I guess “Friendsgiving” has been a thing for a while now. This year we finally decided to jump on the bandwagon. I mean what’s better than a second Thanksgiving dinner, friends, and games? As you will notice, we happened to pull this off two weeks before Christmas – (AFTER TURKEY DAY) but there’s no rules, right?
So we sent an invite out to some dear friends, coordinated who brought what festive dish, and got to decorating and party planning. As the host we did the turkey, and made a pie for fun, everyone else pitched in to bring a marvelous spread of sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries,hors d’oeuvre, and of course LOTS of desserts! By the way, I made THIS Paleo Pumpkin Pie, from The Paleo Running Momma, that was an instant favorite for our family.
TIP #2: Keep it simple! Worrying about the turkey is enough. As the host your main focus is to make your home inviting, set the table, & plan activities! Friends like to help!
I kept the table setting simple be using mail kraft paper ($4 at Walmart!) for the table runner and island runner for the food dishes. I spray painted some pine cones, placed different height candles and tea lights, clipped some fresh greenery, and filled it in with fresh cranberries. I also threw in some mini gourds & pumpkins that I’ve had this Fall.Basically, I used what I had on hand. The island looked about the same without as much clutter for plenty of room for THE FOOD.
TIP #3: Be resourceful! Adding onto the the above Pinterest comment, you do not have to spend a fortune setting a Martha Stewart worthy table. Look around to what you already have. Spend money on thing like inexpensive candles, party favors, or paper products to make clean up easy!
Guests started to arrive, while we assembled the food. Hors d’oeuvre and drinks were out for people to start munching…
TIP #4: Have Hors d’oeuvre ready when guests arrive! Like it or not, friends are bringing your meal, so there will be 30 minutes or so until everything is put out. Have snacks or little games prepared so guests aren’t twiddling their thumbs waiting for the main event.
Of course the little ones made an appearance adding exquisite cuteness & a punch of sweetness to the spread!
Tip #5: Have serving dishes & utensils ready! Guests will come with dishes, make it easier by having these things ready to serve the food. Also, make sure to clean out your refrigerator to keep desserts and leftovers as guests arrive.
If I were more “artsy fartsy” – I would of had a photo booth set up. Either way – capturing precious friends one way or another is important! It’s these moments in life that are fun to look back on throughout different seasons of life.
Tip #6: Take pictures! Go crazy and set up a photobooth with festive props if it suites your fancy – but at least have a camera ready or delegate someone to snap some pictures.
Here’s our jam packed kitchen table embellished with some of our dearest friends. We may or may not have had to pull out some of our deck chairs to accommodate all of them. But hey! True friends will sit on a hard metal chair during Friendsgiving without a thought. After dinner we played White Elephant along with a few other games. And of course in order for guests to start dessert we required everyone to share something they were thankful for. J
Tip #7: Offer takeout boxes! How awesome are Thanksgiving leftovers? Be a hero, and get takeout boxes for guests to take leftovers and extra desserts home!
I’m learning the art of being intentional. Life just happens, but great relationships don’t. It’s a joy to pour into each other’s lives – and to steal the good gifts from each other in white elephant. We’re looking forward to next year’s Friendsgiving!
What are some helpful tips or fun things you’ve implemented at your holiday parties with friends?