22 Tips For Hosting The Best Friendsgiving Ever

Host this fun holiday without going crazy.

thanksgiving with friends fizkes / shutterstock

When people talk about Thanksgiving, they usually imagine a big dinner with family. It involves fielding uncomfortable questions from relatives you only see once a year, getting into heated political debates, and inexplicably dressing up in your best clothes just to sit in your own dining room.

There are arguments, laughs and many bellies full from indulging in those family recipes. It's a good time, but it's definitely not the only way to celebrate the fall holiday or host a party.


For some people, the thought of spending an entire day trapped in the house with family is an actual nightmare. For others, travel expenses or work obligations make it impossible to get home for the big day.

Either way, here’s some breaking news: You don't have to spend Thanksgiving with people related to you just because a Norman Rockwell painting said so.

As the beloved sitcom "Friends" showed us all, Thanksgiving may be trademarked as a time for family, but it’s also the perfect time to get together with friends — AKA the family you get to choose.

RELATED: 50 Gratitude Memes To Share When You're Feeling Thankful


Another perk is that instead of awkward conversations with distant relatives, you can have fun ones with the people you choose to spend your time with, rather than the ones you’re just biologically obligated to tolerate.

Friendsgiving is a great alternative and requires less traveling if you live far from home. But when it comes to thinking of ideas for making it a Thanksgiving your friends will never forget, you may fall a little short.

While hosting Thanksgiving with friends doesn't demand the kind of comedic scenarios a TV show does to pull in ratings, it does take a good amount of energy to plan.

Even if you choose to forego the traditional turkey feast in favor of an updated, low-key Thanksgiving dining experience, you still need to have dinner planned out, enough room for your guests, and entertainment for after the big feast.


No need to worry, though!

If you want to plan a Friendsgiving dinner to remember, check out these ideas for hosting Thanksgiving with friends.

1. Don't be afraid to ask your friends to pitch in.

Hosting a holiday party is already tough. Don't stress yourself out even more by trying to cater the whole shindig by yourself. Ask your friends to bring their favorite dish to the party. That way they won't leave missing their favorite home-cooked meal and you get a little more room to breathe.


2. Include your family traditions.

Although you aren't spending Thanksgiving with your relatives, you can still have them there in spirit by doing some of your traditions with your friends.

Does your family have everyone go around and say what they're thankful for? Do they play football before dinner? Do that!

You can even ask each of your friends to come prepared to share a family tradition of their own.

3. Keep track of your guest list.

You'd like to tell your friends to bring around anyone who doesn't have a place to go to on Thanksgiving, but you need to be realistic. All of your guests should have seats, enough drink, and enough food.

Really keep on top of your guests list and be mindful of how many you can handle.


4. Start tackling the menu ahead of time.

It's easy to lose track of time, but Thanksgiving is no joke! Make any dishes you can days before so you're not in the kitchen all day.

Any other tasks like decorating and shopping should also be done beforehand.

5. Line up activities.

Yes, there is usually football on but you should have stuff available for the people who aren't interested in watching the game.

Board games, cards and charades are some fun options.

6. Make sure you have enough booze, as well as non-alcoholic options.

You don't want to run dry and have someone make a run when they are already stuffed and tired from eating turkey. Look at your guest list and accommodate by having at least one bottle of wine per guest and one of champagne for every two guests.


Beer is tricky, but there are online calculators to tell you how much to serve. When all else fails, make the party BYOB.

7. Don't forget the ice.

No one likes warm drinks. Get a cooler if you need one and get a lot of ice.

8. Find the mom friend of your group and ask them for some help or advice.

Every group has a "mom friend". They are usually someone who makes sure everything goes smoothly when plans are made.

This is the friend that will help you organize and plan your Friendsgiving to a "T."

9. Make it a potluck.

Every friend has a strong suit. Making your Friendsgiving a potluck works out best for everyone.

This way you don't have the responsibility or stress of making every dish and your friends get to show off their favorite foods.


10. Make the most delicious turkey ever.

If you want a hot supper, the turkey needs to be made at the host's place. This ensures a nice hot, safe transition from oven to table.

If the host is making the turkey, then they are free from making any other dish.

RELATED: Your Ultimate Traditional Thanksgiving Menu (With Easy Recipes)


11. Check your space.

With so many dishes coming, it's important to know if you have enough space to put them. Things that don't need to stay warm could be placed on the table, while warm dishes are good on the counter close to a power outlet.

If you are low on space, you can always store some appliances like a microwave or ask if a friend can bring a folding table.

12. Don't stress about the decor.

If you are the hottest you'll probably feel like you need to make the table look like it came out of a Better Homes magazine. However, when it comes to decor the bare minimum is more than enough.

The food is usually what makes thanksgiving so unique, so focusing on that will make for a great dinner party.


13. Get your karaoke on.

After all the food is done, people are going to look for something to do.

After a few drinks, most people are up for anything and karaoke always makes for great memories.

14. Play a game of Family Feud.

This is another classic game to play. With this game, you can always make the questions themed. Heck, you could even make a few questions about your friends who are attending your party!

15. Try a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade drinking game.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is well, not super exciting to say the least. So record it and then watch it later as a drinking game.

Make fun rules like "take a drink when a host mentions their favorite float" or "take a drink when a host says how big a balloon is."


16. Have to-go containers.

The thing about making a big dinner party is that there are always loads of leftovers. Make a quicker clean-up by having your guest take home food.

17. Have extra basic household items on hand.

You are going to have a lot more people in your house than you are used to.

This means you will run out of stuff like toilet paper, garbage bags, and paper towels. So make sure you stock up on some basics.


18. Ask your guests to arrive ready to eat.

This means if you are bringing a dish make sure you don't still have to cook it. There isn't tons of oven space to go around, so make sure your dish is ready to go when you arrive.

On the other hand, slow cookers are a great idea to keep your food warm.

19. Serve snacks.

If your dinner party is at 3 or 4 pm, people will often skip lunch so that they eat well.

Therefore, it's smart to have some goodies to munch on as people arrive and wait for the food to be ready.

20. Put a deck of cards (or a few) on the table.

When in doubt a deck of cards can be a lifesaver. There is an endless list of games people can play with a deck of cards so no one gets bored.


21. Let your guests know the dress code in advance.

Many people stress over what to wear to parties. Some people want to get dressed to the nines while others hate putting a dress on. To avoid disappointing expectations or pre-party anxiety for anyone, let them know the dress code.

Or, to have additional fun, make your Friendsgiving themed!

22. Assign dishwashing duty.

It only makes sense that if you ate, you help clean up. The host shouldn't have to clean everything up.

Before you plan a dinner party, make sure you assign a clean-up duty to each guest.

RELATED: 101 Thanksgiving Quotes, Toasts & Blessings To Share With Family & Friends

Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.