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Your Guide to Hosting a Thrifty Friendsgiving

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Traveling home for the holidays isn’t always feasible and that’s okay. While it can be tough, choosing to spend Thanksgiving with friends can open the doors to creating lifelong memories.

People sitting around a table eating

Whether you can’t travel home due to financial reasons or because of a hectic work schedule, make the most of your holiday by hosting your own Friendsgiving.

Friendsgiving is an excellent alternative for the times that you’re unable to spend Thanksgiving with family. It can be beneficial for you and others who also may not be able to travel during the holiday season or simply don’t have close family. By making the event a group affair and delegation of tasks, it can be a fun and affordable way to spend the holiday. Check out our list of 5 tips to hosting your very own Friendsgiving:

  1. Commit to the Turkey. If you are the person coordinating the Friendsgiving get-together, by default that would make you the host. This typically means that the meal will be hosted at your house or apartment - as long as the amount of space makes it possible. Ensure that you will have enough place settings (paper plates and plastic cutlery will work) and spots at the table to seat people. As the host, plan on preparing the turkey, or any turkey replacement entrée, that will be making an appearance at your Friendsgiving dinner.
  2. Delegate the sides. Now on the delegation – this piece is important. Ask your guests to bring the side dishes as a way to contribute to the dinner. The host should help coordinate who brings what dish and any delegation that is necessary. This can be as easy keeping a checklist on your phone, or creating an outlet for everyone to communicate together such as a Facebook event page or group text message. Creating a shared space will allow you to rest assured that none of the essentials will be missing from your Friendsgiving dinner.
  3. Outsource the Beverages and Desserts. The final items on your Friendsgiving menu is the beverages and dessert, what some might argue are the most important parts. Beverages and desserts can vary depending on everyone's personal tastes, but generally if you divide your group into two halves, one half brings a beverage to share and the other a dessert, there will be enough to go around for everyone.
  4. Encourage Game Night Entertainment. As you prepare for the holiday, don’t sweat the small stuff like the entertainment. After all, when you’re in good company the fun will come naturally. Ask your guests to bring along their favorite board or card game. It will keep the night interesting and will also eliminate any awkward silences from your guests if they don’t know each other well.
  5. Bump Down the Temp. Words of the wise, prepare to bump down the thermostat the day of Friendsgiving. In most cases, your oven will be on and your guests will be dressed for fall. With a house full of company, your home will naturally be warmer, so save on your electric bill by turning down the heat.

As you enter into the holiday season, it’s important to remember the reason for the season. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what matters most and make new memories with your family and friends. Whether you’re continuing traditions or making new ones, the time spent celebrating is priceless, and time you’ll never get back. Happy Thanksgiving!


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