1st Annual Friendsgiving 2015
What is Friendsgiving? – Bringing friends together to celebrate & show how thankful you are for one another!
I loved this!! 2015 was the first year I hosted a Friendsgiving! I just loved the idea of having something special to bring friends together. After all, “friends are the family we choose for ourselves!”
Or if you can’t make it home for the holidays you can plan the special day with Friends! Same ideas as Thanksgiving but with Friends, hence the name Friendsgiving!!!
There are so many ways you can coordinate this gathering. You don’t have to have dinner at all. You could just have appetizers & drinks or having a meal a little more casual like BBQ style.
Different Ideas for a Friendsgiving Dinner:
- 1. Make it a potluck you plan in advance.
- 2. Bar-b-que/ Picnic style – grill some hamburgers and have other bring picnic style side dishes
- 3. Chili Cook Off
- 4. Favorite Appetizers
- 5. Assemble your own Sandwiches
- 6. Taco Bar
The ideas are endless, my point is it can be absolutely anything you want. It doesn’t have to be a traditional Turkey/Thanksgiving day meal.
- I chose to have a dinner and I wanted it to be a sit down meal. As the host I planned to make the Turkey and I asked friends to bring the trimmings/side dishes ~ PotLuck style dinner! This takes a lot pressure off of the host the day of the party.
- I decorated the table and set the table with place settings. However the food was served buffet style. With almost 30 people it was too difficult to do any other way. I set all the food on my kitchen counter decorated and displayed in varying heights to make it appealing & well decorated.
- I set up another table for desserts & appetizers. I had a drink station & bread station.
Steps to Plan your Party:
(*They are simple steps but the coordinating of any party takes some planning and prep work. I will try to walk you through how to throw you own Friendsgiving by sharing how I plan and this is generally how I plan any party)
- Make a guest list – thanksgiving-guest-list (Guest list from www.foodfolksandfun.net)
- Find, make, or search for free printable to send out your invites. Everyone had phones so I sent the invite via text message. I created one invitation, took a picture, and sent it to everyone on my guest list
- Track your RSVP’s & what others offer to bring so that you don’t have duplicates
- Plan your Meal, make a menu, break it down into a grocery list – thanksgiving-menu-plan-1 (Menu Plan from www.foodfolksandfun.net)
- Gather Ideas ~ I do some pinning to get some ideas for my menu & decor
- I narrow it down to my favorite ideas
- I create a document and save the pictures & any notes to the document so that I can print it and have a master list of what I want to do
- Plan your decor, place settings, and make a list of everything you will need
- Print any printables, create name cards, food labels, etc..
i-am-thankful-for (from http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/thanksgiving-free-printable)
- Plan how you want to serve your dinner. Do you want to carry all the platters/bowls into the dinning room and pass them around the table or do you want to serve your meal buffet style? If you are having a large gathering, I suggest setting up a buffet table.
*My husband cut me some rustic wood slabs in varying heights so that I could display the food. Thanksgiving decor is about brining natural elements into the decorating
- When I have everything planned, I then create a master to do list in the order of everything that will need down, starting with a few days leading up to the event. I’ve even made drawings before if there is a certain way I need to figure out how to display items, set up the tables…
- Set up your tables a few days BEFORE Thanksgiving. That way you have time to decorate them at least the day before. Save the day off the dinner for preparing the food.
Ways to make your Friendsgiving Extra Special
This time of year, Thanksgiving to the end of the year, we tend feel closer to family than we have during the entire year. We have gatherings, dinners, and plan special occasions to celebrate the season! It’s a time for laughter, food, fun, traditions, shopping and creating new memories. I believe it’s important to create a warm & inviting atmosphere for our family & friends that enhances the special moments and adds to the memory of love and family.
Get festive with decorations
Ok this is the part I love and this is one of the reasons I made my Friendsgiving Potluck style so that I could have time to make it festive and beautiful. I wanted everyone to walk in, feel welcome, and feel like it was a special evening. I wanted them to feel like it was a special day and I took time to make it special for them. We have many gatherings but I wanted this to be different. So I really went all out on decorating the table!
Another way to ensure your Friendsgiving is memorable is to offer guests a signature cocktail. I created a drink station and offered various drinks to accommodate all guests. I also make a special cocktail for the evening: Caramel Apple Sangria
Small liquer bottles, bagged cookies or treat
Place Settings w/ Name Cards
Not only was this special in recognizing each guest but it also helped me to make sure that every guest would have a seat!
Keep guests Entertained
Consider conducting a wine or beer tasting. Or playing board games, bobbing for apples and making candy apples.
I wanted to have something for the kids to keep them busy while their parents could enjoy dinner and chat. So I had a separate table. I topped the table with kraft paper so that they could draw on the table! They had cute placemats that they could color (free printable). I had a container of crayons, m&m’s & goldfish to keep them occupied!
Find the Name Card printable here: lgthanksgivingplacecardsgwennypenny
Click here for the Free Printalbe from AlphaMom.com: thanksgivingcrayonholder
I love planning parties & entertaining but any planning and preparation can be stressful and overwhelming at times especially on the day of the event, just remember what you are doing it for. You are bringing the ones you love together to create once in a lifetime memories!
And Remember to Be thankful ~Don’t get so caught up in all of the preparations that you forget why you’re doing it. Thanksgiving Season is a time to be with family and friends and to show our gratitude for the multitude of blessings we have. In order for Thanksgiving and this time of year to be truly stress-free, you have to be grateful.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and you find these tips helpful to create those special moments in your life!
“Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated”