgiving dress code. Keep it cozy!
7. Take the opportunity to build relationships.
While you have everyone gathered, bring them even closer together. If you’re having friends over for a meal, chances are they’re important to you. However, if they don’t know each other, be sure to do introductions. At the very least, have cute name tags so that people can chat about how they know you.
Play games (ideas here!), and spend time chatting around the table. The holiday season lends itself to stepping back and placing importance on relationships. Take the opportunity to do so!
Need Friendsgiving ideas to build community? Play games, encourage conversation, and have an icebreaker.
8. Get outside and play.
Unless it’s really frigid or rainy, get outside and have a bit of fun. Work off your Friendsgiving meal—after all, you DO have a Thanksgiving meal coming up.
Jump in a pile of leaves. Break out the football and play a casual game. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Light a bonfire and chat around the fire late into the evening. Enjoy the fall weather before it gets truly cold.
Need Friendsgiving ideas to burn calories? Get outside and take a walk or play in the leaves.
9. The best of Friendsgiving ideas: encourage people to stay.
You’ve created a beautiful atmosphere, and other couples and friends are talking. Encourage them to linger! People can get a second—or third—plate of food. Friends can keep playing games and chatting.
Some may even want to help clean up, which is ok. One group can converse in the living room while another group clears the table and puts away leftovers. Enjoy each other’s company whether you’re cleaning or just socializing. That’s also where the bonfire mentioned earlier can come in handy.
Need Friendsgiving ideas to encourage people to stay? Have them help clean up or start a bonfire.
Will you be using our Friendsgiving ideas?
Remember, it’s not the Friendsgiving date that’s important, but getting together is essential. Celebrate in a relaxed, casual atmosphere with your close friends, coworkers, and neighbors before—or after—Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy!