Tips and tricks on how to throw an affordable Friendsgiving

Media Credit: Sydney Walsh | Photographer

Make your Thanksgiving potluck memorable and affordable with tips for attire, food and expressing gratitude.

Thanksgiving is all about spending time with loved ones and sharing delicious food. Most of the holiday is celebrated with family, but many people view their friends as their “chosen family.”

After celebrating Thanksgiving with family, throw a Friendsgiving with your peers at school or at home. Here are some tips on how to make sure this year’s Friendsgiving is the best one yet.

Arriving in style

Friendsgiving is the time to ditch any of the boring customs of traditional Thanksgiving dinner that you just don’t like. For me, the No. 1 pain of Thanksgiving is trying to stuff my face while wearing formal clothing. At Friendsgiving, set the dress code to whatever you want. If you find that food comas are more comfortable in sweatpants, tell your guests to arrive in their favorite PJs.

The dinner

My favorite way to celebrate Friendsgiving is with a potluck-style meal. Each friend can claim a different dish – appetizer, main course, dessert or drink – and show off their cooking skills or arrive at the dinner with the best Whole Foods dishes. If you’re celebrating Friendsgiving at home the day after Thursday, you could tell your friends to each bring leftover food from their respective dinners and save some money.

Giving thanks

Friendsgiving is the ideal time to show appreciation for all of your friends. Place a jar at each person’s place setting and hand out small pieces of paper and pens. Everyone can write down what they are thankful for about their friends or about the year and drop the note in their respective jars. After dinner, each person can take turns reading the messages in their jars. At the end of the meal, each person will have a collection of notes to take home.

Ending on a sweet note

The only way to end a great meal is by eating great dessert. Use the end of Thanksgiving to transition into the rest of the holiday season with some classic desserts. You could pass around gingerbread men, which you can buy in pre-made, ready-to-decorate sets on Amazon – and tell each person to decorate their cookie to look like another person at the table. At the end, everyone can guess who is who.

If you want to keep your Friendsgiving dessert more traditional, try baking pumpkin pie bites. Take a pre-made pie crust and cut it into small circles that you can stick into a muffin tin. Then, top the mini crusts with your pumpkin fillings and bake. Top with whipped cream for a tasty mini pie.

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