Friendsgiving Ideas 2017: Food, Decorations, and Games
If Thanksgiving is the frontman of the holiday season, then please let us introduce you to its unconventional, jaunty background dancer. Though there’s no clear origin, Friendsgiving crept into pop culture as a spinoff of America’s beloved celebration; the only distinction is the guest list. While the concept is simple—gathering friends for dishes, drinks, and merriment apart from the Thursday main event—the rest of the details are subject to choice, as Friendsgiving ideas are as original and tailored by the crews throwing the revelry.
We pulled inspiration to direct your planning. Here, you'll find everything you need—how to invite, serve, decorate, and play—to start a new tradition with Friendsgiving 2017.
Set a lively tone before your holiday shindig even begins, whether you’re envisioning an intimate, polished evening or an upbeat festivity to be remembered all year long. Online friendsgiving invitation templates ($6-15) make it easy to select, customize and print, leaving you with more time for decisions like tabletop accessories and the best wine pairing for your turkey. Or opt for the invitation one-two punch with a digital platform, like Paperless Post or a simple Facebook event, that collects RSVPs and allows guests to sign up to bring certain dishes. Don't forget to encourage guests to comment to generate buzz.
Friendsgiving Invitation Wording:
Crafting your own? Let this guide to Friendsgiving invitation wording get you started:
- Option 1: Gather together with full hearts (and bring an empty belly!) for Friendsgiving
- Option 2: Eat, drink, and be thankful!
- Option 3: YOU’RE INVITED: FRIENDSGIVING
- Option 4: Give hugs, give toasts, give thanks; Friendsgiving 2017
Stay akin to Friendsgiving’s laid-back demeanor with simple, yet festive decor—no frills required. Friendsgiving party ideas include refined gatherings, casual pot-lucks, or themed soirees—no one is stopping you from a Friendsgiving brunch, fiesta, or even fondue. Select a route for your group, then focus on seamless preparation and comfort for your guests (and you!) in an ambience ripe for merriment, togetherness, and pants a bit more snug than when you arrived.
Get Creative With Place Cards and the Table Setting
Embellish With the Season’s Bounty
Just as we adorn our plates with apples, squash, and, yes, pumpkin, seasonal blooms add an organic flair to any setup. Mums, tulips, and paperwhites are easy, November-variety picks. Opt for low, horizontal arrangements to encourage easy-flowing conversations around the table. Continue the trend onto walls, mantles, and ceilings with more natural elements married to a little DIY.
Paper products aren’t a cop out for dish duty, so reserve the china for Thursday. Use cleanup time for dessert or drink refills, instead.
Weather allowing, your Friendsgiving can be as simple as chili and beers around an outdoor fire pit or twinkle lights and picnic blankets in the yard. It’s table-free and requires simple take down, while still fostering a memorable environment that embraces the season.
Think beyond the turkey and flex your culinary prowess with updated recipes and bright, punchy flavors normally sidelined by grandma’s casserole. Friendsgiving is ideal for revisiting the fall’s bounty with refreshed combinations, adventurous palates, or even lighted-up versions of beloved classics (more room for wine and dessert!). Or forgo cooking altogether and host a leftover clean-out; just supplement with a few crowd-favorite appetizers for a casual Friday football watch party.
If you’re wearing the guest hat, listen to directions from the host, then capitalize as able. If your specialty is side dishes, but time is tight, take liberty to outsource and still guarantee trips for seconds. Less than confident in the kitchen? Try these easy and transportable, but wow-worthy nibbles. After all, you’re wooing your friends, not your mother-in-law.
Turkey Samosas (Real Simple)
Cheddar and Jalapeño Stuffing (Real Simple)
Turkey Quesadilla (Southern Living)
Roasted Winter Squash With Pomegranate and Yogurt (Real Simple)
Sweet Potato Crostini (Camille Styles)
Roasted Apples and Brussel Sprouts (Simply Recipes)
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding (Real Simple)
Five Mini Pies Made in a Muffin Tin (Real Simple)
Leftover Turkey Enchiladas (Real Simple)
As the dishes are cleared, or just pushed aside, continue the action with games that curb the food coma with laughter (and perhaps finish the last of punch). Shoot for activities that encourage group participation and chatter to get guests beyond the round-table “What are you thankful for?” reel. All it takes is a few creative tweaks to crowd favorites, and you’ll have a holiday version, or maybe even a new Friendsgiving drinking game, to repeat year after year.
Get the conversation going the easy way with a Mad Libs-style handout. Want to take the party up a notch? Players must take a sip for every repeated word for a lighthearted Friendsgiving drinking game.
Start the Party Early
After the plates are passed, but before the first round of seconds, ask a few out-of-the-box icebreakers. This is an excellent choice if you have a hodgepodge of guests in attendance.
A simple twist on an old standby, position your hand turkey-style with your thumb to forehead and fingers outstretched. Each player begins a statement with, “Never have I ever...” Players who have done that action must put a finger down (and drink!). Last man standing wins.
DIY Photo Booth
Provide entertainment and take-home souvenirs with just a simple friendsgiving banner, zany accessories, and camera. Throw in a chalk or dry-erase markers to let guests scribble their own phrases; use, “I’m thankful for…” to get started.
Play a Thanksgiving-themed fish bowl round. Each player writes various objects, people, or actions on 5 to 10 slips of paper (think “deep frying the turkey” or “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”), and adds to a passed-around bowl. Split into two teams and designate a timer on each.
In the first, “Taboo-style” round, one team member prompts their team to guess the slips they pull without using any of the words in the phrase. The goal is to guess as many papers as possible in one minute, while the opposing team’s timer keeps track. When the clock runs out, the bowl changes teams.
Repeat until it’s empty, then return all the papers and move to Round Two: “Charades style.” Stay silent and describe with motions. Finally repeat for Round Three, where players can only use one word to describe the deed in “Password-style.” Whichever team with the total number of correct guesses wins!