How to Throw THE BEST Friendsgiving (and a simple boozy potluck recipe!)
Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends. Some choose to have only Thanksgiving typed foods at the celebration while others take a more traditional potluck approach, opting for everyone to bring their favorite food, a family recipe, or the food they are most thankful for.
The thought of hosting a perfect event might initially seem somewhat stressful, but there is no need to fret! (As someone who just planned a fun and successful Friendsgiving for a group of 25 college students, I assure you it is not as difficult as it might look!) Here is how you can create your very own successful and memorable Friendsgiving.
Schedule your Friendsgiving
Reach out to some of your friends a few weeks out in order to get an idea of which date works best for most. Regardless of when in the month of November you throw your event, make sure guests are given a minimum of a week and a half notice to plan accordingly. I have found Sunday nights to be the best for getting large groups of people together. After you pick your date create an invite! A Facebook invite is a great way to keep people updated on what is going on. You can create a poll of dates to see what is best and people have the opportunity to connect with one another and post on the event page about all things Friendsgiving.
Plan the Dishes
Create a Google Sheet or utilize your Facebook event as a way for guests to post what they are bringing. With everyone having access to who is bringing what, guests can make sure they are contributing something different to the mix. Make sure guests know to arrive to the event with their dish completely finished including serving dishes and utensils. You don't want any guests arriving night of with all their ingredients expecting to utilize your kitchen.
Wine and Champagne are a must for your Friendsgiving celebration. Additionally, creating a spiked cider is easy and delicious. I contributed a spiked apple cider to my Friendsgiving and it was the first thing that disappeared! So many people asked for the recipe! They were shocked when I told them all it took was two gallons of apple cider, three cups of spiced rum, three cinnamon sticks, two chopped apples and a large chopped orange. I let the pot sit on simmer for a few hours to have the fruit and cinnamon spread their flavor. (Crockpots will do the trick too if you have one) The finishing touch was to pour it in my plastic punch bowl! I highly recommend trying it out at your next holiday party!
Decorating for this event doesn't have to be a hassle! Feel free to ask guests if they would like to contribute a dollar or two to the decor fund. You can never go wrong with utilizing your local dollar store for themed decor. Autumn inspired garland, wall decals, and ceiling hangings are a cute addition to get into the fall spirit. Dollar stores can also surprise you with plastic champagne flutes, and plastic crystal like looking dishes that will have guests thinking you spent a fortune when reality you were able to keep your decor and utensil budget to under $30.
Set the Mood
Create a fun playlist to have as the soundtrack to your dinner party. Whether you choose to use a set Pandora station, play from your iTunes library, or create a Spotify playlist full of favorites, good music will never fail to get the party started. This is also the perfect night to light your favorite fall scented candle. When guests walk through the door the smell of your Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle will be sure to create a relaxing atmosphere and warm glow to the night.
Don’t forget how blessed you are
Thanksgiving is centered around giving thanks. Do not let that slip your mind during your dinner party. Cover a wall with packing paper, or use it as a table cloth. Draw lines at each place setting so people can write down what they are most thankful for and why they feel blessed.
Kiss Stress Goodbye
Stress should not be a big factor when planning or executing your Friendsgiving fun. Keep in mind that the people coming to this dinner are your friends! Being stressed could put a damper on your night or bum out your friends, so stay positive! Remember, sometimes things happen, so it's ok to laugh off any little hiccups that might occur. If you are still concerned, the San Diego Life Events team is here to help! Contact us for a quote, we can have a San Diego Event Planner help with your Friendsgiving, themed dinner party, or any other type of celebration! So enjoy the night, the food and the moment with those who mean so much to you!
Blog post by Intern Coordinator Danielle Hendricks, edited by Rachel Weinshanker, exclusively for San Diego Life Events
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