How to plan Friendsgiving

How to plan Friendsgiving

Baker Residential Friendsgiving

November 10, 2021

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? We know a lot of people are spending the day (or one close to it) with friends, so our creative Baker Residential team has put together ideas for how to plan Friendsgiving to make it even more special.

What is Friendsgiving?

Not familiar with “Friendsgiving”? Although some people associate it with the sitcom, “Friends”, the idea for this special day existed before Monica got her head stuck inside a turkey cavity.

Friendsgiving is a gathering of friends, usually a potluck meal where everyone brings something for the feast. It can be on Thanksgiving Day, a way for people who have no special place to go to share the company of friends. Some groups celebrate Friendsgiving the weekend before Thanksgiving, as a way to appreciate the value of their relationships. In truth, Friendsgiving could be whenever you want to have it.

How to plan Friendsgiving

Choose the date. If you’re hosting Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Day, you already have the date. Otherwise, decide when you want to bring your guests together. Spread the word quickly to see who is available. 

Pick a theme. Some Friendsgiving party themes include Pajamas, Game Day (for football or playing games), and The Big Binge (how about favorite or obscure holiday movies?). Eat Dessert First gives everyone permission to indulge their sweet tooth—and you can minimize the dinner menu because your guests will be too full. How about Backyard Friendsgiving? Turn it into a cookout, include a gourmet s’mores bar, and set up lawn games. Cornhole, giant Jenga, croquet, badminton, and bocce are great for a group. 

Plan the menu. You can aim for a traditional Thanksgiving meal or go a different menu route. Whatever you decide, don’t go it alone. Friendsgiving is about sharing. Ask people to bring their favorite dish of all time or try something for the first time ever. You’re going to be among friends so anything goes, right?

Be sure to check with your friends about food allergies or special diets (e.g., vegan, gluten-free, diabetic, paleo, keto). Plan to serve food choices for all of your guests. Those who have limitations are probably used to bringing their own foods, but it’s a friendly gesture to give them other things they can eat.

What do you want to serve for drinks? Offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices. If you have a friend who wants to serve as bartender, feel free to hand off this vital role so you’re free to take care of your guests’ other needs. Add some seasonal drinks, like hot apple or mulled cider, Autumn Sunshine Cocktail, cranberry martini, or pumpkin spice cocktail

Send the invitations. It’s always best to issue an actual invitation, whether it’s emailed, a texted photo, on a Facebook event page, or snail-mail. Include the details—when, where, and what to bring. And do it as soon as you decide to host Friendsgiving.

Be sure to ask for an RSVP. Set a deadline for invited guests to let you know if they’re coming, and how many other guests they plan to bring. When the “RSVP by” date rolls around, contact anyone who hasn’t yet responded. 

Dole out the assignments. Break your “Please Bring” list into categories, like Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, Appetizers, Bread, Drinks, or Fun Stuff (like games). When people reply that they’re coming, ask them to let you know what they’d like to bring. Keep track of those items, or you might end up with a year’s worth of green bean casseroles.

You might have one (or more) of those friends who opt out at the last minute, so factor in an alternative for whatever they said they’d bring…just in case.

Decide on your decor. What do you need to add the festive atmosphere to your Friendsgiving event? Plan it out before hitting the stores so you buy what you need and don’t go overboard. Your Friendsgiving decor can be as simple as a seasonal wreath on your door and fall arrangement on your table. Or you can turn your home into a place that matches the theme of your event, like a movie theater, pajama party, or football fandom.  

Are you planning to give your guests a party favor? Keep it simple. A mini pumpkin with their name on it, a bag of homemade seasoned nuts, or a holiday keepsake ornament is a nice way to say “thanks” for coming.

Get prepped. Plan ahead for Friendsgiving Day by gathering your dinnerware. From table settings to serving pieces, make sure you have everything you need and in sufficient quantities for the number of guests you expect. If you’re using cloth linens, check them for stains and other damage. Inspect your serving pieces, too. Do this a week in advance so you have time to replace anything that doesn’t meet your standards.

If you’re going to rely on small appliances that you don’t use regularly—like a blender, slow cooker, Instant Pot, or immersion blender—check them out ahead of time.

Invest in a stash of takeout containers so your guests can take home any leftovers they like.

If you’re in charge of making the turkey and you chose a frozen one, be sure to let it thaw completely. To thaw a frozen turkey safely, place it in the refrigerator in a large bowl (to collect the thawing moisture) and allow 24 hours for every five pounds of bird. If your turkey isn’t completely thawed, you can still roast it, but you’ll need to allow at least 50% more time to cook it.

Do your last-minute checks.  

  • Confirm with every guest that they are still coming and will be bringing the item(s) they promised. 
  • At least two days in advance, set out the ingredients for everything you’re planning to make. Check expiration dates and quantities. Make a list of anything that’s missing or needs to be replaced.
  • Wash all the glasses, silverware, plates, and serving pieces.
  • Set your table the night before. If you have pets, cover the table with a clean sheet. 

A home to welcome friends

Are you spending too much time trying to make your home ready to welcome friends? Maybe it’s just not the right fit for you. It could be time to look forward to the next holiday in a new home. Baker Residential is building townhomes and single-family homes for sale in the Raleigh-Durham area. The Parc at Edwards Mill—in a great Raleigh location—is under construction and these new townhomes feature more than 2,000 square feet of space, plus a one-car garage!

Our new construction, single-family homes are coming to Starling Woods in Durham, Estates at Weddington in Apex, and LakeStone in Wake Forest. Choose from Baker Residential’s collection of distinctive home designs, from 1,651 to more than 6,100 square feet of luxuriously appointed, energy efficient living space. Have a happy Friendsgiving and then contact Baker Residential to plan for a very different holiday next year.


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