By Briana Fields
Friendsgiving: (noun) a Thanksgiving meal held by and for one’s friends.
Whether you want to have a normal Thanksgiving meal before facing your crazy relatives, you want to get all your friends together before heading home for break, or you just want an excuse to eat another Thanksgiving dinner, here’s a guide to hosting a great Friendsgiving.
- Figure out your ideal guest list.
When it comes down to it, Thanksgiving is really about the company. Who do you want to spend an evening with before taking a week off from on-campus life? You could do it mixer-style and have different groups of friends come together and get to know one another, or you may decide to just include the core group of your very favorite people. Keep in mind that everyone should fit around a dinner table and that the more people you invite, the more people everyone will have to cook for. On the other hand, more people means a wider variety of dishes and more conversation. Weigh the pros and cons and get together with a couple friends or roommates that you know will definitely be on board, and figure out who you want to invite.
- Make a menu and decide who will make what.
There’s a lot to consider here – maybe you want a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, or maybe you want to do something totally different and start new traditions. Either way, I highly recommend doing your Friendsgiving potluck style so that everyone chips in a relatively equal amount of money and work. If you’re looking to go the more traditional route, break down the food you want into categories – turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and desserts are a good place to start – and try to play to people’s strengths when assigning dishes if you want the absolute best tasting meal you can get.
I guarantee that at least one of your friends can’t cook, so maybe let them bring a store bought pie or stuffing out of the box, and save the tougher stuff for the friend that’s always cooking anyway. Don’t forget to ask if anyone has special diet restrictions – if any of your friends are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or have other allergies, try to make sure they can eat at least 75 percent of the dishes so they don’t feel like they’re missing out. Have everyone bring their food in a dish it can be served out of so that you don’t get stuck doing a huge pile of dishes.
- Make your apartment as homey as it can get.
Invest in some candles and Thanksgiving decorations. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy – you could all even get together and craft some DIY decorations if you want to go that route. Make some hand turkeys or a paper chain a la elementary school class parties – don’t be afraid to get creative! I also recommend having a friend with good music taste make a playlist that you can put on in the background. It’ll make the space feel more inviting, and can fill any possible lulls in conversation if you decide to invite guests who don’t know each other that well.
- Enjoy time with friends and feel grateful.
Lots of adults say that college was the best time of their life, and whether that will be true for you or not, be sure to look around at your friends and be thankful for their presence in your life!