With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many people are also gathering their nearest and dearest to celebrate Friendsgiving. Above all else, Friendsgiving is a time to express gratitude for the cast of characters that make your life worth loving. But throwing one can seem like a daunting task — which is why, as Mandy Moore shares while talking about her Friendsgiving tips with Bustle, it's important not to forget that expressing gratitude is the most important part of the Friendsgiving holiday. "I think what I love most about Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving today is that moment in time where the meal stops and everyone goes around the table, and it’s sort of year in review and you talk about what you’re grateful for," Moore tells Bustle at a pre-Friendsgiving lunch in Los Angeles, hosted by American Express Blue Cash Everyday.
"I don’t think there’s enough of that sort of real talk and that sort of vulnerability in day-to-day life, and I love what this sort of holiday engenders," Moore, who plays Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, says. "It encourages people to talk about what they’re appreciative for, and put down the cellphone. I love that, and I love what comes out of it."
Moore, who recently became engaged to musician Taylor Goldsmith, is co-hosting the holiday with Goldsmith's mom. And, as far as Friendsgiving food goes, Moore shares that she is most looking forward to the appetizers — her favorite being a cheese board — and apple and pumpkin pies.
While epic Friendsgiving food gives everyone plenty to be thankful for, Moore says that she is most grateful for the health and happiness of those closest to her, and being in a place in her life where she can really be present. "I feel like this wave that I’ve sort of found myself on a this point in my life, I’m able to really reflect on what I’ve been through. I’m present and I really feel and grounded in the moment," Moore muses. "I feel like I’ve been able to really appreciate each exciting experience that’s unfolded this year."
As she enters this new reflective period in her life, Moore shared her tips for having a Friendsgiving celebration that embodies the true meaning of the holiday — gratitude and appreciation.
1. Express Yourself On Friendsgiving 2017
While it can sometimes be scary to be vulnerable, Friendsgiving is an ideal time to let the people you're grateful for know just how much they mean to you. As Moore suggests, consider taking time before or after the meal to go around the table and express gratitude.
In addition to expressing yourself verbally, Friendsgiving 2017 is also an ideal time for creative expression. If you're hosting the celebration this year, a few Friendsgiving decor hacks can help you set a beautiful table, even if you're on a budget. Moore's Friendsgiving lunch in Los Angeles included a muted color scheme with gourds painted to match. You can also take an apple, hollow out the top, and put in a tea light to create an elegant and festive Friendsgiving atmosphere on the cheap.
2. On Friendsgiving 2017, Reflect On Your Journey
One thing that's difficult for many people is living in the moment. If you're busy thinking about the past or worrying about the future, that can sometimes keep you from taking positive risks. Taking time to reflect on your life's journey on Friendsgiving 2017 can help you appreciate all you've accomplished in your life, and give you perspective about your path forward, including things you still want to achieve. For Moore, that's climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
What's more is that Moore says she's learned a few things over the years on her path, including finding her voice to say no to things she doesn't want to do, and yes to things she does. If you put other people's needs before your own, you might find yourself saying yes to things that serve others, but don't serve you, and you could be missing out on things that you really want to pursue.
"I’m a people pleaser, and especially as a younger person I was always saying yes to anything, like to jobs that I didn’t want to do, and I think it set up a bad pattern for me. I had a lot of difficulties, as I’m sure a lot of people do, with saying no," Moore, who has been working since age 15, explains.
"But then on the flip side, I found it easy to say no to other things. I remember traveling around the world as a young person and being like an old grandma already, and saying no to experiences of even just exploring a city, going out to dinner, pushing my bedtime a little later, and trying a new restaurant with some people I was working with in Prague — things like that I wish that I hadn’t been so laser focused on, 'I’ve got to wake up and do the job and go to bed and wake up and do the job' … so I would also tell myself to relax and have a little more fun, because I think I skipped out on a portion of my life."
3. Keep Friendsgiving 2017 Relaxed And Fun
Thanksgiving can feel stressful because you spend an entire day cooking food that's eaten in 20 minutes, and then it takes another day to clean up. For Friendsgiving 2017, there are no rules so you can plan a celebration that's relaxing and fun. Moore says her Friendsgiving celebration, which will include up to 45 people, won't be formal. Goldsmith's mom will make the turkey, while Moore will contribute a side dish, a pie, and the most vital part of Friendsgiving — a curated music playlist.
"It’s a Friendsgiving where people will come for a drink, and go eat dinner somewhere else, and come back and have pie or something," Moore says. Next year, she's looking forward to hosting Friendsgiving in the new home that she and Goldsmith are currently renovating. But, for now, she grateful for where she's at in her life, which is really what Friendsgiving is all about.