If you’re not going home for Thanksgiving this year, you might be missing out on your mom’s killer meal (which is certainly disappointing). But now is the perfect time to host your very own Friendsgiving dinner with other Thanksgiving orphans!
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Throwing a big, grownup dinner party is an exciting time, so don’t let the stress of it get you down. With these helpful hacks, you’ll be well on your way to being the hostess with the most-est!
1. Make it a Potluck Dinner
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Friendsgiving was made for a potluck dinner. Figuring out how many dishes you need depending on the number of people who are attending is key, which is why a handy chart like this one is sooooo helpful.
Once you know how many dishes you’ll need, assign people a category. Don’t forget to consider allergies and food preferences, like gluten or dairy, and your vegan friends.
Tip: the host usually cooks the turkey, because carrying a turkey on the subway is *not* advisable.
2. Have Some Snacks on Hand
Whether there’s a kitchen mishap or your friends are chilling at your place to watch football all day, having some snacks on hand is super important to kill hunger pains.
People like to eat — especially on Thanksgiving. Make up a quick cheese and crackers platter, and fill up bowls with some pretzels and nuts. *Anything* that will keep them from tasting the pumpkin pie before dinner.
3. Setting the Scene
Obviously you will need to have enough utensils, plates, and napkins — as well as possibly wine glasses — on hand for everyone. If you don’t feel like doing dishes all night, it might be a good idea to get disposable tableware.
A potluck dinner works best if you work it buffet style, so don’t forget to bundle utensils and plates at the beginning of the line, and napkins at the end of it. Having a non-alcoholic beverage on hand, like a punch, is also a good idea.
4. Take the Time to Decorate
Have some fun with your dinner party! You might want to make it a theme party, like farm-to-table or something quirky like Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, and decorate accordingly.
If you just want to keep it simple, decorate your main table with some tiny pumpkins and squash, and place some wildflowers in mason jars along with a few candles. Get fancy and place a name card at each setting, and then place an index card next to each setting and encourage your guests to write down one thing for which they’re #thankful.
5. Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun
Before or after dinner, bust out some OG boardgames, like Clue, Twister, or Monopoly. Later, turn on a holiday-themed movie (Miracle on 34th Street and Addams Family Values are nice choices) to chill out to, because the post-turkey fatigue is totally real.
6. Leave Them Wanting More
Because you’re such a badass host, you’ll want to leave a lasting impression with your guests. Enter: leftovers. Everyone looooves leftover Thanksgiving food.
Have disposable containers on hand and make a take-home meal for each of your guests. When they dig into your delicious food the next day, they’ll remember how much fun they had and will look forward to the next Friendsgiving!