How to Host Friendsgiving
Thanksgiving has long been touted as the ultimate time to gather together with family and loved ones to share a meal and express gratitude. But, what about for those who live far away from their families, are celebrating on their own, or want to include friends who are like family? Enter, Friendsgiving.
Friendsgiving has been gaining popularity as a sort of ad-hoc way to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. Sometimes as an alternative to Thanksgiving, or sometimes in addition to the normal Thanksgiving, this mashup of traditional celebration and a unique new twist is a fun way to gather with friends in the autumn.
If you’ve never hosted Friendsgiving or are looking for new ways to make it easier, these tips for planning a Friendsgiving will help you put together a gathering your friends will love.
Make It Yours
There’s no single right way to host a Friendsgiving gathering. Friendsgiving can be a traditional turkey/stuffing/pie Thanksgiving feast, a casual party with wine and charcuterie, a game and movie night with favorite snacks, or anything in between. Choose a theme that makes sense for your space, your friend group, and the amount of effort you want to put into prep and planning.
Plan the Menu
After you’ve decided on a theme for your Friendsgiving, you’ll want to put together a menu and either shop for or order your food.
If you’ve decided to host a traditional Thanksgiving feast, you can make it easy by ordering a gourmet meal delivered right to your door. Turkey and stuffing are always a classic choice, but feel free to branch out into ham, roasts, and unique sides if that makes more sense for your guests. Ordering a meal for delivery will allow you more time to prep other items and mingle with friends. To set yourself up for Friendsgiving feast success, check out more tips for prepping the big meal.
If your party’s menu consists of wine and charcuterie, a food gift that comes with everything you’ll need is a great way to start. Hickory Farms has delicious gourmet wine gift baskets that come complete with expertly paired charcuterie favorites to make feeding guests easy. Many gifts even come complete with a cheese board and serving utensils to help create the perfect platter .
Hosting a movie night Friendsgiving calls for a spread of sweet and savory snacks. Provide a few options in each category, like mixed nuts, popcorn, cookies, chocolate, and candy. You can add an extra cozy touch by creating a hot cocoa bar complete with coffee and cocoa guests can customize with add-ons.
And, you can’t forget wine! A good rule of thumb is to have enough wine on hand so that each guest can have three glasses (about five ounces each). A standard bottle of wine contains around five servings, so plan accordingly. Make sure you provide some non-alcoholic options as well, like soda, flavored water, or even a mocktail if you’re feeling fancy.
Set the Stage
On Friendsgiving day, you’ll want to make sure that your food and beverages are prepped and ready when the guests arrive.
If you’re serving a lot of snacks, make sure that you arrange everything so it’s easy for guests to serve themselves and enjoy. Pre-slice meats and cheeses for your charcuterie spread and place on a cheeseboard or platter, and pour mustards and spreads into small bowls with spoons so guests can top their bites with less mess. Pour smaller snacks like chips, crackers, and nuts into a bowl ahead of time and have serving utensils for dips and desserts at the ready so guests can easily put what they’re craving on their plate.
Depending on your space, there are two ways to serve a traditional Thanksgiving feast at your Friendsgiving party. First, if you have a large dining room table and ample space for everything, you can set the table with a place setting for everyone, and bring all of the food out onto the table. Just make sure that your table isn’t overcrowded. Or, if you’re working with less space, you can leave just the place settings on the table and arrange the food in the kitchen or on a buffet table so guests can make their plate, then sit down to eat. Choose a serving method that works best for your guests and your seating arrangement.
Make sure your beverages (like white wine, soda, and water) are chilled before setting them out, and use a few ice buckets to keep them at the ideal temperature throughout the party.
Take it Online
Choosing not to gather in person this year? No problem! Friendsgiving can be just as fun when done virtually.
You can still have a themed Friendsgiving even if you’re gathering virtually. Game night, virtual watch party, happy hour, or wine and charcuterie—there are plenty of ways to customize your event to make it fun for everyone who’s logging in.
Want to find the best snacks and gifts for your Friendsgiving gathering? Check out delicious picks and entertaining essentials at hickoryfarms.com!