Thanksgiving is a time to take inventory of all the things for which we’re grateful. It’s a time to pause and remember what’s truly important in our lives. It’s a time for kind thoughts, loving feelings and of course, pumpkin pie. But mostly, it’s a time to gather with those we love. And that isn’t just family.
Friends are like family. They’re there with us through the good and bad; thick and thin. Friendsgiving is a relatively new tradition springing up in dining rooms across the country. It’s a Thanksgiving celebration with your best pals, usually centered around your favorite comfort foods.
From what to make to what to wear, here are our favorite tips for hosting the ultimate Friendsgiving.
1. Send official invitations
With friends, it’s easy to go super casual — but you shouldn’t skip the invite. Sending invitations will help iron out an official time and date and let your guests know what to bring. (And it will help you finalize your official guest list so Friendsgiving doesn’t turn into a rave.) You don’t have to spend too much time on it. Evite has a variety of nice Thanksgiving (even Friendsgiving-specific!) invitations you can simply send via email.
2. Divvy up the dishes
I am a pumpkin pie fiend, but nobody needs five pumpkin pies. If you’re using Evite, have people comment to “sign up” for dishes to bring. You can do the same thing on Facebook, a text message thread, on the phone or through good old-fashioned personal contact. Have a friend who doesn’t like to cook? No problem. Ask them to bring store-bought rolls, chips or wine.
3. Give your home fall finesse
A little festivity goes a long way. You don’t have to go completely “Martha Stewart” to create a nice atmosphere. Hang a fall wreath on the door for a warm, harvesty welcome. Set out some decorative pumpkins and gourds. Use free printables like these ones from The Tomkat Studio. Little touches make a big difference.
3. Make a crowd-pleasing playlist
Odds are, your friends’ music taste are unique. Set the tone with a combination of crowd-pleasing warm tunes that are comforting and relaxing. (Need a nudge? Check out our Chill Fall Playlist.) Music may seem like “just background noise,” but putting thought into it can help create an ambient vibe that puts your guests at ease. As Robert Fripp says, “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” Speaking of wine …
4. Make this sangria
This fall sangria recipe from Pretty Plane Janes combines the tartness of apples, sweetness of honey and kick of your favorite fall spices for a heady concoction that is sure to make you the most-amazing-we’ll-never-forget-this-friendsgiving-and-keep-these-memories-in-our-hearts-forever host. I mean, who doesn’t love sangria?
5. Dress for the occasion
Keep in mind you’ll be running around in an apron beforehand, eating a plate full of delicious food … and seconds … and thirds (we won’t judge) and spending time with some of your favorite people. The last thing you should be worrying about is your clothes. Your Friendsgiving outfit should be comfortable — something that looks great but won’t constrain you. Our recommendation? The carefree Easy Fit for women and Modern Series for men, with boots and a fall-hued sweater. (Ladies: Bonus style points for a statement necklace or plaid scarf.)
6. Relax and enjoy the day
Try not to stress too much about Friendsgiving. After all, this is the season of gratitude and Friendsgiving is all about enjoying the company of your friends. Savor every moment … every conversation … every toast … and every bite. These memories in the making are what make holidays so special. Not pumpkin pie.
(Although the pie doesn’t hurt.)