Hello my little turkeys!
I know I live in the UK now, but I absolutely live for the American holiday called Thanksgiving. If you don’t know what Thanksgiving is, it’s basically a holiday where you are meant to reflect on all the things you are grateful for throughout the year. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest. Also, it’s a day to stuff yourself full of turkey and delicious food.
I’m planning on having a Thanksgiving dinner with my British family, and even though many people spend Thanksgiving day with their families, I’ve always been a fan of the Friendsgiving trend. Basically Friendsgiving is a Thanksgiving you hold with friends, so you can all get together and enjoy the official start to the holiday season. So, I thought, since I won’t be having a Friendsgiving this year, I’ll share my best tips of having a party and making the most of it!
1. Send Out Invitations
I know a text is faster and easier, but sending out invitations is so much more personal and shows effort. They aren’t too expensive to get, you can even find printable ones for free or cheap. If you’re good with graphic design, you could even create your own with Canva (they even have preset templates for invites, so this is really easy). Send them out a few weeks in advance, so your friends have time to respond and plan. If you’re really throwing it together last-minute, send out some cute e-vites! Find some cute printable invites I made at the bottom of this post!
2. Make it a Potluck
Trust me, you’ll thank me later. This time of year is filled with extra food and expense, so have mercy on yourself and request that everyone bring a dish of their own to contribute. I suggest handling the turkey and perhaps basic drinks, so that’s the big two done and dusted. The plus side is that you’ll have fewer dishes to clean and you might discover a fab new recipe to try!
3. Decorate Accordingly
You don’t have to go mad with this bit, but I find it feels so much more festive if the venue looks the part. Thanksgiving is easy, a few well placed pumpkins, perhaps a turkey or two will do. Don’t forget your fall leaves and pilgrims! Dollar stores have really great options, and you can find loads of decorations on Etsy for a reasonable price!
4. Make it a Buffet
This will make things so much easier in terms of people getting their food. You won’t have to worry about passing dishes around the table. Just set up somewhere that all the food can go, so that way people can load their plates and go back for seconds if they really want to!
5. Plan Party Activities
The main event is eating, but it’s much more a party if you have other things to do. If you are outdoorsy or have a decent size yard, play some football/some other sport. If you are more of a card/board game group, Cards Against Humanity is almost always a winner. If you’re drinkers, Ring of Fire or some other drinking games are super fun!
6. Make A Couple Big Batch Drink Options
Instead of trying to cater to all your guest’s alcoholic tastes, I’ve found it helpful to make one or two batches of Thanksgiving inspired drink punches. There are loads of recipes on Pinterest for this kind of thing. Make sure to tell your friends you’re going to do this and provide mixers, but if they want to bring their specific favourite spirit, it’s BYOB.
7. Take Loads of Photos
It’s easy to get caught up and forget to take photos, but you’re making memories, and it’s great to look back on them and remember the fun you had. Whether you bust out your camera phone or a fancy camera, you’ll have some totally cute photos to remember the night by.
8. Create a Facebook Event
If you are all on Facebook, it’s so much easier for people to ask questions, check times, etc if it’s all in once place. It’ll stop your phone from blowing up with 10 of the same text. Also, you could create a food sign up for your potluck so you don’t end up with 5 different variations of mashed potato.
9. Check Your Bathrooms
I know this sounds weird and not festive at all, but nothing is more awkward and embarrassing than someone going to use your toilet, but you’re out of TP. Make sure the hand wash bottle is full, you’ve got a few hand towels, plenty of toilet roll, and maybe some room spray in case things get a bit dicey in there.
10. Have Some Blankets Handy
Chances are at some point someone is going to have to go outside for something. They forgot something in their car, they need a smoke break, they have to take a phone call, etc etc. Have some blankets out on your porch or near the door so they can wrap up without having to faff about with their coat.
11. Set the Dress Code
It’s so awkward to show up somewhere either over or under dressed, so be a friend and let people know. If you’re planning a fancy posh do-make sure you say so. Likewise, if this is a jeans and T-shirt occasion, make sure nobody’s going to show up in their Sunday best.
12. Everyone Gets Some Leftovers
This time of year, you’ve got plenty of dinners to go to, so the last thing you want is loads left over at your house. Pick up some of those aluminium to-go boxes, and hand them out when people leave. They can choose what they want to put in, but it’s just nice to send people home with something, and then you don’t have to deal with it.
For my American babies (or those of us abroad) I hope you have a really lovely Friendsgiving! If you do throw a get-together, share with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram– I’d love to see what you do! Let me know your best ideas or must-dos in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading & stay golden!
Click on the pictures to save and print for some easy invites!
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