38x Friendsgiving: How to Plan and Host + Ideas & inspiration

38x Friendsgiving: How to Plan and Host + Ideas

Friendsgiving is a perfect time for friends and family to come together to celebrate the holiday season. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it can be any event that you want. Here are some tips on how to plan and host Friendsgiving!

Friendsgiving can be any time of the year, not just Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s up to you! Plan your menu early on so that it is something everyone will enjoy.

If you need ideas visit our blog post here about how to plan a meal for large groups at home. Make sure you have enough seating and table space for guests.

But, how do yu get your Friendsgiving all planned out? We love to give you our step by step guide for planning and hosting the best Friendsgiving ever, you’re welcome!


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

1. Friendsgiving theme

First of all, you’re going to pick a theme. This can be anything that you want. It can even just be a theme of Thanksgiving foods, such as roasted turkey and sweet potatoes.

Make sure to pick something fun so your guests will know what type of event it is going to be! This way everyone knows if they should wear pants or dresses (oh my!). You don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to, but it sure can be extra fun when you have a theme.

Here’s a list of a couple of fun Friendsgiving themes:

-Friendsgiving à la Friends (the show)

-Thanksgiving Dinner Party

-Football Themed Friendsgiving

-St. Patrick’s Day Friendsgiving (green beer, yum!)

-Potluck Friendsgiving

-Late Halloween Friendsgiving

-Pink Christmas


Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to these themes! We would love it if you sent us pictures of what your friendsgivings looked like with different themes because we would love to post them so everyone could see.

Let’s be real, no one knows how to plan a party like you do! We can’t wait to hear all about what your theme is and how it turned out if you choose one of the ones above or just make up something on your own that sounds fun.

2. How many guests will you be inviting?

Next up: how many guests will you invite to your Friendsgiving? Will you celebrate ‘en petite committee’ or are you going all out?

Just make sure you have enough food for your guests. You don’t want to run out of food or get stuck with leftovers that no one wants!

For example, if you are having a Friendsgiving dinner party and inviting four people over for turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce (of course!), stuffing, rolls… don’t go overboard on all of the food. You don’t want to have a ton of leftovers that go bad. This is especially true if you are going all out and decorating your house for the holiday season as well!

There’s nothing wrong with having enough food for ten people, but make sure there will be enough side dishes to feed everyone without making too much or wasting anything.

3. The menu

Ah yes, the Friendsgiving menu. So very important, but difficult these days! What menu should you pick for your Friendsgiving party? You can totally go for a potluck, where everyone brings their own favorite dish or dessert. Just make sure the most of it goes together.

Don’t know how to pick a menu? We’ve got you covered! Here are some ideas:

-Classic Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce…you get the picture)

-Friendsgiving taco bar. Tacos of all varieties with all different types of toppings so everyone

  • Waffles station: more into the sweet stuff? Bake waffles and let everyone decorate their own with fruits, whipped cream, sprinkles, sauces… you name it!
  • Tapas: make a lot of little Spanish tapas and enjoy!

4. A potluck

Just like we said above, a potluck is always an option. Make sure you have all the ingredients for everyone’s dish before planning on hosting one!

We love this idea because it makes things so much easier since some people are probably bringing pies and others will bring pumpkin cheesecake or apple pie… You get where we’re going with these easy solutions in stressful times, right?

5. Watch out for allergies!

One last tip before you get started. If any of your guests have food allergies or sensitivities, make sure to ask them about it!

It’s not always obvious what might be an allergy for someone else so just double check with everyone. It also doesn’t hurt to ask if they would rather eat something different that is more appropriate for them.

6. Send out paper invitations

Yes, you read that right. You should send paper invitations for your Friendsgiving!

We know we’re in the 21st century and sending out an email to everyone is easier but there’s something really special about receiving a physical invitation from someone or getting one in the mail when it comes to celebrations like this. Even if all of your friends are not-so-into-paper-thingies, you will convince them.

When is the last time you received a cool invite by mail? Exactly! You’ll stand out and love making these invites. Don’t want to start from scratch? No worries! You can buy ready-made invitation templates on Etsy and can even complement them with matching decorations. Timesaver much?

7. Place cards

While you’re at it, order or make some cute place cards. You can do this a couple of days before your Friendsgiving or you can easily make them the day-of.

