A Host’s Guide to Throwing the Perfect Friendsgiving


Food Network

Friendsgiving (Noun): A Thanksgiving celebration with one’s friends, as opposed to one’s family. (Oxford Languages)

  While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family, nothing can compare to sharing a holiday meal with your closest friends. That’s why Friendsgiving is becoming more and more popular as the years go on. Friends, food, and fall festivities– what’s not to love about the informal holiday!

  Junior and exchange student Sophia Heskamp recently celebrated her first Friendsgiving. “I liked Friendsgiving a lot. It was the perfect opportunity for me as an exchange student to meet new people. I had so much fun talking to everyone. It was the perfect first Friendsgiving and I already love the tradition. I can’t wait to introduce my family and friends in Germany to this awesome American tradition and food!”

  As rewarding as it is, party planning can also be taxing. That’s why it’s important to seek Friendsgiving inspiration in advance! Below are three ideas to help any hosts-to-be get started on their party-throwing adventure!

  Sending handmade invitations

  There’s nothing like opening the mailbox during the holiday season to see a beautifully decorated letter. With the recipient’s name written in sprawling cursive letters, a snail-mail letter is a nostalgic way for a host to connect with their guests.

  Personalized invitations are essential to making the first impression on your guests, as invitation is the first step towards making them feel welcome. Practicing good hospitality is a lifelong trait!

Organizing a potluck for appetizers, sides, or desserts

  Everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving food. Whether it be a traditional turkey, cranberry sauce, or mashed potatoes, having a complete thanksgiving dinner is key to pleasing your guests. However, finding the time to prepare an elaborate Thanksgiving meal is laborious; especially during the hectic month of November!

  By inviting guests to bring a homemade appetizer, side, or dessert, a host can minimize their pre-party stress! A Sign-Up Genius is a great tool to keep organized and avoid duplicates.

Providing exciting entertainment

  An upstanding host knows how to cater to their audience’s interests. By coming up with several diverse entertainment ideas, even the pickiest guest will enjoy themselves.

  Christmas movies are a foolproof way to celebrate the coming winter season. Turn on the latest hallmark movie, a black-and-white classic, or a childhood favorite, and watch as your guests are filled with sentimental holiday spirit.

  Baking a dessert together is a great way to acquaint guests who may not know each other. Pick a simple and foolproof recipe, so that no baking mishaps happen! The key to the success of this activity is a thoroughly planned shopping list and setting out essential baking tools (bowls, measuring cups, utensils, etc.) beforehand.

  Gift-giving games like “white elephant” or “secret Santa” are a great option for guests who already know each other. Although these options require a more involved host, they can be a memorable experience for all.


  It may be easy to simply throw together a Friendsgiving, but being a well-seasoned host comes with practice. An excellent host ensures that their guests feel comfortable in their home at all times. When guests arrive, a brief tour of the essentials– the bathroom, water, dining table– will make them feel welcome.

  The key to throwing a spectacular party is knowing how much structure is needed to ensure the event runs smoothly– too much structure and your guests will feel suffocated. Too little structure and the party could run amuck. An easy-going nature is a host’s best friend.

  With these tips, anyone can throw the best Friendsgiving, and may even lead to a tradition! Heskamp shares, “I am very happy I was able to experience it and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!”