The holiday season, while being one of the most magical times of the year, can also be the busiest! The traditional holiday season fills our calendar with performances, shows, parties, festivities, photo ops, shopping, and travel. If you are anything like me, you try to cram in all the activities. You want to make the most out of these short couple months. When the idea of hosting a Friendsgiving started making it’s way around the internet, I fell in love with the idea. I mean, who doesn’t love another excuse to party?!?
But so often, my friends are just as busy as we are during this season and we all spend Thanksgiving with our families (because they live in town or because they travel home.) Adding a Friendsgiving to the to-do list felt like too much. Who has the time to prepare TWO Thanksgiving meals?!
Well this year may be your golden opportunity! None of us saw 2020 coming — it has been one of the craziest years of my life. COVID made an appearance at the beginning of the year and hasn’t left yet. Many of us are finding that the changed plans are sneaking all the way into the holiday season. I am BIG on tradition so I’ve been trying to prepare this heart of mine. We won’t get to do the same shows, parties, and festivities that we normally do and I know many friends and family who have already planned not to travel back home this year.
With so many people opting to stay at home this holiday season instead of travel and so many traditions getting pushed back to next year, it is the perfect year to finally get your friends together for a Friendsgiving! So let’s find the joy, gather our people (in a safe way) and make the most of this weird holiday season!
Tips for Hosting Friendsgiving
Keep the Invite List Manageable
If you are friends with families, remember all those kids in the head count! Inviting 2-4 other families to join you for a Friendsgiving could be just the perfect size. If you have mostly single or couple friends, it wouldn’t be crazy to send out 10-15 invitations. Be realistic with your house size and table size! While you may typically love packing your house, consider going smaller this year to make it more comfortable & intentional.
Keep it to People You Normally Already See
You want to be able to relax and have fun so make sure all the invites are to people who are connected in some way. I know it is always fun to bring new people together in party form but this may not be the best year for that. Are you in a homeschool pod, sports team, Bible Study, office environment with a group of people who you can invite?
Don’t Be Offended if People Pass
Some people may still not feel comfortable gathering like this yet and that is okay. It isn’t you or the party. Everyone is trying to do what they think is best for themselves and their family. They are still your friends even if they RSVP no to your Friendsgiving.
Set the Table
Make sure everyone who RSVPs yes has a place at the table. You don’t need the fanciest of table décor but having a spot for everyone who walks in your door helps them feel welcome. Assigned seating in not necessary but it is kind of fun to see your name set out somewhere. If you go this route, let people switch if they want and try to place people in a way you think would make people feel most welcome!
While we are talking about table décor, throwing some garland down the middle of the table is an easy way to make everything feel more festive! Add a couple pumpkins, candles, or other holiday décor items you find around your house to really set the mood!
Divide Food Up Potluck Style
You don’t have to be in charge of all the food!! My family always does our holiday dinners potluck style to help take off the burden on the host. You can start an email chain with everyone who RSVPs yes or use something like Perfect Potluck to allow people to sign up for what they would like to bring. Not only does this take the financial burden off the hostess, but it allows for a more ornate spread bringing different recipes, dishes, and traditions together! Worried about suggesting this? I think you will find most people are willing and even WANT to make something to bring to a Friendsgiving feast!
I know there are many families out there who are longing for a little connection during this crazy season. Opening up your home for a new holiday celebration can really bring joy not only to your family, but to others’ lives as well! Enjoy doing something new this year even when you are missing your traditional festivities.
Photo Credit: Oak and Oats