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Hosting Tips

Friendsgiving – How to host a chic, simple gathering your friends will love

Gathering your friends together and hosting them for a thanksgiving meal may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

One word should come to mind when you think of Friendsgiving: collaboration.

If you stress, everyone will feel it. Trust me; I’ve been there. Relax and enjoy it!

For my fellow enneagram 2 friends: If you try to do everything for Friendsgiving on your own, you will default to unhealthy, and that’s not a fun time.

First things first

Have everyone bring a dish!

Determine the dishes you need, create a sign-up list, and send it to your people.

E-mail and GroupMe are both excellent options for this.

To have more time mingling and more flexibility with hosting duties, plan to leave yourself one dish to prepare.

Munch and mingle

Provide appetizers and things for people to munch on while they mingle. That will allow plenty of time for people to arrive and the turkey to finish. One of the best Thanksgiving traditions is chatting in the kitchen with your girls.

Charcuterie boards are fantastic options for this. The staple items I include on a charcuterie board are:

  • A variety of cheeses: brie, smoked gouda, herbed or berry cheese wedge
  • Entertainment crackers: a prepackaged variety perfect for cheeses, meats, and dips
  • Olives and sweet pickles
  • Fruits: berries, a variety of grapes (Autumn gathering? Concord grapes just taste like “fall”!)
  • Seasonal dips and spreads
  • Meats: prosciutto, uncured chorizo
  • Nuts: pistachios, almonds, pecans

Bonus tip: custom Friendsgiving cups and napkins make great party favors besides adding that extra chic factor. Hand-lettered options are coming to the shop soon!

Sip and savor

Every excellent gathering needs something a little sparkling to sip. I found a fall mimosa recipe that is just as simple as it is yummy.

Bonus tip: Simply omit the champagne for a yummy non-alcoholic treat.

Deck the table

  1. Create a simple personal touch by lettering place cards for each guest. That is a simple way to dress up the table and make your friends feel loved.
  2. Use kraft paper as the tablecloth. Just to the right of each plate, write “I’m blessed because” and draw a few lines. Provide pens for each friend to write their blessings while they eat. Then during the desert, go around the table and share your blessings.
  3. Create a fresh and stylish look of multiple table runners placed lengthwise and widthwise while only using ONE table runner.  Place the table runner centered across the table lengthwise and leaving enough material hanging over the edges. Purchase a set of coordinating or complimentary cloth napkins. Place one napkin at each place setting on the sides of the table. Tuck one end under the table runner and let the other end hang over the table edge. That’s it. Your guests won’t know the difference, and you just saved some money.
  4. Include faux eucalyptus garland to add warmth and texture to the table.
  5. Use your lettered pumpkin (see Fall Decor blog post) as the main centerpiece.
  6. Fill in the centerpiece areas with mini white pumpkins (I painted the stems on these), ratan pumpkins, and woven pumpkins.
  7. Include charger plates to enhance the table aesthetic, retain the food’s warmth, and catch crumbs.
  8. Use disposable plates and cutlery that look real!!!! I have linked options that will make your table look incredible, make clean up easy, and keep things safe and sanitized as a bonus for 2020.
  9. Add some pretty paper, napkins! I have linked options for you below.
  10. Use shatterproof wine glasses. I LOVE Tossware – “the ultimate party vessel that’s good-looking, functional, and sustainable.”
  11. Purchase pumpkin soup bowls and a matching soup tureen, and if you are feeling super crafty, paint the stems. These soup bowls and tureen are just as practical as they are cute. I painted the stems with gold metallic acrylic paint and let them dry overnight.

Steps 8, 9, and 10 are the most helpful tips for hosting a Friendsgiving that is classy, chic, simple, and COVID modified.

Buffet Style

Instead of covering up your cute table with dishes, serve the food buffet style.

That allows your friends the freedom to fill their plates as many times as they wish and creates a relaxed environment.

Additional tips for a COVID modified Friendsgiving

2020 has provided us with some extra challenges. If you are looking for a way to host Friendsgiving while keeping things as safe as possible here are some additional tips:

  • Have everyone bring their meal
    • Excellent options for to-go thanksgiving meals: Cracker Barrel or a local caterer/food prep & delivery service.

  • Host outside
    • In Florida, this is still a great option. If you live in a colder state, consider hosting your gathering around a bonfire.

I’m so excited for you to implement these tips and celebrate the season. If you take any pictures of your gathering, I would LOVE to see them. You can tag me on Instagram @fullheartco.

Cheers to a fun-filled Friendsgiving!

xo, Lindsay

Photo Credit: Rebecca Vann

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