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5 Crucial Tips to Host a Successful Friendsgiving

It’s only days before Thanksgiving. Some of you may be delighted to see (long time) family, others may be dreading the exhaustive dinner. Or maybe some of you, sadly can’t afford the expensive flight home until Christmas. Regardless of what your situation is there’s nothing more adult than hosting your own Friendsgiving with the friends you love! Here’s a few tips I learned after successfully hosting my first Friendsgiving.

1. Settle On A Date

Chances are, if you are on the quarter system or the semester system you and your friends might still be taking midterms in the 1-2 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break. There’s always that friend who seems to have a midterm every week. You might also have those really popular friends that have a dozen other Friendsgiving penciled into their schedule. That’s why it’s important for you and your roommates to get together and settle on a safe date that most people can attend. Immediately after choosing a date make a private Facebook event with all of the details. It’s best to choose Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and start dinner around 6-7 pm that way if your friends have other parties or dinners to attend they can come and socialize for a few hours and then leave. For Friendsgiving the earlier you can start dinner the better! There’s a chance that not everyone will make it but doing this allows everyone a chance to at least attempt to make room in their schedule. 

2. Break Bread with Friends

One reason why it’s important to make your Friendsgiving event private on Facebook is because you don’t want everyone and their mother coming to your apartment. It’s best to keep amount of people you invite small; about 12-20 people depending on the size of your apartment and the guest rules your landlord may have. Another reason why you want the event to be private is because of safety and awkwardness. Think of this event like a wedding. You don’t want someone awful from your or your roommate’s past popping into your apartment. Likewise you don’t want to knowingly invite guests who have big problems with each other. You also want to make sure that your guests double check with you before they invite a plus-one. Knowing who is walking through your door keeps your stress levels down and keeps the event intimate and enjoyable because you’re with people you genuinely trust.

3. All Turkey, No Sides

The benefit of having your event on Facebook allows everyone attending to post what food their bringing. It’s best to start a comment threat with who’s bringing the main event foods such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. Doing prevents your table being filled up with eight different sweet potato casseroles and a random tub of Redvines. Though I doubt anyone would complain about free RedVines you’ll definitely want more than candy and sweet potatoes to eat. A memorable Friendsgiving I attended in the past almost went south when we discovered we had no meat whatsoever. Thankfully someone with a car drove to Ralphs and got a few Rotisserie chickens to make up for it. It’s also best to have any guests with extreme dietary restrictions to direct message you to figure out what they can eat and if they need to bring their own personal dish. For the guests it would also be an added pre-caution to note any ingredients that could cause allergic reactions such as nuts, dairy, certain oils, etc.

4. Let the Festivities Begin

It’s finally Friendsgiving day and your guests are arriving. Hopefully you’ve already spruced up your apartment and closed the door to your messy room. Since you’re probably on a college budget you most likely don’t have a grand table for everyone to sit it. In that case make sure that you re-arrange as much as you can so that your guests have multiple options for seats. But at the end of the day they’re just happy to be surrounded by friends, love and free food. At another Friendsgiving I attended we sat crisscross applesauce style on the floor and that didn’t take away from the experience at all.

5. Avoid Being Left With All the Clean-up

Once the jovial evening has ended and all the straggling guests have moved on all that will be left are you, your roommates and most likely a gigantic mess of empty trays and a ton of leftovers. A huge plus about hosting Friendsgiving is the hosts usually get to keep the rest of the food. A huge downside is they also get to clean everything up. It’s best to split chores with your roommates beforehand. One person can handle collecting the recyclables cans and bottles and dumping the trash. Another person can handle vacuuming and rearranging the furniture, and of course someone needs to tackle the task of cleaning up the unruly kitchen and dining area. The important thing is that the work be evenly split between everyone, that way no one is left bitter at the end of it all.


Hosting a dinner sounds difficult, hosting a Friendsgiving is even more intimidating. But if you follow these tips you’ll not only come out of the night alive, but you’ll also have an amazing college memory that you can share with your closest friends. Plus you’ll earn major adult points for pulling it off!

UCLA 2020 Pamela is a Feature Writer for the UCLA Chapter of Her Campus. When Pamela isn't stressing over exams you can find her obsessing over skin care routines, reading POC-centered novels, and attempting to exercise. 
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