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Hosting a Worry-Free Friendsgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many are getting increasingly excited about the inevitable “food babies” and afternoons spent watching football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is a rapidly growing holiday trend however, that should not go unnoticed.

Friendsgiving is exactly what the name suggests-- a time dedicated to celebrating the Thanksgiving holidays with friends. In our house, we celebrate this completely made up holiday the week before Thanksgiving, as a way to still celebrate with our friends who will be traveling or visiting with family the following week.

While Friendsgiving seems like a great idea in theory, the last thing that I would want to do is sign myself up for preparing not one, but two full turkey dinners. With that in mind, I have developed a list of party hosting hacks to take some of the pressure off of one host, and instead, making it a collaborative effort.

  • Send out invitations 1-2 weeks in advance: Whether your style of communication is Facebook event, group text, or old fashioned snail mail, you want to be sure to give your guests time to plan. The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so the more notice your guests have to plan the better, If you intend on this becoming an annual tradition, try to host on the same schedule each year so that your friends can anticipate it in their holiday planning. We opt to host the Sunday before Thanksgiving, because our friends tend to start traveling by Monday or Tuesday night.

  • The host supplies the turkey or other main dish items: One of my favorite things about this holiday is that we encourage all of our friends to contribute! Each family has their own traditions and favorite side dishes, so we use it as an opportunity to share those traditions with each other. Have everyone bring a side dish or appetizer, and the host can provide the turkey-- and maybe the pumpkin pie!

  • Be sensitive to dietary restrictions: Once you’ve built your list of confirmed guests, be sure to ask if anyone has food allergies or dietary restrictions. Whether they be gluten free, dairy free, or vegetarian-- you’ll want to make sure that there is plenty of food for everyone.

  • Provide a signature fall cocktail: While you could easily ask friends to BYOB, providing a fun fall cocktail that can be pre-made is always a good idea. Here is a recipe that I love for an Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail.

  • Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

  • Apple Cider (homemade or store bought)

  • Bourbon

  • Ground Cinnamon

  • Granulated Sugar

  • Cinnamon Sticks

Combine 4 parts of apple cider and 2 parts of bourbon into a large pitcher and

stir. Dip the rims of each drinking glass into a small amount of apple cider, then rim with equal parts of cinnamon and sugar. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

  • Don’t forget to give thanks: While it may not be Thanksgiving, you should still take the time to recollect on all that you’re thankful for.

[Pro Tip:] Get a white pumpkin and some sharpies and have everyone write what

they’re thankful for on it when they arrive. If you opt for an artificial pumpkin, the

list can be added to every year!

  • Pick up extra tupperware: There is almost always extra food at pot luck style meals, and if you are going to be hosting Thanksgiving again in a few days, you will definitely need all of the extra room in your fridge that you can get! Having extra tupperware on hand will make it that much easier for everyone to make plates for the road.

No matter where your holiday plans take you, I hope that you’ll be surrounded by friends and loved ones this holiday season. Happy Friendsgiving!

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