How to Host a Fab First Friendsgiving

Learn when and what it is, then use our tips to throw an effortless Friendsgiving party of your own.

Over the past few years, more and more people have been bucking tradition and having a Friendsgiving party. But what is Friendsgiving, exactly? It's a time to gather with friends, share a meal, and appreciate your friendship. For some, it's celebrated on Thanksgiving, especially for those who have family far away when traveling for the holiday may be unrealistic or expensive. For many others, however, it's a get-together with friends on a different date in addition to a regular Thanksgiving held with family. No matter how you celebrate it, we've got all kinds of tips and tricks to help your party go smoothly. 

Picking a Date

So, when is Friendsgiving? The beauty of an unofficial holiday is that it doesn't have a set date. You can have Friendsgiving whenever you want! As we mentioned, some people do choose to host their party on Thanksgiving Day. That's totally fine! But it doesn't have to be on Thanksgiving if it's inconvenient for your guests or they're celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving with family. You can hold it the weekend before or after, for example. If you're having trouble figuring out a Friendsgiving date that works for everyone, sites like When2meet can help you coordinate busy schedules.

Food Planning

Inarguably, the most important part of Friendsgiving dinner is the food. To take the pressure off you, the host, opt for a potluck style dinner. It's both budget-friendly and easy. The best Friendsgiving recipes are those that can easily be shared with a group, so let your guests know the approximate number of people attending.

To make sure you don't end up with duplicate Friendsgiving dishes, either assign each friend a dish or have a sign up sheet to figure out who's bringing the salad, stuffing, etc. Digital file-sharing services like Dropbox or Google Docs work well for this. Be mindful of dietary restrictions your friends might have, such as gluten-free, vegan, or any allergies. (The shared document is a good place to make note of these so everyone is aware!)

Most of all, Friendsgiving food is flexible. With friends, you often have more room to experiment with non-traditional dishes. Want to have Chinese food? Go ahead! Still want turkey, but don't want to go through the effort of roasting a whole bird? Simplify your cooking with turkey breasts or thighs. And if your guests need Friendsgiving dish ideas, there's no shame in store-bought items. Pre-made mashed potatoes or stuffing mix can always be dressed up with additional seasonings and toppings.

Bringing Drinks

Since people have varied drink preferences, it's hard to please everybody. Instead, keep it simple by making your event BYOB (bring your own booze) and offering at least one red and one white wine to enjoy. (If you're new to wine pairing, check out our guide.) Another option is to mix up a large-batch punch recipe so guests can serve themselves. It's less work for you, and nobody will have to spend the party playing bartender. We've rounded up a few Friendsgiving drink recipes below:

Apple-Cinnamon Winter Fruit Sangria

Hot Scarlet Wine Punch (serves 14!)

Orange-Ginger Pomegranate Punch

Friendsgiving Decorations

If you want to go all-out with table settings and fall decor, consider us impressed. For many people though, Friendsgiving is an opportunity to have a more casual, low key holiday party. If that's the case for you, a few easy decorations will get your friends in the spirit without taking up too much time or money.

Easy Friendsgiving Decor


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