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How to Plan the Perfect “Friendsgiving”

Thanksgiving day is meant for family time and while I love my family a lot, I’m also very thankful for my friends. What better way to show my gratitude than to throw a “friendsgiving”! I have written up a general plan for how to throw the perfect friendsgiving, and it’s time to share!

For starters, friendsgivings can come in many forms. You could have a traditional thanksgiving meal or throw a themed party and make it a little more unique. Whichever way you want to plan it, I’ve got some ideas for both!

“Traditional” Thanksgiving Friendsgiving: 

Alright, for our “traditional” thanksgiving – we’re going to be doing all the classic food and decor for the season. If you are in the mood to cook everything, I say go for it, but the easier route is doing a potluck deal. 


Depending on how many people you are having, you can minimize the list to the important items or fan favorites but here is a general idea of a menu:

  • Turkey (or if it’s a smaller party, turkey sandwiches are easier to make in small batches!)
  • Stuffing
  • Yams/ Mashed Potatoes
  • Green beans and corn
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Cranberry Sauce


This category depends on the age range we’re looking at so pick what fits everyone’s needs! Some examples of classic thanksgiving drinks are:


Thanksgiving at my house is known for the desserts so feel free to pile on the sweets:

  • Pies – pumpkin, apple, pecan, any and all!
  • Cobbler
  • A pumpkin roll
  • Thanksgiving Cupcakes – if you’re feeling creative and someone in the group doesn’t like pie, decorate some cupcakes in a thanksgiving theme!


  • Thanksgiving themes place mats – fall colors galore and turkey drawings are a must!
  • Name tags for the seats (you can creative with these, make them edible like cupcakes or make them reusable like a magnet)
  • A nice, seasonal centerpiece (traditionally, if you have enough energy, a cornucopia would look wonderful!)
  • A table runner 

Party Favors:

  • Bag of hershey kisses with a “Thankful for you!” tag 
  • Wine glasses (personalized them with their names makes it more personal!)
  • A candle
  • Name tags can also make great gifts! 

“Non-traditional” Themed Friendsgiving:

Of course, if you want a themed friendsgiving, the world is your oyster and you can quite literally do whatever you want! Some ideas could be Vegas, Christmas (start celebrating a little early!), PJ party, everyone uses the same cookbook for the potluck, around the world (french appetizers, mexican entree and italian dessert), or chinese take-out, to name a few. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be choosing a “Dip Party” as the theme. 


Have everyone bring in a type of dip! (Examples: spinach artichoke, fondue, 7-layer taco dip, french onion, cheese ball, cookie dough ball or nachos and cheese)


Have a little bit of everything just like the dip! (Examples: soda, wine, beer or lemonade)


Someone’s dip could cover the dessert portion like fondue, cookie dough dip,  or s’mores but if you want to have some back-up plans, the classics like cupcakes, cookies and brownies will do!


Because you don’t have a central “decor” theme, you can do whatever you want! Pick a color and stick with that, or just throw streamers everywhere! You could get away without any decor as well! 

Party favors: 

Party favors are of course optional – hosting the event is enough of a gift but if you want to spoil your friends a little bit more, you can give them a small little gift like a customized glass candle, candies in a little bag, a spa kit, or anything you can think of! (Pinterest and Etsy are your best friends for this!)

Friendsgiving is meant to show your pals that you are thankful for them, so have fun and don’t forget to take some pictures! And remember, no matter which way you celebrate, a perfect “friendsgiving” is when you have all your friends in one place! So go celebrate your friendships and eat lots of food! 

Sarah is from Dayton, Ohio and is currently studying MultiMedia Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys thrifting, traveling, fashion, film photography and lifestyle. She is a creative person and finds comfort in writing, exploring the great city of Chicago, and listening to music. Her dream job is to travel and see the world as she writes about different cultures and activities to do in those different countries. Instagram and Twitter: @_sarahsommers_
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