You’re away from your family and can’t get home for Thanksgiving so how do you celebrate one of the most beloved holidays of the year? Host a Friendsgiving and invite your friends and besties to help you channel all the good spirits and thankfulness of the season. Friendsgivings free us from formality, potentially frosty family members, and the tyranny of turkey. It’s a chance to put our own spin on the season, create new traditions, new menus, new ways to honor loved ones and pay tribute to those original Plymouth pilgrims. We’re all about celebrating friendship here at Elum so we’ve created our very own Friendsgiving Fundamentals to help you with the big day.
1. Thou shalt not sweat the menu. Grandma may have woken at four in the morning to put the turkey in the oven and then spent the next eight hours peeling and boiling potatoes, baking pies and doing unsightly things with giblets, but we don’t have to. As the host of a Friendsgiving it’s our job to provide the main dish and then delegate the daylights out of the side dishes. #delegatethesides If you want turkey and gravy we say go for it! If you’d like to cheat and have your local market roast and prepare that turkey, we say even better. If you’d prefer prime rib, spinach lasagne, herb-roasted chicken or butternut squash risotto then follow your tastebuds. Once you’ve decided on a main dish, email your guests and suggest side dishes for them to bring: “Those appetizers you brought to Kim’s birthday party were delish. Would love it if you could bring something similar” or “Tater me, baby. Can never have enough potato dishes.” Keep it lighthearted and allow your guests to show their own creativity. Do not be a Friendzilla and micromanage the menu. If you end up with a couple of extra apples pies and no green bean casserole, laugh it off. Turn the extra apple pie into a prize that the lucky winner can take home.
2. Thou shalt relax. A Friendsgiving is about celebrating your friends and your friends celebrating you. If you enjoy creating unique table settings then go ahead and lay a pretty Thanksgiving table. If you’re more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants gal then stack clean plates and silverware on the kitchen countertop, set you main dish warming in the oven and you’re done. Even better, use festive paper plates to cut down on clean up. Relax, and allow your friends to self-organize their side dishes and drinks: the worst that can happen is lukewarm gravy and a shortage of ice. Friendsgiving doesn’t belong in the same sentence as perfection. Focus instead on creating a fun and welcoming vibe for your guests. Open the door in your PJ’s, give them a silly hat to wear and a shot of tequila, and sit back and enjoy just being with them.
3. Thou shalt have fun and games. We’re all kids at heart and a Friendsgiving is one of the best opportunities to celebrate this. Games bring us together, allow us to laugh at ourselves and be goofy. Start by setting up a football pool for the big game—even folk who know nothing about football can play. Write your name in a square and you’re good to go. You can find the rules and a printable template here. Next, light things up with an awesome party playlist, crank up the volume and dance. Macarena, Gangnam Style, Baby Shark or Workin’ It: we won’t tell. #ourlipsaresealed After dinner arrange an epic Battle Of The Sexes. Split your party in two: those who identity as female and those who identify as male. The girls answer typical guy questions such as “How many volts in a standard car battery?” and the guys answer questions like “What’s the birthstone for April?” Or how about creating a unique work of art? Pass around a blank canvas and jar of colored markers and have every guest contribute to a Friendsgiving masterpiece. After everyone signs it you’ll have a keepsake for life.
4. Thou shalt give and receive thanks. Before you eat, take a moment to link hands and go around and the table and have everyone say what they’re thankful for. If dear friends are missing, this is the time to raise your glass and acknowledge them. It’s also the time to graciously accept thanks. You have provided a warm, fun, inclusive Thanksgiving for your friends. That’s a biggie, and one pretty, darn terrific thing to do. Elūm wishes you a fiercely fabulous friend-filled celebration this season. #elumlove
And if you took part in a Friendsgiving, be sure to thank your host with a note. You can get one from our site here.