If Thanksgiving had a much cooler relative, it would be Friendsgiving. After the inaugural Friendsgiving in 2008, the food-with-friends trend started picking up speed, and the term Friendsgiving was entered into the Urban Dictionary making it a real holiday.
Culturally, Friendsgiving is now seen as a day where people can create the Thanksgiving they want with their friends. And while you can stick with the usual Thanksgiving traditions and food, we say Friendsgiving is a time to break the (jello) mold and do things differently. Here are five of our favorite Friendsgiving ideas that break all the rules for 2019.
1. Host it Outside
Nature is the best backdrop for a fall dinner with friends. Of course, you’ll need to consider your location and then decide if you need a covered area or can dine al fresco. Keep your décor and centerpieces understated, and consider displaying small floral arrangements in autumnal colors, painted pumpkins in metallics, or choose potted mini succulents that guests can take home at meal's end. Consider recipes that you can cook on the grill, and be sure to carve your turkey tableside for added effect. Add lighting for when the fun continues after dark, and place flannel blankets to the back of chairs to keep guests warm.
2. Create a Signature Cocktail
Avoid having to create (and stock) a big bar set up by premixing a signature cocktail that you know your friends will love. If you make a batch or two of a single drink, everyone else can be on wine or beer duty. Try a fall favorite such as a Spiced Apple Margarita served in mason jars finished off with cinnamon-spiced sugar.
3. Decorate with Friends
What better way to welcome your friends than by hanging a ton of pictures of them? Print out all the pics from your Insta feed and string them up amongst fairy lights or as a collage near your dinner table. It’ll be fun for your guests to walk around, look at all of them and reminisce together.
4. Put the "Give" in Friendsgiving
And as long as you're reinventing traditions, why not put more emphasis on the "giving" in your feast? When you invite your friends, ask them to get in the holiday spirit by supporting you as you turn your friendly gatherings into a fundraising opportunity to fight a good cause such as childhood hunger or homelessness. Some ideas to get everyone involved include asking them to pay to attend the dinner then donate the money to a local charity, meet before your Friendsgiving event at your local shelter or food bank and either serve meals or donate them together as a group, or hold a silent auction or raffle at your dinner party, ask friends to purchase raffle tickets and then donate all the proceeds.
5. Bring the Fun
From games to crafts, make your Friendsgiving the bomb with fun activities. Ideas include setting up a table and having guests get crafty by making these leaf crowns. Nothing like seeing what kind of headwear or even beard-wear they create. Or while your meal is cooking, get everyone outside for a game of flag football. Getting down and dirty “Friends” style might be just what everyone needs. Looking for something a bit more relaxing and nostalgic? Set up an outdoor movie screen and stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, or watch all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes while enjoying appetizers or desserts.