If you’ve taken upon yourself the ambitious endeavor of hosting six or more friends for a Friendsgiving dinner, it might be time to call in the reinforcements. Hosting a successful Friendsgiving takes patience, planning, and prep work. The beauty of Friendsgiving is that there is no formal date, therefore you can host it whatever day is most convenient for you and your guests. That being said, Friendsgiving commonly takes place the week or weekend before Thanksgiving. Below are 5 tips for hosting Friendsgiving (or Thanksgiving) dinner in your home.  

Plan ahead 

Start planning for your Friendsgiving dinner no less than 3 weeks in advance. This should give you sufficient time to create a guest list, send out invites, and plan for the general event flow. During this pre-planning, take time to visualize where people will congregate to eat, what non-food items need to be bought (i.e. candles and decorations), and begin planning the menu. Using a calendar, work backwards from the dinner date and schedule shopping trips, deliveries, and food pick-up. Be sure to order your turkey in advance. This turkey calculator will help you determine how big of a bird you need for the occasion.

Delegate 

A potluck is an easy way to free up precious kitchen space and reduce the burden of making a multi-course meal. By delegating the sides, salads, and desserts, you can better focus on the main item: the Thanksgiving turkey. Plus, guests will feel good that they were able to contribute to the evening. If you do decide to host potluck style, make sure you assign dishes ahead of time so that you don’t end up with five cranberry sauces and no green bean casserole. If potluck isn’t your style, ordering the pies and dinner rolls from the local bakery and the sides from a nearby restaurant can reduce your work and add a special element to the meal. 

Customize the menu 

Friendsgiving is all about the company and less about the traditional menu. Instead of going all out on the classic Thanksgiving menu items, craft a menu that suits your guest preferences and how much time you’ll need to prepare. If you’re set on cooking a traditional turkey, opt for side dishes that are simple and trusted; look for recipes that minimize obscure ingredients, don’t require an oven, and can be prepared in advance. If cooking a turkey seems too daunting, focus on seasonal side dishes, tasty appetizers, themed cocktails, and classic desserts that will supply your guests with plenty of food and you with fewer dishes to clean. 

Make dishes ahead of time 

Thanksgiving dinner is a multifaceted meal consisting of vegetable and potato side dishes, turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, and of course, multiple flavors of pie. Look for easy, tasty recipes that can be made ahead of time. Gravy can be made in advance and frozen, and casserole and vegetable dishes can often be made and refrigerated up to two days ahead of time. If the items can’t be fully cooked ahead of time, they can likely still be prepped: wash and peel the potatoes and chop your vegetables and herbs. 

thanksgiving pies

Check inventory and add the finishing touches 

Do you have enough plates, napkins, cutlery, and glassware? It’s often the little things – like the perfect playlist, seasonal decor, or games – that make evenings like Friendsgiving special and memorable. Plan your flowers and table decoration in advance and brainstorm games to play post-dinner. 

fall cocktail

If you want to repeat the fun next year in a new home with space for more guests, connect with us to find you the perfect home for hosting Friendsgiving.