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How to Host the Best Friendsgiving

Two years ago, instead of heading West to California for Thanksgiving, I headed East to Paris.  Why Paris you may ask? Well, to do what any loyal sister and cousin would do—to join my little sister and our cousin for Thanksgiving during their semesters abroad. Together, the three of us planned to throw the best Friendsgiving, with an international twist.  After a whirlwind afternoon of grocery shopping, cooking, baking, and a Turkey catastrophe, we managed to pull together one of the most memorable Thanksgivings of our lives.  Here are my tips for throwing your own Friendsgiving:

Plan Ahead

This one is a little obvious, but important nonetheless.  Are you having a potluck or are you cooking for everybody? Do you have all the ingredients you need? Will there be enough food for all the people coming? Do you have enough plates and silverware?  There’s a lot to think about when hosting the biggest meal of the year, which brings me to my second tip:

Recruit Friends for Help

Put the “friends” in Friendsgiving and make your buddies do some of the work.  Have them help chip in to the ingredients fund, cook something, or bring supplies.  One of my sister’s friends had a super nice apartment that we borrowed to host the meal, another friend brought wine, and another brought extra plates.  One friend even offered to make her grandmother’s sweet potato casserole.  Help from friends made the whole day much more enjoyable because I was less stressed about doing everything myself and I was able to socialize and relax more.  

Go With the Flow

Is it even Thanksgiving without at least one kitchen disaster?  Ours happened with the Turkey.  Apparently it’s nearly impossible to find a whole turkey in Paris.  With just hours to spare before the big meal, we still hadn’t located a turkey.  Our last minute solution: two whole roasted chickens.  I’m not gonna lie, I was a little miffed about our lack of turkey, but what can you do?  The important thing is to just roll with the punches and make do with your resources.  Ultimately, seemingly disastrous moments make for the best memories.  In retrospect, the wild hunt for Turkey turned out to be a highlight of our Friendsgiving. 

Enjoy the Company

Don’t stress so much and take the time to enjoy the company of your friends.  They’ll end up being the best part of your Thanksgiving.  I was sad to be so far away from home for Thanksgiving the year I went to Paris, but spending time with my sister, my cousin and their friends made for the most adventure filled Thanksgiving I’ve had to date.  It wasn’t exactly traditional, but we made it our own.  And that’s what Friendsgiving is all about: good company and new traditions. 

I am a double major in Anthropology and International/Global Studies with a minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation at Brandeis University. As a native Southern Californian, I have a born passion for avocados and an innate dread of cold weather. In my free time I love cooking (with avocados of course), drawing and writing. 
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