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How to Plan an Awesome Friendsgiving

Contrary to the decorations right now in your local Publix store, the next holiday after Halloween is not actually Christmas but Thanksgiving. Whether or not you plan on going home to celebrate the occasion, you might want to consider throwing a “Friendsgiving” lunch or dinner with your pals. In simpler terms, it's basically a fancier than average potluck, just Thanksgiving themed. Here are some steps my friends and I are using to help us plan out our own Friendsgiving gathering.

Step 1: Plan for which day you will host your party.

When planning a party, one of the first things you will want to do is figure out when to host the gathering. For a Friendsgiving event, you’ll want to see if any of your friends already have a similar idea planned out and what day they are thinking of doing it on. I know for this holiday season, I will personally have three “Friendsgivings” I’ll be attending, including the one my roommates and I have planned at our place. You’ll want to chart out who is arranging what and when, so if possible they are able to attend your party. Friendsgivings are great for international students that may not have family here and aren’t familiar with the concept of Thanksgiving; consider inviting some that you know, or if you are an international student, consider throwing one with your friends!

Step 2: Figure out who you want to invite.

The second thing you will want to do is chart out who you want to come to your party. This choice is entirely up to you; would you prefer a more intimate Friendsgiving with a couple of close-knit friends, or perhaps a larger crowd who would bring a lot of food? Take into account as well the space of wherever you choose to eat. It would be wise to invite less people if it meant that everyone got a proper place to sit and eat at the dining table. To invite people, you can either make a group chat with everyone by using text message, the mobile app Groupme or even a private Facebook event page. This will help you keep track of who is coming and address any questions or concerns that may arise.

Step 3: Create a list of who will bring what.

For this step, I would advise making a Google Doc and/or spreadsheet of all the people you are inviting and what they intend to bring. You can split up the spreadsheet into courses; appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks are some categories you can sort your planning. A very important note: Before anyone buys anything, ask if a member of your party has any dietary allergies so you’re aware of what they can and can’t eat. Relay this note to rest of your party so they can label any food or drink they bring.

Make sure that if you’re not planning to use your own nice plates and silverware you designate someone to buy these, as dishes can pile up very fast depending on how many people you choose to invite.

Step 4: Have an adequate amount of time to set up and prepare food (if you’re making something).

For the next step, you’ll want to make sure you set aside a good amount of time for prepping what you plan to make and setting the table. Hosting can be a tough job, and it may require some work, but you want to make sure your guests come in your home feeling welcome and not put off by any lack of organization. You’ll want to make sure everything you make is hot and ready to eat by the time all the guests arrive.

Step 5: Make clean-up time simple and easy.

For this final step, you may want to consider asking people to bring their own plate when they come over your place. This would be an option to consider if you want the party to feel more formal in lieu of paper plates. If you do decide to do paper plates/disposable silverware, make sure people are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. This will save you time and frustration as you clean up after the party, because most likely your friends will be very full and not wanting to move or do any physical activity (especially involving cleaning).

Overall, you’ll be on the path to a successful Friendsgiving by following some or all of these guidelines. To get a head start on what to make for your possible Friendsgiving, click here.

Are you having a Friendsgiving get-together? Let us know what your plans are in the comments below!

Elena Kallergis is currently a 4th year Advertising major at the University of Florida. Her passions include ballet dancing, drawing, reading, traveling, and rock climbing. She loves flowers, cats, fashion, chocolate chip cookies, cheeseburgers, and anything to do with the color peach. Outside of class, you can either catch her eating while attempting to study or just eating in general. Follow her on Instagram @elenamika.
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