**Santa's Little Yelper**
Friendsgiving is the way less stressed, slightly more drunken cousin of Thanksgiving. This celebration has all the deliciousness of the actual holiday, without the forced family get together.
Throw your own Friendsgiving this year! Get in amazing fun quality time with your dearest and nearest friends before holiday obligations take over your life until January 2nd.
1) Pre-Holiday Weekend
Thanksgiving of November is always reserved for familial obligations for most of us. Even the tightest knit group of friends is bound to have separate plans for turkey day. The weekend before or after is the informal Friendsgiving timeframe. Even December, just try to keep in mind that people have work parties too!
2) Send Invites
A holiday with a ridiculous name might not get the recognition it deserves. Send invites, so everyone has the details and information. The team at Snowtorious recommends Paperless invites so it is one less thing to worry about in this digital day and age.
3) Prime for Potluck
The only real practice of Friendsgiving: Host cooks the turkey; everyone else brings the rest. Spreading out the cooking responsibilities means less stress on everyone. But do not leave the dishes to chance. Assign everyone a specific side or dessert. You could even suggest specific recipes, like these amazing dishes from FoodNetwork.com. Also, if you really want to recive some additional Holiday cheer – take a moment to consider any guest with dietary restrictions such as Gluten intolerance, vegetarian, etc.
4) Seating & Set Up
Even though Friendsgiving is more comfortable, it is still civilized enough to be a sit-down dinner event. If your dining room is small or non-existent, rent chairs and tables to transform your home. Or, just setup the food on the table, and tell everyone to grab a plate and a seat on the couch 😊
5) A Fancy Table
Set a nice and right table, but be realistic about it. Do not feel compelled to use the fine china. Use paper napkins and plastic plates for easy cleanup, but break out real wine drinks and silverware, so you’re not entirely roughing it. Search for elegant disposable plates on Posh Party Supplies or Amazon for place settings that look like the real thing. Remember, no stress – these are your best buds!
6) Cheers! Drink Up!
Alcohol seems to be an essential component of Friendsgiving. Free from the judge's commentary and passive aggressive family fodder, you are free to lift a glass (or two) in the most joyful way.
“Whеn dесоrаting thе tаblе аnd mеаl, make ѕurе tо save rооm fоr bоttlеѕ оf winе so that guеѕtѕ аnd fellows do not have to get up to get a fresh glass,” said Lexi Stolz, CEO of South Fork and Spoon food concierge service in Bridgehampton, NewYork.
She also recommends making a delicious cranberry syrup as a versatile base for cocktails.
Don’t forgot your sober driver and non-alcaholic drinker. Checkout our Pinterest page for some ideas here.
Make sure everyone gets home safe – work this out beforehand with your cherished guest. Whether it is a carpool Lyft or Taxi – or simply staying over, etc.
7) Play Good Music
There is nothing harder for both guests and hosts than a quiet room—a particularly complicated situation if you have invited people who do not know each other well. Advise everyone to share a playlist before the feast and have the music on by the time people show up. Someone is obliged to start singing along to a Hamilton rap (again, there is one in every group) or tell a hilarious story about what happened at the Kanye show when he performed this song. Make sure to take the time to introduce people who do not know each other so no one is left out of the conversation.
8) Do Not Run Out of Ice
Even if you drink lukewarm water with lemon and ~nothing else~, as a host of the party, you should supply ice. Head to the nearest shop, convenience store, or drugstore and buy two large bags of ice. And fit as much as you can in a huge Tupperware in the freezer and put the rest in coolers, transferring as needed.
9) Use Flatware and Real Plates
It may seem easy and cheap to just use plastic, but it’s super expensive to stock up on things you will throw away after dinner. Save your money and use the real deal. Only own six dishes, you say? Go to Target or Bed Bath & Beyond and purchase a few sets of simple plates on sale. You might spend a little more than on the throwaway stuff, but you get to keep those dishes when the meal is finished. Before you start to complain about how you are going to wash all these dishes.
10) Share the Wealth.
One of the most stressful things about large holiday dinners is the pressure to host the entire thing, from prep to table. You need production calendars, ideally a second oven and three additional sets of hands. Not so with Friendsgiving! You cook the bird and let your buds bring the rest, potluck-style. Then, let them go around the table and present their dish. Make them sell it and brag about their sweet cooking skills.
11) Make sure You Have Enough Booze
Your friends will pardon a burnt turkey, but they will never forgive you for running out of drinks. Figure that every person will have three drinks per hour, and plan accordingly. It's also worth stocking up on drinks and water for guests who prefer not to drink.
12) Design a Signature Drink
Name it after an inside joke, like something ridiculous only your friends would know. Maybe dedicate a drink by getting a small black board and naming some signature drinks of the evening after friends. Think "Joejito" for a Mojito.
13) Start Food Prep the Week of the Event
Some people ignore it takes, like, four days for a turkey to thaw. And by some people, I mean me. Don't be like me.
14) Time Everything Out
If you are working with only one oven, this is especially important — consider making some side dishes the week off, and freezing them until the day of your event. It will cut down on cooking time, and you will not be as stressed out.
15) Have Fun
The most significant thing is to have fun — duh. Sometimes it's comfortable to get stressed out when your bestie brings a dish that rivals the trifle Rachel made on guests, and your pumpkin pie is undercooked, but chill. Guests take on the mood of the party administrator, so have a drink and let loose!
16) Give Guests Home with Food
Provide little takeout packets for them to pack with yum yums. They will enjoy the leftover mashed potatoes for days to come.