Hosting Friendsgiving This Year? You’ll Need Our Game Plan

The most celebrated meal of the year shouldn’t also be the most nerve-racking. Prepare to be prepared with updated classics, no-bake desserts, and more in our Thanksgiving 2015 guide.

Five years ago, I decided to throw a festive Thanksgiving with friends—and have been hosting Friendsgiving ever since. Brave enough to try it yourself? Find at least three other people to make this thing official, and call your parents to tell them you’re not coming home this year. (You can do it! You’re a grown-up!). Here’s how to pull off your own Friendsgiving.

Three Weeks Ahead

Illustration by Joana Avillez

Plan the Menu
Friends don’t let friends cook the meal by themselves—this is a potluck. Set up a Google Doc with categories (e.g., “Stuffing x2”) that your guests can sign up for. Whoever is hosting cooks the bird.

Two Weeks Ahead

Need Tables?
If you’re short on table space, rent a few card tables. Don’t worry about how they look; an inexpensive tablecloth from IKEA or Target will do the trick.

Illustration by Joana Avillez

Get Your Glasses
You don’t need fancy wine glasses, either. Stock up on vintage tumblers or, better yet, used Ball jars. The only rule: no plastic.

Pick the Plates
Don’t have formal place settings for 16? Me neither. Pick up mix-and-match vintage silverware and plates for next to nothing at a flea market, or ask a few friends to bring some. The eclectic setting would probably kill your mom, but this crowd certainly won’t mind.

The Night Before

Set the Table
It may be casual, but it’s still Thanksgiving: Paper napkins have no place at the table. I set the table with bandannas I bought at a thrift store.

Cocktail Hour

Illustration by Peter Arkle

Start Drinking!
Plop down a cooler filled with ice. It would look out of place in your Aunt Linda’s fancy kitchen, but your friends just want the drinks cold.

Illustration by Joana Avillez

Distract the Kids
If your Friendsgiving is anything like mine, there will be lots of kids running around. I won’t allow iPads, but I will put lo-fi entertainment on the TV, like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or any Pink Panther cartoon.

During the Meal

Start Eating!
Serve everything buffet style. Make cards that say what each dish is and who prepared it to make it feel personal.

During Dessert


Let Someone Win
Give an award for “Best Dish,” as voted on by a show of hands at the table. (The host cannot win.)

After the Meal

Call Your Parents
Wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. Do not brag about how much fun you’re having. Do not say, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”



Everything you need for Thanksgiving 2015


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The post Hosting Friendsgiving This Year? You’ll Need Our Game Plan appeared first on Bon Appétit.

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