By Audrey Craig, Owner GB Design House
Although your family may live afar, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to share your table with friends and neighbors. Friendsgiving is a fairly recent phenomenon (thank you Millenials) and one that I hope stays.
Time and money may get in the way of getting you home, but it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the warm’n’fuzzy feelings that come along with the holiday. If the 90’s hit TV show Friends has taught us anything, it is that our friends are the family you choose. Well, that and the fact that coffee tastes better when consumed from an oversized mug.
Even if you celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving with your fam, you can always host the more casual Friendsgiving on Friday. Regardless of the day celebrated, the key is to enjoy each other and be thankful for the blessing of friendship. So here is what you need to ensure a fun Friendsgiving:
- GO POT LUCK – As the host, you provide the main dish – usually turkey and ham – and ask the guests to bring a side or dessert that reminds them of home. Use a website like MealTrain.com to help organize your menu and to make sure noone is duplicating efforts. If making a meal is just too much because #reallife, then there is no shame in ordering in. There are a number of grocery stores, restaurants, and caterers who will provide the whole meal without your having to lift a finger. Remember: the most important thing is sharing time with friends.
- BLESSING BEANS – Set out a few dried beans at each place setting. Then, pass a bowl around the table. Each person places a dried bean in the blessing bowl and says what they are thankful for. It can pass as many times as desired. The day after Friendsgiving (or what we like to call Stretchy Pants Day), take the blessing beans and make a soup of your choice. Sometimes we make pasta fagioli and serve it with turkey and cranberry panini the next day. Frijoles a la charra with turkey enchiladas is also on our rotation.
- THANKSGIVING MAD LIB – Remember being a kid and dying laughing at the ridiculous mad libs you used to come up with? Do yourself a favor and search for “Thanksgiving Mad Lib Printable” in Pinterest. You’ll find several fantastic free options. So pour the wine (it makes the final product far more interesting) and make it a group effort. I promise the results will be super fun.
- POSTCARDS TO LOVED ONES – Give guests an opportunity to let their families know they are missed the old fashioned way. Set up a table with local postcards, pens and stamps. Let guests write a quick note to their loved ones telling them why they are special. Drop all the postcards in the mail for your guests.
- BYOF – Encourage guests to bring a friend who may be alone this Thanksgiving. Don’t be afraid to mix your crowds. You’ll be surprised at the friendships that may be forged.
- CRAFT TABLE (Activity for the kiddos) – At a craft table, provide pre-cut turkey bodies from construction paper and bowls of fun things like stick-on googly-eyes and multi-colored feathers and tape.
- PUMPKIN PAINTING (Activity for the kiddos) – Let your kids’ inner artist shine through. Have a selection of small pumpkins, washable acrylic paint, and some paintbrushes. Older kids may want to step up their game by painting what they are grateful for.
- GIVE BACK – You know what pairs best with grandma’s mac’n’cheese? Doing something that would make her proud. In addition to bringing a delicious side dish, ask your guests to bring a non-perishable food item or other useful items that can help others in need this holiday season. Then take all the donations to your local shelter or collecting organization.
Did you notice that many of these tips have to do with gratitude? Well, that’s because being thankful makes us happier. Harvard said so. So do everything you can to infuse gratitude into your Friendsgiving celebration, and we will promise you and your guests will have a fabulous time.
P.S. Did you know we’re doing a giveaway with GB Design House? Yep! Go Get It LIFE and GB Design House are giving one lucky person a Thanksgiving Party Host Gift Pack (cups + napkins). Head on over to @gogetitlife on Instagram for details on how to win.