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How To Host The Perfect First Friendsgiving

November is the perfect time to host your first house party, and for a lot of reasons. It’s fall, which means you’ve probably settled into your new dorm or apartment. You’re on a candles kick, you’re sporting some cute autumn sweaters, and you’ve attempted (and possibly failed) making your first apple or pumpkin pie of the season. There’s no better feeling than bringing joy to those you care about with holiday spirit and togetherness. Friendsgiving is the perfect occasion to enjoy Thanksgiving, without the family drama (oops!), expensive flights of flying home, and the promise of new tradition. 

Whether you’re zooming with your best friends from college, or hosting your college soccer team, Friendsgiving is a super fun way to celebrate and can be IRL or virtual. It’s a potluck usually, with plenty of food, wine, and affirmations to go around. All you have to do is make sure you delegate. It’s giving… Friendsgiving! Here are some easy tips to throw the perfect first Friendsgiving (yay, adulting!).

Set an attitude of gratitude.

Friendsgiving is a unique time of year to tell your friends how much you love them and how grateful you are. Make sure everyone has beautifully written name cards at their place at the table. Play Thanksgiving affirmation bingo — essentially, have people check off a spot in the game by finding someone with that quality and expanding on it. It makes for the perfect gratitude exercise!

Design cute invitations for an elegant touch.

Before your Friendsgiving even starts, you want to set the tone and get your guests excited. Spice your typical get-together with designed invitations using Canva or Evite. At the end of the day, people like to feel special, and cute design invitations will do just that. Make sure to follow up with each person you invite to let them know you want them there, so they don’t assume it’s just a mass invite.

Give your Friendsgiving a modern twist.

The nice thing about tradition is that it can always be adapted. Don’t fear change, especially if your crowd is not as interested in keeping Thanksgiving the same. Instead of an apple pie this year, whip up an apple crumble. Charcuterie boards are a must (or a fall-themed butter board, perhaps?), with featured fall jams. Make themed drinks (or mocktails!) to match the Thanksgiving vibes, like a vanilla chai old fashioned or spiced cranberry rose spritzers. Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Make an ice cream bar with sprinkles — it will be the cherry on top!

Add ambience.

Get those neon lights you’ve been wanting and decorate your door to your dorm or apartment with unique fall decorations. Add fall-scented candles with notes of things like apple orchards, pumpkin, and cinnamon to really accentuate the fall vibes. Put Scrabble and Candyland on the table to have a fun game night after dinner. Send your friends home with goodie bags that have mints and chocolates for a palate cleanser! All of these things will create a cozy ambience your guests will love.

Bring someone new to the table.

The ideal friend group is one that grows. Met someone in your yoga class you want to get to know better? Made a new friend at an anything but a cup party? Did someone new just move to your city who’s looking to meet new people? Welcome them to your city by inviting them to your table. The more the merrier! 

Maddie Solomon is a writer for Her Campus, where she reports on pop culture, travel and local adventures, national style trends, and more. She is a writer, advocate, and Jewish professional interested more broadly in community building, social justice, and civil rights. Maddie graduated from Occidental College in 2021, where she majored in Political Science with an Education minor. Her work has been published in The Denver Post, Women's Media Center, The Jewish Journal, Persephone's Daughters, amongst other publications. Maddie grew up in Denver, and carries her college experiences in Los Angeles – the land of sunsets, tacos, and oceans. She moved to Boston last summer to explore a new East Coast post-grad life and lives in a Moishe house. In her free time, she enjoys coffee hopping, going to concerts, soul cycle, Shabbat dinner parties and bringing people together, traveling, and exploring Boston with her friends.