It’s called Friendsgiving.
While most holidays are centred around family or loved ones (Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc.), there is one holiday where you can be thankful for the people in your life you have chosen to be a part of your life – your friends.
I am truly thankful to have the wonderful friends I have. Friends since kindergarten, high school, and friends I’ve met at university and beyond – they mean a lot to me and I am so thankful to have them all in my life.
The concept of Friendsgiving is simple: the host makes the turkey while the guests each bring a potluck of side dishes to accompany the feast.
We began planning back in October and soon enough Friendsgiving had arrived. Having it in November is a great mid-holiday between Thanksgiving/Halloween and Christmas.
If you’re wanting to partake in the American Thanksgiving happening next weekend I suggest hosting your own Friendsgiving.
Unlike Thanksgiving, you are the ones doing all the work and planning for it. It was only the second time I have cooked a turkey on my own – and I am thrilled to say it turned out so delicious.
Here are a few tips for hosting your first Friendsgiving:
Plan in Advance: Make sure everyone has RSVP’d to know how many mouths you have to feed.
Make Sure You Have Enough Room: While it would be lovely to invite all my friends over, we just don’t have the space. So we had a lovely number of 12 guests.
Turkey: The host makes the turkey. It only makes sense that the person who is hosting makes the turkey because of the prep work and cooking time needed. Be sure to have a large enough turkey for the amount of people coming (about a lb. per person) and maybe leftovers. Be sure to thaw it well in advance, about 3 days in the fridge. Also, the host should do the gravy and possibly stuffing – though you can definitely make stuffing without the turkey.
Coordinate the Food: Plan the event online or somewhere where you can share who is bringing what. You can have a variety of dishes – that way you don’t end up with 5 sweet potato casseroles. Although sweet potato casserole is delicious.
Speaking of Potatoes: There should always be mashed potatoes. A must.
Accommodate: If you have a guest coming with a food allergy or special diet make sure there are dishes for them to eat too. Otherwise they will be hangry.
Skip the Hors D’oeuvres: Turkey dinner means bringing out the stretchy pants. There is no need to stuff your face with mini quiches before a massive turkey feast. Plus it just means more work for everyone.
Vegetables: There should be an assortment of healthy vegetable dishes that aren’t smothered in cream sauces or cheese. Leave that for the stuffing and potatoes. Green beans, brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli are all great sides – even just boiled.
Salad: Never underestimate a good salad with turkey dinner.
Cranberry Sauce: Homemade is best – and easy! – but canned stuff will do the trick. Have 2-3 small dishes of it on the table.
Dessert: Oh yes – there should be pie. While there can also be a variety of desserts, no turkey dinner is complete without a slice of pie. Preferably pumpkin.
Table etiquette The host should set a visually appealing table with gourds and other orange hued pretties. Name tags are also great for making sure everyone has a spot.
BYOB: Each person should bring their own drink for the evening, though the host should have some non-alcholic options.
Post-Dinner Games: The best way to digest after a feast is to play games. Some great games to play with friends are charades, catch phrase, apples to apples. All can be played at the dinner table while finishing off dessert.
Most of all – enjoy the food and company of your friends.