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This year, I finally offered to organize (and host!) Friendsgiving at my house. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but as someone without a ton of hosting experience, I’ve been nervous! There’s no time better than the present, right?
In preparation, I’ve done a lot of (over)thinking and am excited to share my plans with you. Perhaps it will inspire you to host your first-ever gathering, too. Or, if you’re a Friendsgiving vet, I hope you’ll find something new to add to your repertoire. Let’s get cooking!
For my fellow nerds wondering, the origin of the word “Friendsgiving” is very much up for debate. Some claim the Thanksgiving meals the “Friends” cast enjoyed together on the show kicked it all off. The internet, however, saw its first posts of “Friendsgiving” back in 2007 on Usenet and Twitter. Whenever and wherever it started, the holiday has cemented itself in our culture as a way to celebrate holidays with your chosen family – your friends! What could be better than friends, food, and drinks together? Not much, I’d say.
When beginning to plan your Friendsgiving extravaganza, take a step back and remind yourself that you do not have to do it all. Repeat after me, Enneagram type 1s: you do not have to do this alone! Your friends want to help – and you should let them.
Start by making a list of what you want your spread to include (think turkey, sides, drinks, pies, you name it) and then let your squad sign up for whatever entices them. To make your list-making easier, we’ve compiled the critical Friendsgiving elements below, as well as some DTC brands that’ll ship everything your way.
Obviously, food is the crown jewel of your Friendsgiving, which means that details and thoughtfully picked ingredients count. Brightland makes excellent olive oil and vinegars to elevate any dish. Though admittedly pricier than your standard grocery store olive oils at $40/bottle, you and your guests will taste the difference it makes in your food. Plus, it’ll look exceptional on your table.
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without carbs! Let Wildgrain deliver artisan bread and pastas right to your door before the big event. Gorgeous, well-made bread can serve as an app with cheeses, or it can be a great side to go with your mains. Wildgrain’s breads are delivered to you frozen, then you bake them to prepare them. Imagine the smell of fresh bread when your guests walk in!
For those who eat meat, Butcher Box serves up high-quality, ethical meat at a great value right to your door. Although I do eat it, I hate buying meat at the store. The stench, the look, and the inevitable drips all gross me out. The brand offers Thanksgiving turkey, as well as other meats for those taking a more “Steaksgiving” approach to the holiday. Having meat delivered to my door sounds great, but having a whole turkey delivered is a true dream-turned-reality.
The drinking landscape has totally changed in the last several years. According to ABC, non-alcoholic beverage sales increased by 315% from 2020 to 2021. People are enjoying life with less alcohol, which is one of many reasons why I’ll be including non-alcoholic options besides water at my Friendsgiving. Kin Euphorics makes a non-alcoholic, aperitif-style spirit called “High Rhode” ($39) that is sure to get the party going and make everyone feel comfortable.
While I love the N/A movement, I do still love a good glass of wine. Recently, I’ve been digging Empathy Wines’ mission to make incredible wine more accessible. With only 3 choices (red, white, and rosé), Empathy Wines really narrows it down for you. If you’re not sure what people will like at your Friendsgiving, grab the Empathy Collection sampler with all three ($60). Your guests, whether wine snobs or drinkers of anything, are sure to love these wines.
Every great dinner party needs beautiful tableware. Luckily, many brands are making wonderfully sustainable dishes and silverware that you’ll love for a long time. If you’re needing to up your glassware game, I’d suggest checking out Editor Grace’s glassware roundup. Your bar cart will thank you for it.
It’s certainly no secret that we love Our Place’s… well, everything. The brand’s new tableware is certainly no exception. Check out these gorgeous full-sized dinner plates ($60/4 plates). The colors are earthy and refined, making them a piece you can love for a long time. Even better, this tableware is dishwasher-, microwave-, and even oven-safe up to 350 degrees.
Fable is another tableware favorite. I’ve been eyeing this timeless and durable flatware ($270/4 place settings) in particular. Perhaps Friendsgiving is a great excuse to treat myself to a little upgrade on the flatware front….
Regardless of the season of life you find yourself in (I’m currently mid-home renovation), sprucing up your space to be guest-friendly is doable. Some easy tricks include candlesticks, vases, and plenty of candles and greenery. I’ve been digging these candle holders from Snowe ($29.75/2 pieces), which would look excellent on any dining room table.
For the perfect centerpiece, try something green. Bloomscape offers gorgeous plants that ship right to your door, like the Bromeliad Collection ($79), which features 3 plants in the Thanksgiving maroon-orange color scheme. Each plant comes with an extremely helpful customer service rep, so you’re sure to wow your guests with your green thumb (even if it’s partially borrowed).
When your guests’ tummies are full and the dishes are done, you’ll want to keep the party going. If your crew is the ultra-competitive board game type, give Secret Hilter ($40) a try. The game is a social deduction game meant for between 5-10 players who each get a designated role with the goal to stop the player who is dubbed the “secret Hilter.” Although it sounds ridiculous, it's sure to get your guests lively – my friends go absolutely wild over it.
For those bringing together a conglomerate of people, you may want to go with something a bit more just-met-you friendly. Try Actually Curious ($25), a card game for intentional conversations. There are several versions to pick from, including the Curiosity Edition, the Happy Hour Edition, the Our Future Edition, and the Human Rights Edition.
Ready, Set… Enjoy
I hope this guide has you feeling totally equipped to host a memorable Friendsgiving. However it turns out, even if you burn the turkey or choose the wrong wine pairing by mistake, remember that your friends are surely thrilled to be enjoying time together. The details are important, yes, but the quality time is what the holiday is all about.