I have never heard the term “Friendsgiving” before high school, but since then, I haven’t stopped celebrating it. Basically, the modern holiday combines our annual Thanksgiving celebration with a group of close friends rather than family members – so you ideally get the best of both worlds. What does “Friendsgiving” consist of, you may ask? Well, it’s completely up to you and your group. But personally, I’ve gathered a pretty solid guide due to my years of experience. 

Set The Mood

Most people are at a loss for how to decorate for this holiday – but it’s so simple! Set the table up in a gorgeous layout with faux leaves or pumpkins and light some fall-scented candles like pumpkin or cinnamon. I’m also a huge fan of turning on a fake fireplace video on your television nearby. While you may not have a fancy dining set because we’re college students, paper plates might be the easiest way to clean up the night anyway. Just make sure you have enough supplies for your guests.   

The Menu

At my first Friendsgiving, I had the traditional Thanksgiving day meal. We each brought a dish whether it was the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits or other staple items, and we feasted until the night was over. I learned very quickly, however, that because I will be eating all of those same foods throughout the entire end of November, our dinner should consist of something else. In my high school, our choice always ended up being take-out Chinese food from our local restaurant, but it could honestly be anything – even a potluck of each attendee’s favorite foods (which my roommates and I might do this year). Whatever cuisine you choose, it doesn’t matter as long as there is enough to replicate the naturally stuffed feeling you get every Thanksgiving; my recommendation is just to stay clear of the traditional items you’ll indulge in very soon.

Autumn Playlist

This isn’t necessary, of course. But I always like to play soft music in the background of our dinner, just like I prefer to turn on Christmas tunes during the holiday season. Some songs that scream autumn, such as Thanksgiving, consist of a slower and calmer vibe like Ella Fitzgerald and Sam Cooke. More specifically, however, here are some of the absolute staple songs you should add to your playlist:

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

“Coming Home” by Leon Bridges

“Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke

“There Is Something on Your Mind” by Big Jay McNeely

“A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong

“(Somebody) Ease My Troublin’ Mind” by Sam Cooke

“Someone to Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald

“Friendsgiving” Activities

When we’re eating, I really enjoy it when my friends and I go around the table and say what each of us is thankful for as it really embodies the holiday. Outside of this, you can play games together like any staple card game, board games, puzzles or turn on Jackbox.TV (which is my personal favorite). As the night starts to die down alongside your energy, there are a handful of movies that I love to watch during the fall: “You’ve Got Mail,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or “Free Birds”. 

If this is your first time hosting a Friendsgiving, don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Just as long as you invite your closest friends and enjoy an absurd amount of food in each other’s presence, that’s all that truly matters.

About The Author

-- Senior I Executive Editor I English Creative Writing & Digital Journalism --

Brooke is a senior English Creative Writing and Digital Journalism major, with minors in Film, Television & Media and Editing & Publishing. She plans to pursue a career in screenwriting after graduation.

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