Arguably one of the best times of Thanksgiving season is Friendsgiving, so it's important to have plenty of Friendsgiving party ideas up your sleeve. It's all of the nosh and all of the festivities without any of the family drama. Yes, by far, one of my favorite parts of becoming an adult has been obtaining the resources and opportunities to celebrate my friends with an annual Friendsgiving pre-Thanksgiving celebration, sans family.
Once a year, my friends and I get together, dressed up in our late fall's finest (for some reason we always show up looking like we're auditioning for a editorial shoot inspired by Roald Dahl's The Witches), and we feast, and gab, and adore each other. We each bring a different dish and a different piece of decoration and make our dining space of choice look as cute and Pinterest-worthy as is humanly possible.
And despite the fact that the food and the witch dresses are the obvious main event, the best part is sharing what we're thankful for. It's easy to take your friends for granted or assume that people know you're grateful for them, so it's rewarding and special to take that a time to look your friends in their eyes and tell them how much they mean to you.
If you're thinking of throwing a Friendsgiving party but are overwhelmed with the potential duties as a host, here are some simple party ideas to make it happen:
Don't stress about trying to cook a feast for all of your friends. We're all busy and we're all down with helping out — no one wants you to be put out over this. Assign each of your friends with a dish with just a little effort on everyone's part, and you'll have a feast before you. Bake a pie, make your favorite sides, or try a new recipe — seriously, there's no pressure!
Have A Cooking Party
If your friends have the availability, have them come over in the morning and cook the dinner together. It extends your hang time and gives you an opportunity to learn and work together. You'll enjoy your food so much more after your shared cooking experience.
If your living space isn't big enough the accommodate your friends, consider having an outdoor dinner. You can check your local parks and recreation sites to see what the permit rules are for a party and bonfire, or if you have one, you can move the party to your backyard. Just make sure everyone knows to dress for the elements!
Go Out To Eat
If you and your friends don't have the time to cook or the space the entertain, make a reservation at a restaurant that can reserve a large table for all of you. Call in advance and ask if it's OK to bring some of your own decorations or party favors to make the experience feel more personal.
Have An Indoor Picnic
If you're short on chairs or table settings, push your furniture to the sides of the room, lay some blankets on the floor, and set up an epic indoor picnic. Sprinkle the blankets with bowls of food, light some candles, play some music, bring out some board games, and lounge from the comfort of your apartment!
No matter where you chose to entertain, a little decor will go a long way. Round up some candles, clean some fallen leaves, and decorate your table to make it feel festive and rustic. Add some mini pumpkins, gourds, squashes, and apples to the table for vibes.
Brew Some Hot Drinks
This is the one time of year that you'll appreciate a warm boozy drink. Brew some mulled wine or hot spiked cider or hot toddies on the stove before your guests arrive. Not only will it smell amazing, but it will totally hit that seasonal spot and get everyone loose.
Get The Good Smells Going
Make sure you have either some scented candles or incense burning that are seasonally themed. The second your guests enter your home, they'll feel wrapped up in the warmth of the occasion. It will totally raise the festivity bar.
Get Toasting And Give Thanks
OK, you're adults, you don't need party schedules, but you should make sure that you allot time for some toasts. Before you eat, go around the table and say one thing that you're thankful for. At the end of the meal, go around the table and tell one story about a favorite memory with the people at your table. You'll all be laughing and in happy tears in no time.
Pictures: Courtesy of Brittany Bennett