Top 10 Tips for the Best Friendsgiving Ever

They say friends are the family you choose yourself. And I couldn't agree more.

Honestly, I think that's one of the reasons why "Friendsgiving" has become so popular across the country. New to the idea? It basically involves gathering together with your friends to give thanks – usually on the Wednesday or Friday after Thanksgiving.

It's a wonderful new tradition. The only rules: keep the wine flowing, spend time with your favorite people and wear pants with a stretchy waistband.

Want to host your own Friendsgiving this year? Here are a few tips and hints for having a fun and fabulous feast.

10 Tips & Hints for Friendsgiving
  1. Make it a casual potluck. Keep it family-style and invite everyone to bring a side dish, dessert or bottle of wine to pass around the table. Not only will it mean less stress for you, your friends will be more than happy to bring something to share. That's the whole idea behind Friendsgiving!

  2. Set up a Facebook event. It's a quick and easy way to send invites and keep track of who can – and can't – make it. Plus, everyone can post a note about what they'll be bringing, so you don't end up with three different types of sweet potatoes. (Not that it would be the worst thing in the world, mind you.) Everybody will get a handy reminder the day of your event, too.

  3. Keep it simple with a themed kit. Not sure what to make? Get it all covered with Tastefully Simple's Friendsgiving Kit. It has everything you need to make a cozy and delicious fall meal for a full house, complete with cocktails. And in the spirit of giving, $1 of every kit is donated to No Kid Hungry™. Talk about something to be thankful for, right?

  4. Serve a signature cocktail. In addition to uncorking a couple bottles of red and white wine, serve a classy cocktail fit for a special celebration. My personal favorite: Chillin' Chada™ Frozen Drink Mix, made with milk and RumChata®.
    Shop Chillin' Chada Frozen Drink Mix | Tastefully Simple
    Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a wonderfully wintry, delicious drink that will dazzle your guests. Plus, you can make it a couple days ahead of time. So it will be ready in your freezer whenever you are!

  5. Make sure there’s enough food to go around. I know – this one isn’t usually a problem. But here are few helpful rules of thumb to keep in mind …

    For 5-7 people:
    10-12 pound turkey
    1 appetizer
    1 salad
    1 starchy side
    1 veggie side
    1 dessert
    3 bottles of wine


    For 8-10 people:
    12-16 pound turkey
    2 appetizers
    1 salad
    2 starchy sides
    2 veggie sides
    2 desserts
    6 bottles of wine


  6. Count your blessings. Feeling a little sentimental? Instead of using a formal tablecloth, place a big sheet of craft or butcher paper on your table. Beside each place setting, use a good ol’ Sharpie® to write something like …

    I'M THANKFUL FOR:
    ____________
    ____________
    ____________

    #FRIENDSGIVING
    (or create a custom hashtag for your social-savvy friends to share!)

    You can do the same type of activity with a notecard by each plate. Just be sure to put a few Mason jars with pens or markers on the table, too. (And the more wine gets passed around the table, the more heartfelt – and entertaining – the answers can be.)

  7. Stick with simple sides. Since your guests will probably bring side dishes, focus your energy on the main entrée and dessert. If you do want to stir up something simple, Garlic Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus is one of my personal favorites.
    Garlic Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus recipe | Tastefully Simple
    While it looks impressive, it's incredibly easy to make. It's always a crowd-pleaser. And it's delicious served at room temperature, so you don't have to worry about a warming dish!

  8. Set out some snacks. You know everyone will gather together in the kitchen, so make sure you have an assortment of munchies ready on the counter. My personal picks: Sweet Pepper Jalapeno Jam over a block of cream cheese with Triscuits®, along with a platter of fresh fruit.

  9. Break out the board games. Whatever your style, make sure your living room is stocked with a bunch of cards and games to keep the fun going after dinner. Even if you don’t want to worry about keeping score, trivia can be a great conversation starter.

  10. Make it an evening affair. Rather than a traditional midday feast, make your dinner a fun night in. Light a few candles. Put on your favorite playlist. And remember, Friendsgiving festivities are meant to be a lot more relaxed than dinners with the in-laws. No formality. No fuss. Just have fun with it, and make it a night to remember!
Here's to a happy Friendsgiving!

- Jen

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