It's difficult to ruin a holiday event; everybody is so happy to see each other, catch up, and reminisce that if you accidentally burn the house down it seems like just a minor incident side tracking everyone from talking more.
Friendsgiving is the best made-up holiday. Not only can you stuff your face without judgment, you get to surround yourself with your closest and best friends that you possibly haven't seen since August.
Rule #1: Delegate
To host a perfect Friendsgiving with low-stress and high-fun, make sure you delegate. Make Friendsgiving a potluck where everyone who is invited must bring something. Maybe as the host you want to be in charge of the main event (my friend's and I buy rotisserie chickens because, truthfully, those are way better than turkey and nobody except your mom knows how to cook a real turkey) or you get dibs on cooking your favorite dish.
Once you have your main meat/poultry dish decided upon, give your friends some suggestions on what to bring. If they don't have any good ideas or are too nervous around an oven to try something, send out a list of possible items to bring. My friends chose between appetizers, side dishes, and desserts and we have a mixed-up Friendsgiving.
Some of the best dishes your friends want to bring might not be what you're used to at your family Thanksgiving, and that's more than okay. They bring something you might be unfamiliar with and you end up loving it, next thing you know you're asking for their recipe and bringing it over to grandma's the next day to introduce it to your cousins, aunts, and uncles.Or try something unconventional and awesome like this Thanksgiving Dinner Shepherd's Pie Combo or these nonconventional Thanksgiving side dishes.
Some staples of Friendsgiving you definitely don't want to miss: (instant) mashed potatoes, corn bread, cranberry sauce, gravy, buttery rolls, green beans, macaroni and cheese, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. All of this can be bought pre-made or ready-to-make at a grocery store.
Rule #2: Make it Special and Festive
The food is a large part of the day, but that's not all Friendsgiving is about. Use your dining room or transform your kitchen into a cozy and elegant (but not your mom's) dinner party.
It's not too difficult to throw a tablecloth on a table, ask your friends or scavenge for some decent candles, and treat yo'self to fancy glasses for champagne (just kidding, sparkling apple cider always).
Tell your friends to get dressed up! Remind them to bring their finest selves along with their food contribution. They don't have to wear ballgowns and blazers, but this is a special day and event to see each other for the first time in over three months so make it special. Maybe even put some music on in the background that isn't hardcore rap or whatever EDM party music you listen to regularly.
Rule #3: Enjoy Yourself
This is easily the most important rule. If you're hosting Friendsgiving at your house, know that you can still chill out with your friends and not freak out if someone accidentally knocks over a plate.
You're bringing all your friends together for delicious food, a chance to reconnect, and make new memories all in one, so you can experience that with them, too.
Your friends are so happy and grateful to be with everyone again, they won't even care when you "forget" to put out the delicious hot chocolate and marshmallow cookies because you ate them all yourself.
Follow these three simple rules and you'll have the best Friendsgiving festivities of the year! Enjoy the time with your best friends, eat all the food you desire, and say "thanks" for another great year with your peeps.