How to Have A Happy Friendsgiving
It's Thanksgiving with your friends...it's Friendsgiving!
So you're ready to host — or at least, attend — a Friendsgiving celebration, huh? Whether it's in lieu of the traditional, family-based Thanksgiving event, or in addition to it a few days or weeks prior to that fateful Thursday in November, Friendsgiving is quite the occasion. It seems to have grown more popular in recent years — "seems to" being the operative words, as this perceived popularity surge in Friendsgiving celebrations also coincides, as far as I can tell, with the growth of social media and its' use as a mode of sharing whatever you're doing (and eating and drinking) with the digital world...including celebrating Friendsgiving.
Anyway, below you'll find a few "must have" items for any successful Friendsgiving. But before I get to those, I'd like to point out that sure, Friendsgiving can be just a fun holiday, filled with wine (lots of wine, that's on the list below, BTW), and it's definitely a very grown-up seeming undertaking that requires a lot of effort that'll make you wonder how your parents pulled it off every year. Yes, it's both of those things. But it's also just plain wonderful as a way to express to your friends how much they've become your chosen family, whether you live near your blood family or not. Even if you aren't really a fan of Thanksgiving (...like me), Friendsgiving is a perfect way to show your friends how thankful you are for them.
Okay, the emotional part of this article is over. Without further ado, here are a few things you've just gotta have if you want to have a happy Friendsgiving:
...or some other booze. But, probably wine.
Turkey (or Tofurkey)
You definitely need the classic Thanksgiving staple for Friendsgiving, or the vegan substitute if that's the kind of Friendsgiving you're hosting.
Assorted side dishes
It's way more fun if you go potluck with the sides. A) That takes some of the pressure of the host and encourages every guest to contribute somehow, and B) everyone can bring their unique family's flavor to the Friendsgiving table. If one person's family always has mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving table, and another person's has baked, why not have them both at Friendsgiving?
If you want Friendsgiving to look as good as it tastes, break out the arts n' crafts materials and go HAM on the table decorations. Some ideas: spray paint pumpkins to use as centerpieces, craft some falltastic floral arrangements, light votive candles or tea lights to give the room a warm glow...
A table game
Of course, this is a table of friends — there shouldn't be anything stopping the conversation from flowing. But a table game keeps guests on their toes and adds a little bit of unexpected fun to the evening. At the most recent Friendsgiving I attended, my friends and I placed question place cards at each setting, and we went around the table with each person asking the person to their right the question on their card. It was a hit.
Instead of having every guest bring a dessert, why not ask a few people to do dessert instead of a side dish? This will cut down on an overload of food (I mean, more than the usual overload of food at the Thanksgiving table).
...duh. Always more wine.
Go forth and Friendsgiving it up, readers! And don't forget what this holiday is really about*: drinking wine and eating too much food with your nearest and dearest besties.
*Friendsgiving doesn't quite have the terrible history that Thanksgiving does. Since it's a made up holiday and all. Well, I guess all holidays are technically made up...but that's a topic for another time.