As soon as the last pumpkin is smashed on Halloween, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind— Christmas. Before that though is Thanksgiving, if you’ve forgotten. This year, if you haven’t already planned it yet, gather your friends for an annual Friendsgiving! It’s everything that Thanksgiving is usually, plus some extra wine, if you’re 21 and over that is, and a great way to break old traditions to make new ones.
Friendsgiving is just that, Thanksgiving with all your closest friends. Though it may seem easy enough, as the day approaches all the preparation may seem daunting, but not if you just break it up.
How to Start Off the Day
With any holiday, all the complications can usually be avoided with good sleep and a relaxed morning before the chaos sets in. Try having a mindful breakfast and taking a moment to personally reflect on what you’re thankful for in that moment. Your yummy food? Relationships with your friends? The excuse to throw a party and eat fattening potatoes? Whatever speaks to you.
Per planning ahead, it could be nice to provide a space for your guests to also write down what they’re thankful for. This could be something you frame and keep forever, or add to every year.
Though the meal itself may seem like the highlight of the whole day, don’t forget all the snacking that will happen in between. It may seem like a good idea in the morning to starve yourself all day to maximize the room for stuffing, but after a few hours everyone will be hungry, and that’s when you come in. Snacks!
An abundance of snacks serves many purposes. One, to provide to hangry company, two, to keep guests busy while you feverishly cook, and three to showcase your awesome charcuterie board skills (peek down to recipes for some good ideas).
Decorations are something you’re going to want to keep on top of in advance. Pulling that old, dried out package of Crayola felt tips from of the closet and trying to trace a finger turkey isn’t going to cut it. My advice? Just buy premade packaged decor for any local grocery store! You might even give the Dollar Tree a try, who knows.
Don’t forget to take a moment to breathe. Remember, this isn’t your whole extended family coming over, but simply the friends you took shots with in tacky Halloween costumes a few weeks ago.
When Guests Begin to Arrive:
Have those snack platters ready! It’s go time, and no one can resist thinly cut swiss cheese, peppered salami, and a salty cracker.
As for the real cooking, don’t be afraid to prep the night before. Don’t have time to chop and mix the stuffing? No worries! Perfect that dish the night before and just throw it in the oven to reheat, there’s no shame in giving yourself some slack. You do have your friends over and want to spend some time with them after all.
Make a playlist. Nothing sets a mood better than the perfect background music. Take time to cultivate this before the party so you can simply hit shuffle and go. No more running over to your phone desperately trying to skip after the first strum of Old Town Road comes on.
One very important step is to have drinks ready and on tap. Usually I’d recommend wine to pair with the meal, but with modern times comes modern adaptations. You might want to pick up a variety pack of White Claws, a warm rack of Rolling Rock, and maybe a bottle of Fletchman’s vodka to mix in with flat sprite from last weekend. People like what’s familiar, and if your lifestyle is anything like mine…
Once the initial grazing is over, it’s great to have something to pass the time with. Games are a wholesome and intimate way to get your friends to interact with one another. Sometimes it’s best to go with the classics; twister, apples to apples, even charades. Notice how these games are amplified the further into the 30 rack you get.
As for the Food:
Ask friends to bring supplies you fear you might run out of; an extra bottle of wine, some side dishes, turn it into a potluck if that’s your style. Most of all, don’t forget why it is we gather around the same table once a year to give thanks. We can look back and remember our early European ancestors as they tortured, killed, and committed mass genocide on the Native people of this land.
And here we have Thanksgiving. Check out some fun recipes below!
Sweet Potato and Dill sauce, featured on the Beaver’s Digest page.
If you’re genuinely attempting to cook a whole turkey, try this easy go.
Not into meat? Good for you you’re saving the carbon cycle. Try this delicious wild-rice-stuffed- butternut squash.
Here’s that awesome charcuterie board we talked about!
If all of this still seems too daunting or if you’d like to see a real Friendsgiving in action, be sure to mark your calendar for Wednesday 27. Beaver’s Digest and Prism will be hosting a Friendsgiving over at the SEC from 12-4, and we’d love to see you there!