You don’t want to be stressed out with last-minute details, so just keep that in mind while planning everything!

Don’t know how to print place cards? Just look online for some inspiration and follow suit – it’s not that hard.

8. Seating chart

You can also create a seating chart. It’s not mandatory, but it helps when you have more than ten guests so everyone knows where to sit and doesn’t end up feeling uncomfortable or in the way!

Sitting around one big table is fine for Thanksgiving dinner with family but Friendsgiving may require slightly different arrangements depending on how many people are coming. Especially when you’re mixing groups of friends, a seating chart can really help break the ice.

How do you decide where to seat everyone? It’s whatever works for you! Just make sure it looks nice and is easy to read (don’t pick a font that’s too curly).

9. Make it a pajama party

In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes: you can host a Friendsgiving and still be in your pajamas!

It may sound like an odd idea but we promise it’s not as strange as it sounds. Pajama parties are actually great for creating that relaxed environment to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner with family because it helps you relax, and it works for Friendsgiving, too!

10. Door decoration: make a wreath

A wreath is the easiest way to make your front door look festive. You can even put it together ahead of time and you don’t need any tools or measurements, either!

Here’s how: take a piece of wire; go for something that looks like ribbon but feels more sturdy (like twine). Now wrap the wire with leaves or branches. Try to stay away from branches that are too thin, though. You can even use ribbon instead of wire if you like (it’ll look more elegant).

11. Door decoration: make a banner

Another great idea for decorating your front door is by making an entrance sign with letters and yarn or string – it’s super easy and pretty!

12. Make your own placemats

It’s always nice to have some extra decoration on the table. One of our favorite ideas is making your own placemats!

They are not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think and they look really great, too. Plus there are so many different ways to make them – no matter if you’re super crafty or not, there’s always a style you can make.

13. Create a charcuterie board

Charcuterie boards are one of the most popular Friendsgiving food ideas. They’re a great way to serve snacks and appetizers at any dinner party but they look especially nice for Fall because of all the colors!

The best part is that you don’t have to cook anything – just buy some cured meats, cheeses, grapes or figs, olives and nuts from your local supermarket. You can even add dried fruit if you want something sweet with it.

14. Set up a drink station

You love hosting parties so why not make them easy on yourself where possible? Instead of setting out alcoholic drinks in multiple glasses around the house (which means more time spent cleaning after), set up a separate different space for guests where they can pour their own drinks. Easy peasy!

15. Host a virtual Friendsgiving

Another thing you can do to make hosting Friendsgiving easier (and cheaper) is by inviting people who live far away and asking them to host a virtual Friendsgiving with their closest friends!

This way, there’s less work for everyone. All they have to do is send out the invitations and encourage guests from all over the world to connect online in advance so there are no awkward silences when it comes time for dinner.

16. Set up an activity station

If you’re having nine or ten of your best friends over, chances are that some of them may not know each other well enough yet, including yourself if it’s the first time together. That’s why we love setting up something like a coloring station or even just playing some board games together.

17. Mix Friendsgiving cocktails together

To give you an idea of what kind of cocktails to make, here’s a recipe for the perfect Friendsgiving cocktail:

– Fill two glasses with ice cubes.

– Squeeze half a lime into each glass.

– Add one ounce pomegranate juice and three ounces vodka to each glass (the more vodka you use, the stronger your drink will be).

18. Serve turkey carved at the table

Slicing meat ahead of time is one trick that professional chefs do all the time – it makes serving much easier! The ideal way to set up this type of carving station is by using platters or trays on top of cutting boards because they protect surfaces from juices while also making them easy enough to cut.

19. Make a photo booth

Everyone loves getting their photo taken so why not set up a fun photo booth where guests can take pictures together? There are plenty of ways to do it – you could use the game Twister as your backdrop, for example.

20. Make Friendgiving-of-the-past placemats!

Another idea is by making Thanksgiving placemats instead – they’re super easy but look great on the table too! All you have to do is print out some photos from this year or previous years and frame them in wood-print frames that are usually used with chalkboards (this will make sense when you see them). You can also write down each guest’s name under their corresponding picture before hanging everything up on the walls near dinner time. We promise everyone will love this idea.

