This year I’m looking forward to celebrating Friendsgiving ⏤ Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends. Looking to try something a little different this year? Celebrate the holidays with your favorite pals, and enjoy the quality time with friends around a festive feast. Here’s my advice for throwing a fun Friendsgiving.
Make your playlist longer than you think you’ll need. Friendsgiving gives you a chance to spend lots of quality time with your favorite pals. If you plan to invite friends over early (to help with the cooking, or just for cocktail hour), make sure you factor that in to the length of your playlist. I like to start off with more upbeat music while I’m still in the kitchen, and transition to more relaxed tunes by the end of the meal.
Craft the perfect cocktail. I love using a punch bowl or a large pitcher to batch a “signature cocktail” for holiday parties. You can offer wine or sparkling waters as an alternative. Try Apple Cider Sangria, Pear Ginger Margaritas, or Apple Cider and Rum Punch.
Build a beautiful cheese board. Snacks are perhaps the most underrated part of Thanksgiving. If you’re serving cocktails before the big meal, a thoughtful selection of snacks or a cheese plate can keep your guests from getting too tipsy before dinner. If you’re nervous about folks filling up on snacks before dinner, stick to beautiful raw veggies and dip, or add lots of fresh produce to take up more space on the cheese plate.
Skip traditions, just pick your favorites. Friendsgiving is a chance to break out of the mold and try something new. Don’t feel obligated to make every side dish (or even turkey!) if you don’t want to. Food 52 created a special Thanksgiving menu planner to help you create the custom meal of your dreams.
Keep table decor simple, but add a personal touch. This is why I love our simple cloth napkins — they’re great for every day, but they feel special enough to use at Friendsgiving. Creating a special placecard always feels like nice touch, and can help if you want to direct the flow of conversation by seating folks where they’ll feel comfortable.
Ask for help. You don’t need to shoulder the burden of cooking the entire meal. A potluck is not out of the question for Friendsgiving! Check out Bon Appetit’s list of side dishes and desserts that are easy to delegate to a friend. Their pumpkin caramel tart looks incredible!
Stick to one dessert. Don’t worry about making three pies to suit every taste. This Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake looks like a winner to me… just add a dollop of fresh whipped cream.