How to Plan the Perfect Friendsgiving

Perfect FriendsgivingThanksgiving is the time of year where we give thanks to everything and everyone in our lives. For almost everyone, the people we are most grateful for besides our families are our friends.

Friendsgivings are events similar to Thanksgiving dinners, but the guests are our friends. These dinners are always a lot of fun, but for those who have not planned one before, it could be a very stressful event. Here are some tips for those of you who have never planned a Friendsgiving before.

The Host Makes the Roast-- Everyone Else Brings the Sides

When I had my first Friendsgiving with my friends, all our cooking abilities were very different. Some of us could cook but didn’t have the space, and others had the space but could somehow burn boiling water.

We quickly came up with this simple rule: whoever offered up their place as the site for the dinner would have to make the turkey. It doesn’t always have to be turkey; some friends prefer to bake chicken (because it’s cheaper) or a ham (because it’s easier to make).

The guests would then volunteer to bring sides, whether that be mashed potatoes, broccoli or mac and cheese. Assigning tasks like these will not only make the host’s job easier, but will also help make everyone feel like they are involved.

Have a Theme

Sometimes, especially when you are hosting one of these events for the first time, it can be difficult to get everyone comfortable and to get the ball rolling.

Chloe Barone, a junior public relations student, said, “Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends who may go to different colleges. I like to have themes to help ease the transition of conversation. A Game Night theme for your Friendsgiving could be as simple as playing board games to liven up the night.”

A simple theme like “Game Night” or “Around the World Potluck” could easily flow conversation between people who may not have seen each other in quite some time. If you need some more inspiration for a cute theme, taking a quick glance at Pinterest is always a good place to start.

Invite Friends You Love

Friendsgiving is a time to spend time with friends whom love and don’t normally see, not for inviting your third cousin because he helped you bake a pie. Sometimes, it feels like events like these should be huge, and that you should invite a bunch of friends. However, in reality, a small group of people you love can make the night even more amazing.

Madison Leppert, a senior criminal justice student, said that the guest list is what is most important for a perfect Friendsgiving. “It’s not necessarily about the food, it’s about the people you’re with. Food is only extra. It’s the people and the memories you make that matter the most.”

Have Fun!

The most important part of Friendsgiving is to remember to have fun. Sometimes, you could get caught up in all the minor details that it could begin to feel like a chore instead of a fun night with friends.

Jennifer Shamrock, Ph.D., professor of communication, said it is important for college students to have this kind of event when they return home from college. “I think that getting together and celebrating friendships and community isn’t something that is confined to one’s family. Keeping those connections alive with your friends and people who might not live close to you is really important, especially during the holidays,” Shamrock said.

Friendsgivings are a perfect way to reconnect with friends and make new memories together. It just takes a little bit of planning to make the perfect dinner for you and your closest friends.

Whether you are the host for the first time or just an attendee, I hope these tips will make this event a little less stressful for you. Be cheerful, be thankful, and have a wonderful Friendsgiving!

PHOTO TAKEN by Dally Matos