Do you host Thanksgiving for all of your friends? I love Friendsgiving because it tends to be a lot more relaxed than Thanksgiving with your family. I’m sharing a few easy ways to make the party feel festive while keeping things simple. These Friendsgiving ideas will help keep you stress-free so you might be able to enjoy the party too. Bonus, a lot of these tips work for your Thanksgiving celebrating too!
I married into a family has their holidays figured out. There is no deviation. I generally bring one dish (that I’m told to bring) and my job is done. So I like to host Friendsgiving so I can try new menu ideas, decorate a little and be in charge of the party (did you know that this blog started off focusing only on party planning?). I love to entertain!
Even though hosting anyone at your home causes a little stress, these ideas are fun and easy and can be done ahead of time so you can enjoy yourself too.
Easy Friendsgiving Ideas
Do the Work Ahead of Time
No matter how much time I give myself to get prepared the day of a party, I’m always way less stressed if I’ve done most of the work the day before (including decorating!). The only thing I’ll leave until the day of the party is the food prep for the meal itself (but if I’m super honest I would only make easy recipes, like this whole turkey in the crockpot – I know my limits). Literally everything else I do ahead of time.
By getting the majority of the to-do list out of the way, when the stress level is low, you’re setting yourself up for success. Things always go wrong when planning a party so this way you have more time to deal with it. Also, while your guests will, no doubt, ask if they can help you, you don’t want to have 20 projects that need to be done before people can start enjoying themselves.
Set Up a Drink Station
What’s a Friendsgiving without wine? I created this fun DIY pumpkin ice bucket as a festive way to display and chill the white wine. It’s super simple to make and is also a great piece of decor. Task your partner with creating this the morning of the party so you can focus on the recipes. I buy most of my wine through this wine club. They really know their stuff and make choosing great wine really simple!
A serve-yourself drink station is such a great idea. People are happy when they have something to sip on, so make it super easy for them. As the party goes on you can flex your hosting muscle by refilling glasses but this alone will help keep the party going if you run into any hiccups along the way.
A Signature Cocktail
I’m a wine lover, but I have been finding out that a lot of people aren’t. You can put out some beer, but there are always a few people who will want a cocktail. I usually like to put out the ingredients and a recipe for one signature cocktail for the night. This Cranberry Whiskey Sour is delicious!
The tart cranberry pairs perfectly with the whiskey and your guests will enjoy sipping on this throughout the Friendsgiving meal. The guest then has the option to drink this as a cocktail or grab just a glass of whiskey. It provides options without any extra work. Plus this recipe idea will work perfectly at your standard Thanksgiving and Christmas parties too! Not a fan of this cocktail? Check out these fall cocktails to make for your party.
A Decorative Activity
I’m not a huge fan of fall decor. I don’t love the mass-produced items you tend to find this time of year and instead prefer to use fresh greenery (and other organic items like the pumpkins above) to decorate instead. An easy way to add lots of greenery to your house and keep your guests busy is to set up a little area for them to make their own wreaths.
I love the simplicity of this wreath made from a brass ring and eucalyptus. With just a little bit of craft wire, I was able to create the perfect welcome wreath to hang on the front door. Each guest can really personalize these by simply changing the way you attach the eucalyptus branches. And the supplies are very inexpensive.
Once the wreaths are done, they will make your house feel more decorated, even if they are simply placed on a table. Of course, you don’t need to have an activity or party favor but it’s another great way to have your guess involved and allow for error in the kitchen (because, speaking from experience, this is where my parties go downhill…)
Or, borrow this idea from my friend Cristy and have everyone make a fresh cranberry garland using the technique she uses for this DIY cranberry jewelry. Round out your Friendsgiving decorating with these personalized placemats and printable “Give Thanks” signs.
Don’t Scrimp on Snacks
There’s nothing worse than being hangry! And since you’ve set out a DIY bar, you want to make sure that you are also providing something to put in your guest’s stomachs. These snack dishes/ place cards are such a cute idea! They are easy to make and a fun way to not only let your guests know where to find their seat but to give them something to nibble on in case the meal is running behind.
Take Care of Business
There is always one thing I forget to do when I host a party: check the bathrooms. Every. Single. Time. So I decided I needed to figure out a way to keep everything stocked that I didn’t need to check on every few minutes. Come up with a way to store extra supplies openly so your guests won’t feel weird about grabbing them if they need them. A little pop of greenery makes it feel festive and like you’ve thought of everything they could need.
And if you want to make sure your guests are mingling, make sure the TV is not on, including sports. Create a Friendsgiving Playlist to keep things super easy and provide great atmosphere.
I love to spend time with my friends and I love to have them in my home, but entertaining can get overwhelming. These easy Friendsgiving ideas will help you keep your cool.
You may also like these posts: