For plenty of Millennials (and others!), Friendsgiving has
become a November celebration to look forward to. But as any adult will
confirm, November always seems to sneak up on us and before we know it, the
month is halfway over and the stress of planning a last minute gathering starts
to eclipse the fun we all thought we were going to have.
Have you been volun-told to host Friendsgiving this year? Or
perhaps inspiration just struck late in the month? Either way, you’re tasked
with pulling off the impossible in less than a week. Lucky for you, we have a
guide on exactly how to host a last-minute Friendsgiving.
Call On Your Friends
Believe it or not, potatoes aren’t the most important
ingredient in a Friendsgiving dinner – it’s actually your found family! The fun
of Friendsgiving comes in part from intentionally not overwhelming the host, so
one person isn’t trapped in their kitchen for 72 hours trying to feed everyone
they know. Instead, you can share the load with your friends! So, first things
first, send out an invite.
Once you get an overall count of who you can expect at
Friendsgiving, set up a Google doc and invite everyone to edit. List different
categories, and have everyone sign up to bring food and drinks to share with
It typically falls on the host to provide the main dish, and
if you’re going for a traditional Thanksgiving feast, that means the turkey. However,
the main dish possibilities are endless. Confer with your group and decide what
the main attraction should be; then, everyone can plan side dishes accordingly.
Remind everyone that there’s no rule that requires dishes be
homemade! An appetizer tray or dessert from the grocery store or from a local
eatery is absolutely fine. The idea is to gather your friends in your home and
enjoy each other’s company, not to stress out over a lack of cooking skills.
Diversify the menu by asking those with dietary restrictions
– think vegetarian, vegan, or allergies – to bring dishes they can enjoy! This
ensures everyone has something to eat, and also prevents accidental cross
contamination from chefs who don’t normally cook with food restrictions.
Set the Table
Lots of food and people means a lot of table space; make sure you’re prepared! The host should have adequate counter space to put all the food on, as well as enough hard surfaces and seats to accommodate everyone. Notice I’m not saying “formal dining table for 16” – remember that Friendsgiving is meant to be flexible.
Of course, if your home has ample entertaining space and an
open floorplan, this won’t be a problem! If you aren’t used to hosting, though,
there are still ways to make room for everyone. Consider grabbing a couple of
long folding tables and chairs to set up for the event. An inexpensive
tablecloth from a local party supply store will make you forget they’re
While you’re at it, grab some formal, disposable dinnerware – yes, such a
thing does exist! It’ll fancy up your meal while not sticking you with a bill
for a ton of formal plates and flatware – or with a giant pile of dishes when
the night’s over.
Or, if you don’t want to invest in extra tables and chairs,
TV trays in front of the couch and floor pillows around the coffee table work,
too. I’ve even used an upside-down wastebasket as a makeshift table for guests
– use whatever you have at your disposal! Whatever you need to do to make it
work, do it; the point is to celebrate being
together, not having everything together.
Bring Drinks and Games
While the food is important, don’t overlook beverages and
games. As host, you should provide at least two beverage options: water and
something else. Tea or lemonade are always crowd favorites that are easy to
You can choose to provide wine or other alcoholic beverages,
or invite your guests to each bring a bottle of their choosing, with the
knowledge that others will likely partake (this isn’t the time for them to
bring that bottle of 12-year-old scotch they’ve been saving). Or, ask everyone
to bring a case of sodas, a pitcher of punch, a carafe of hot chocolate –
whatever they like!
And now’s the time to crack open those games you’re not
necessarily keen on playing with grandparents (we’re all looking at you, Cards
Against Humanity). Have at least one party game on hand, and invite your guests
to bring one, too.
I hope you’ve caught on to the common thread here: Have fun.
Friendsgiving is a time to celebrate the found family that supports you every
day, near and far. Whether you aren’t keen on spending the holiday season with
your actual family, or if you simply want to celebrate your blood family and your chosen family, a Friendsgiving
is a great way to invite happiness into your house (after all, that’s what
makes it a home!).
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.