21. Watch your favorite holiday movies

We love watching Christmas movies during this time of year but what about Thanksgiving? There are so many great Friendsgiving-themed ones to choose from like “What’s Cooking?”, “Friendsgiving” and even some classics like the original holiday movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”!

22. Make your own wrapping paper or table runner

If you want something really personalized for your event, make your very own hand-drawn (or machine printed) wrapping paper! You can also use it as a table runner which is another fun idea that saves more money than buying them pre-made at stores.

23. Play some games – lots of ’em!

From Charades to Pictionary to Heads Up!, there are plenty of ways to

24. Watch your favorite Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving shows

Another idea is to watch your favorite Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving-themed shows like “Friends” and “Gilmore Girls”. We also recommend watching some standup comedy specials on Netflix.

25. Make sure everyone helps out with the cooking!

Last but not least, make sure all of your friends are helping you cook dinner so none of them feel left out. This way, it’ll be done faster too – win/win!

26. Break wishbones together

Wishbones are probably one of the most simple and fun games you can play during your Friendsgiving!

27. Set up a dessert station with pies, cakes & ice cream

One of our favorite ideas for Friendsgivings is to set out an entire table just filled with desserts like apple pie, pumpkin pie, cookies, cake pops or any other type of sweet treat that everyone loves! If you really want to go all-out on this idea (which we recommend!), make sure you serve each guest their own individual portion so no one feels left out if they happen to have allergies or dietary restrictions. We also love setting up different toppings like whipped cream along with colorful sprinkles too – it makes everything taste better.

28. Make a dip and chips station

Dips and chips are another fun way to serve up a variety of snacks that everyone will love. This is especially great for larger groups because you can set out so many different types too!

29. Make a punch bowl

Punch bowls, sangria pitchers and any other beverage-related items make the perfect addition to your Friendsgiving party – just remember to have non-alcoholic options available as well if not all of your guests drink alcohol. We also recommend setting out some festive straws like these gold ones which give everything an extra special touch as well as reduce plastic waste at parties.

30. Clean the mess up together

Last but not least, make sure everyone helps clean up after their meal! This is a great way to end the night on a fun note and get rid of all that leftover food in one fell swoop. Plus it’s just nice to see your friends pitch in for once too!

31. Create a cute bar cart

Speaking of beverages, why not create a cute Friendsgiving bar cart area to serve wine and cocktails?

32. Brunch together

What about hosting a Friendsgiving brunch the next day? This is another great idea that’s perfect if you have guests who are still in town or just don’t want to party too hard. We recommend serving some nice egg dishes, fruit smoothies and pastries for an extra special touch!

33. Play games outside

If your friends happen to be visiting from out of state this year, why not invite them over early so everyone can go on a hike together before coming back for dinner? You could even play cornhole or ladder golf but make sure it ends by sunset since people usually avoid camping during nighttime – nobody wants to deal with bears…

34. Watch football all afternoon

We love watching football on Thanksgiving! If you have a lot of sports lovers in your friend group, why not invite them over early so everyone can watch the game together?

35. Create a playlist with your favorite songs

One of our favorite ideas is to create a special Friendsgiving playlist on Spotify or Apple Music with all your friends’ requests. You can even make it private so only certain people have access – but if you do, be sure everyone knows how to share their songs with each other! It’s also really fun to play this at the party too…

36. Create DIY centerpieces

DIY centerpieces are another great way for your guests to show off their creativity during the holiday season! This idea is especially perfect because Thanksgiving and Friendsgivings usually involve lots of food which means there will always be plenty around for decorations as well. We love using leaves, pumpkins and pinecones along with candles for an extra cozy touch.

37. Make cute party favor bags

Last but not least, party favor bags are a great way to send off your friends on their merry ways after the holiday is over. These can be filled with anything from more food items or candy if you want something small and sweet – all the way up to wine bottles or other types of goodies too! We also love using large burlap sacks that work perfectly for this kind of thing as well and look super cute at the same time. So what will it be? It’s up to you how Friendsgiving will go down in history…

38. Plan ahead so everything goes smoothly

The most important tip we have when it comes to hosting an amazing Friendsgiving is planning ahead so nothing goes wrong! This means picking out everything in this list in advance and start planning already!

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