If you’ve ever hosted a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal, you know how stressful it can be. There’s all kinds of pressure to be the “hostess with the mostess,” and it can be hard!
But the whole point of the holiday is gratitude and gathering. It’s hard to be grateful and enjoy your day if you’re pulling your hair out over decorating, guest lists and, of course, food. So, if you’re asking yourself “How do I host Friendsgiving?? What did I sign up for??” we are here to help!
Here are some ways to ensure that you go to bed at the end of the day with a smile on your face and a belly full of mashed potatoes.
Have a way to entertain your guests
Whether it’s a classic Thanksgiving game of touch football or a color-your own tablecloth, it’s important that you put together some sort of activity to keep everyone entertained before and after your meal. You can send them all outside to the patio (if it’s not freezing!) or to the theater room where you can keep something festive streaming on the TV.
Also, don’t forget to have everyone share what they’re thankful for in one way or another!
Don’t stress yourself out
Remember that having fun is the whole point of this get-together. If your turkey burns or you forget the rolls, you’re going to laugh about it later, so go ahead and enjoy your day! You don’t want to look back and remember how stressed you were.
Make it a potluck
Signing up to host Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving is a big commitment, but it doesn’t mean you’re on your own in the planning, cooking and execution of the event! Have everyone bring their favorite Thanksgiving side dish or put the focus on dessert and have all your guests bring their favorite type of pie.
After all, Friendsgiving is about being thankful for your tribe, so let them help you!
Have fun with decorations
As fun as it is to set a gorgeous table and have a fancy dinner, you can also go the fun route and pick a theme or simply deck out your home with paper turkeys. It’s whatever you make of it! Follow these Friendsgiving decorating tips to help you get the look you’re going for.
The last thing you want to happen is for the big day to come along and you’ve got 45 things on your to-do list. Here are a few ways you can prepare ahead of time.
- Make and freeze some dishes ahead of time. Put your amazing kitchen features to good use! Things like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes tend to freeze and keep well.
- Decorate the night before. This will prevent it from falling to the last minute and you won’t be hanging up decorations as guests walk in the door!
- Do your shopping a week or two in advance. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be forced to wind your way through aisles packed with hundreds of people on Wednesday night after fighting for a parking spot only to find out that the guy in front of you bought the last turkey.
- Square away your guest list. Make sure you know a few weeks in advance who is coming and what they’re bringing.
- But always be prepared for “Last-Minute Lucy” to drop by. Make a little extra just in case someone has a change of plans and can suddenly attend.
Make it “Bring Your Own Drinks” or stock a simple bar cart
Don’t worry about going all out. If you don’t want your friends emptying your super cool built-in wine cooler, make it bring-your-own or host an alcohol-free event. Another fun option is to pick a specialty drink like a sangria bar or classic apple cider.
Stock up on to-go containers
While it’s a good idea to have extra food for last minute additions to the guest list, sometimes this means getting stuck with LOTS of leftovers. And while everyone loves a good turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving, the charm stops after a week or two of nonstop turkey. Grab some cute to-go containers to send some goodies home with your guests!
Friendsgiving should include a lot of things: good food, great friends and quality time together. But it doesn’t have to include stress. So, let’s leave that one off the list this year.