Ever since graduating college and moving hundreds of miles away from my nuclear family, I realized how grateful I was for Friendsgiving. If it weren’t for Friendsgiving, what would I be doing on Thanksgiving Day? I would, most likely, be binge watching Netflix and heating leftovers in the microwave. Friendsgiving is a way for me to enjoy the holiday with my friends who are in a similar situation.
One nice thing about celebrating Friendsgiving is that it’s not uncommon for it to be a potluck. That is great news for anyone who has ever hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of having to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get everything ready for your family and in-laws, you can wake up at a leisurely time and make your part of the Friendsgiving dinner.
Typically the traditions and expectations are set among friends. Sometimes the host makes the turkey and the friends bring sides and appetizers. Other times, the attendees might divvy up responsibilities a little more to avoid burdening the host. I have both hosted and attended Friendsgiving dinners with my friends, and there are definitely things to be aware of on both sides of the spectrum.
Friendsgiving Tips for the Host
If you’re the host, here are a few tips for you. First of all, seek help. You will regret it if you start telling friends to only bring their smiling faces, especially if you’re hosting a Friendsgiving in addition to a Thanksgiving dinner with family. I think the best Friendsgiving dinners are tackled as potlucks; it makes it easier on the host while also allowing every guest to bring something they love to share with friends.
You should also ask about any food allergies or dietary restrictions. You don’t necessarily need to plan your whole meal around one person’s allergy, but it’s important to be sensitive to other people and their diets.
If you’re hosting, you should also make a plan to make sure you have enough dishes and cookware. If you’re hosting, you will burn through dishes. Don’t feel guilty for asking guests to bring their own gravy boats, platters or even pots and pans. You can’t be expected to have all of those things on hand to use once or twice a year, right?
Last but not least, consider the alcohol situation. If the host is expected to pay for the wine, it will get expensive fast. But you can also let people know ahead of time if they should plan to bring their own drinks.
Friendsgiving Tips for Guests
If you’re enjoying Friendsgiving as a guest, here are a few tips for you. First and foremost, listen to what the host says beforehand. If the host says BYOB, then bring what you plan on drinking. If the host tells everyone to bring a side, then talk to the group and let them know what you’ll be bringing to avoid duplicates. However, if the host tells you that you don’t need to bring anything, ignore him or her! Bring an extra bottle of wine, board games, a host gift, a centerpiece for the table, or anything else you see fit – just don’t come empty-handed.
Hosting a big dinner with friends can be daunting and challenging. CLEANING after a big dinner with friends is even more daunting. After a big meal, lounging on the couch and watching TV with friends can be so enticing, but the host will typically persevere, soak the dishes and fill the dishwasher. Help your host friend out and clean up the mess along with them.
In the end, Friendsgiving isn’t extremely complicated. As long as you make sure you know what you’re bringing beforehand, or, if you’re the host, what you’re providing, the night will run as smoothly as any other night with friends. Friendsgiving is a great way to start and continue traditions with your closest friends, and a nice break from the hectic holiday season.
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