Sara and I are now firmly in our 20s. We left our childhood home, we graduated college, have moved to multiple cities and now are figuring our how adulting works. As we are exploring adulthood, we are also finding that our friends are becoming the family we choose, a family separate from the one we were born into. And that chosen family is an amazing gift, something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. Prior to last year, the two of us had had a few Friendsgivings of our own to get a sense of the amount of time, coordination and effort is required by all friends to pull off a celebration like Friendsgiving. For the two of us, organization (especially during busy times like the holidays) has never been our strong suit- so we have to be way more intentional when it comes to planning a holiday that requires so much coordinating – which for us means writing actual checklists of all the to -dos that are necessary in pulling off a celebration like Friendsgiving. So for those of you who are about to host your first Friendsgiving or need some ideas for future celebrations- we are sharing our guide to help you put together a successful celebration of your loved ones this Friendsgiving.
The Ultimate Friendsgiving Checklist:
Things to figure out now:
- How many people you will invite
- Figuring out what day or time works best for your friends if you plan to do it prior to thanksgiving
- Where everyone will sit
- Where you will serve the food
- What you will eat on (plates, cups, napkins, utensils)
- What time you want to start the festivities
- Whether you will have decorations
- What are you providing and what will you ask guests to bring? (Are you cooking/catering in? Are you providing drinks?)
- What kind of food will you have (traditional Thanksgiving fare, lighter finger foods, tapas, healthy food, just desserts, etc?) – this is my favorite part!
- Whether you will have activities, and if so, what kind? Check out these ideas if you decide you want to do some activities!
- Plan for entertainment during dinner- will you go around and share what you are most grateful for? Will you have guests write down and put in a jar what they feel most grateful this year and have them be read anonymously? These are just some fun ideas that we have had at our friendsgivings that have led to more meaningful deeper conversations to get past the group small talk!
What is next:
- Create cute invites to send to your friends to make it a bit more formal. The invite should have: date, time, location and any other necessary information.
- Ask your guests to bring a contribution to the dinner (it would be great if they let you know what they plan to bring so that you don’t have duplicates of anything) set up a group text so that guests can communicate easily and see what has been selected already, when finalized send a text with each persons name and their contribution next to it
- Purchase decorations, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, table cover, etc
- Decide what you are going to cook (if anything) and list out ingredients
- Make a grocery list and make sure you get everything before the party starts (ingredients for item you are making, a bag of ice for drinks, extra trash bags, cleaning wipes, paper towels, water bottles or pitchers (if you want to make some flavored water check out our blog post on tips to make water drinks more fun!)
Day before Friendsgiving:
- Make a grocery store run with your list in hand
- Make your dish that you are serving
- Put out all eating utensils and cups
- Set up table where food will be
- Begin cleaning house and ensure there are hand towels and lots of hand soap
- Decorate your table/ room that your guests will be entertained in
- Put together a fun music playlist! Make sure it gives you the vibe you and your besties want for friendsgiving.
Day of Friendsgiving:
- Put ice in cooler
- Make your water or put bottles in cooler for easy access
- Make room in fridge for folks bringing drinks/wine
- Clean house and ensure bathroom is equipped with trash can, hand soap, and extra feminine products (just in case)
- If you decided on having some fun games or activities, set those up
- Light a lovely candle
- Dress in something that makes you feel happy and comfy
- Begin the playlist and enjoy your well prepped holiday with your besties 🙂
The most important thing is to relax and enjoy your time with your friends during this season. We have all felt the angst of being socially isolated, so it will feel wonderful to be with your friends enjoying a nice meal! Love to you all and I would love to hear about your Friendsgiving fun!