It’s that time of year again and with last year being a bust for holiday gatherings, everyone around us is anxiously awaiting that quality time with the ones they love. One of our favorite gatherings during this season is Friendsgiving – a Thanksgiving-style gathering with your friends.
In our home, we have a few different friend groups that make Friendsgiving a yearly tradition and we do our best to show up for each other each year. As families grow and traditions change, we hope that this one sticks around for years to come.
We wanted to share with you our top 14 unique ideas for hosting your next Friendsgiving gathering.
Our Top 14 Unique Friendsgiving Ideas
Decor & Activities
1. Share What you’re Thankful for
As with any traditional Thanksgiving, we find that it’s always fun to share what you’re thankful for during Friendsgiving.
You may want to make it something related to that specific moment, day, friend group, or maybe it’s an overarching feeling that you’ve had over the past year. Whatever you’re feeling grateful for, your friends will be the ones supporting you on the sidelines.
2. Make it a Themed Party
This could mean dressing up to the nines in your spiffiest suit jacket & tie, or maybe the theme is PJ night and everyone comes in their comfiest outfit.
By adding a theme to the party, it can also help you narrow in on decor, menu and activities for the evening. And if you’re not feeling like setting a dress code – you can always pick a theme based on decor & your menu.
3. Instead of Dinner, try a Happy Hour or Brunch
Due to this time of year being extremely busy for many, we’ve found that hosting the gatherings at “off” times of the day has been super effective and well received by our friends. We’re big brunch people, so we’ve been doing that as an option for Friendsgiving over the past few years. What’s better than apple cider mimosas and sweet pastries from your favorite bakery?!
4. Include a Recipe Swap
We love this idea because you can never have too many recipe cards to pull from when you’re in a rut in your meal planning or scrambling to find something to make before a party.
Consider having people bring something that they’re either known for making in your friend group, or a new recipe they’ve been dying to try. Have them bring a few copies of the recipe card for people to take home once the night has ended. That way, everyone will leave the night with full stomachs and with few new recipes to tuck away for future gatherings.
5. Include a Game or a Gun Activity into your Agenda
This could be anything from planning an intense Catan tournament to playing a simple game of Uno for some laughing around the table after your meal is complete. If you’re looking for something more hands-on, you could also add an activity like creating candles with custom scents or making your own DIY bath bomb.
6. Enhance your Tablescape
You know we’re all about tablescapes over here at c2s, and Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to get into the holiday spirit. Once you have your theme narrowed down, think about how you’ll set your table.
We always recommend neutral place settings and tying in a pop of color with your centerpiece decor.
If you want more insight on how to decorate your tablescape for the fall, check out our blog that dives deep into this here.
7. Create Vision Boards for the Following Year
This was an idea stolen from a friend who did this at a gathering, but after hearing about it – we couldn’t wait to implement it into one of our next parties.
Consider gathering old magazines, glue, craft paper, and pictures to create vision boards with your ideas and goals for the next year. Then, go around and share your top vision with your pals and that way, they can help support you in making it happen.
8. Make it a Closet Swap
Cleaning out the closet for the end of the year? Chat with your friends about making your Friendsgiving gathering a closet swap where you can shop each other’s closets. And for the extra clothes not picked out by anyone, you can consider donating them to your nearest donation center.
Food & Drink
9. Include a Signature Cocktail
Include a signature cocktail at your gathering to ease your stress as a host trying to figure out what everyone wants to drink throughout the party.
10. Try a Cocktail-Crafting Competition
Let’s say you have a competitive bunch of friends… an easy way to ensure there are enough beverages to go around is to have a cocktail crafting competition.
Each person or couple is in charge of bringing the ingredients to create their own one-of-a-kind cocktail for everyone in the group.
After taste-testing all of the options everyone gets to vote for their top three choices. And once the votes are counted, you’ll have a blue-ribbon cocktail to enjoy all night long.
This also gives an opportunity for a fun tradition to partake in year after year and gives a creative outlet to those wanting to come up with something new each time you gather.
11. Create a Festive Dessert
Whether that means baking pies with leaves cut out on them, or whipping up a batch of our Guest House Sugar Cookies, desserts are always a must in our book.
If you’re doing brunch, consider a sweet item like cinnamon or caramel rolls.
12. Plan a Non-traditional Thanksgiving Menu
If you’re sick of Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and turkey, you can plan a meal that’s completely the opposite.
This is another reason why brunch can be a great option as it’s a polar opposite of a heavy dinner.
Another creative idea is to have everyone pick up enough of their favorite fast food item to share with the crowd. Could be chicken nuggets from McDonald’s, Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell… the possibilities are endless.
13. Pair wine with your courses/dishes
This is a fun option if you have a lot of wine lovers in your group.
Have everyone be in charge of one course of the meal and bring a coordinating bottle of wine to serve with their contribution.
You can even look for a dessert wine to top off the final course.
14. Add a Charcuterie or Butter Board to your Menu
Lastly, think about adding a charcuterie board to your menu. As a host/hostess, this is an easy way to prep for guests to arrive and if there’s anything that needs to be warmed up for the main meal, you’ll reduce stress by being prepped with an easy appetizer.
Charcuterie boards are also festive and can be enjoyed during any timeframe that you’ll be hosting!
And that’s a wrap on our unique Friendsgiving ideas to try! We hope that this gets those creative juices of yours flowing when planning your upcoming gathering.
The most important piece of Friendsgiving – be present with those you love, and thankful for the friendships you have in place.