How to Pull Off a Great Friendsgiving
I was never a big fan of Thanksgiving growing up, but Friendsgiving has developed into one of my favorite holiday traditions as an adult. The beautiful thing about celebrating Thanksgiving with friends is that you can do it however you’d like; no tradition is too holy to exclude, no practice too silly to include. What’s important is just being around people who mean something to you.
Friendsgiving holds even more potential this year, as so many people at Outpost Club have never taken part in a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. So break out your stretchy pants and get ready for a Friendsgiving to remember, keeping the following in mind:
The more, the merrier -- but be considerate
It’s in the name: Friendsgiving is for friends. Be courteous of your other housemates, though, and ask permission before you invite anyone else -- unless you all have a prior understanding that the dinner is open-invitation.
Keep dietary needs in mind
Whether you’re bringing a side dish or hosting the main event, don’t forget to consider the dietary needs of your dinner guests. Vegetarianism and veganism are common enough today that most dinners will need to include separate dishes, and it never hurts to ask about food allergies, either.
Not every dish has to fit in with the dietary specifications of the pickier guests, but people will be grateful for options. If you’re a guest, ask your host if there are any dietary needs you should be aware of.
Set up stations
Some of the same pitfalls of Thanksgiving apply to dinner with friends: The more people you have, the more likely it is that you won’t be able to handle everything at once in a single kitchen.
That’s where stations come in: Recruit volunteers to put together sides and salads outside of the main kitchen. If you live at Outpost Club, you’re lucky; most of our houses have more than one kitchen in which you can spread out and prepare your meal.
Introduce your own traditions
Do you have a specialty dish your family begs for? Are you a whiz at making a beautiful ratatouille, or did you grow up making tamales with your family before every holiday? One of the great things about Friendsgiving is that you aren’t stuck with the traditions of a single family, so don’t feel limited to the traditional American Thanksgiving sides like stuffing and mashed potatoes if you’re trying to decide what kind of dish to bring to dinner.
Conversely, if you’ve never celebrated an American Thanksgiving, you may want to experience some for the first time: set out that morning to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, go around the table to share something you’re thankful for or make a wish as you pull the wishbone with a friend.
Enjoy the celebration
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where the food came from or who cooked it; quality time is the real point of Friendsgiving. So grab a drink, pull up a chair and get ready to have some fun, because nothing is more Thanksgiving than sharing a meal with family, whether it’s the one you’re born into or the one you’ve chosen for yourself.