The holiday season is right around the corner, and now is the time to start making preparations for your events. The first one on the list being Friendsgiving. Not everyone can make it home for the holidays, or perhaps you’d simply like an opportunity to get together with friends for a celebration. Either way, hosting a Friendsgiving is a wonderful alternative that allows you to spend time with loved ones and eating amazing food.
If you’re not sure what goes into planning such an event, here are a few tips to keep in mind when hosting a Friendsgiving:
Send out invitations
You could easily contact your friends with technology to invite them to your event, but where’s the fun in that? Get into the holiday spirit by sending out party invitations. Choose ones that reflect your event, like a card with a turkey on the front.
If you’d like your Friendsgiving to be more of a potluck-style event, then add a note at the bottom of each invite stating what you’d like that person to contribute. This is a great way to spread out the responsibility and remind people what they’re expected to bring.
Make sure your cards also note the date you’re having the event. If you know a lot of your friends can’t go home for the holiday, then set the date on Thanksgiving. However, if most people will be traveling, then plan to have your event the weekend before or after the holiday.
Ask about dietary restrictions
You probably know if your family members can’t eat certain foods, but you may not be as familiar with your friends’ dietary restrictions. Ask around to see who is gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. You can then ask those people to either bring a dish to share with the rest of the group that meets their specific needs, or make small recipes yourself.
However, don’t feel like you have to cater to everyone’s diet. That could create a lot more work for you. If you haven’t started planning the meal yet, though, you can at least consider if there are ways you can accommodate dietary needs in one or two dishes.
Make recipes ahead of time
Cooking a meal for a large group of people takes time and effort. However, being the chef at such an event can be frustrating because you’re stuck in the kitchen while you’d rather be mingling with friends. To reduce the amount of time you have to spend cooking when your guests are over, think about what dishes you can make ahead of time. For instance, various pies, appetizers and side dishes can easily be made the day before and stored in the fridge or freezer. When it’s time for the meal, all you have to do is heat them up beforehand.
Decorate the table
Enhance the holiday feeling in your home by decorating the dining table. A runner can easily be spread across the length of the table or a cloth, and a centerpiece will bring the look together. Get creative with this center decoration, too, by using festive flowers, gourds or even pine cones. You can also try setting out diverse dishes. For instance, instead of normal glasses, use mason jars, and if you have any brightly colored bakeware, add these to the table as well. You’re friends are sure to appreciate all of the effort you put into making this event special.
Create a thankful board
Thanksgiving is the time of year you should be showing gratitude for everything you have, and a thankful board is a wonderful way to do it. Using an old picture frame, string twine between the ends and attach slips of paper that note what you and your friends are thankful for. After the meal, read them all out loud.
Your thankful activity doesn’t necessarily have to include a board, although the idea is cute. If you don’t want to be quite that crafty then simply fill a mason jar with your papers instead.
Hand out to-go bags
Leftovers are one of the best parts of holiday meals because you get to enjoy your favorite dishes all over again. Share the food with your friends by handing out to-go containers. They’ll be happy to take some food home, and you won’t have to worry about trying to eat a ton of food in the next few days.
The most important thing to remember about hosting a Friendsgiving is just to have fun. You’re celebrating the holidays with people you care about and it should be a relaxing time, so enjoy yourself!