Imagine Thanksgiving without the family tension and travel headache. That, friends, is the beauty of Friendsgiving.

Sure, hosting a holiday feast can summon its own kind of stress, but with these foolproof Friendsgiving ideas, you’ll host a fun night your guests will remember through the rest of the year. And the best part? You don’t have to deal with getting home at the end of the night.

  • Set the date well in advance. We recommend sending your invitations at least three or four weeks ahead of time, since social calendars get crowded this time of year. Use Doodle to see when most people’s schedules overlap, and go with the one that works best for you. Unfortunately, the holidays are too busy to try to factor in everyone’s schedules, and if you spend too much time trying to find a date that works for everyone, it will never happen.
     
  • Delegate the side dishes. As the host, you can’t get out of making the turkey, but you can (and should!) relieve yourself of some of the work by letting guests contribute sides and desserts. When your friends ask what they can bring, already have a list in mind -- assign out the ones you don’t want to make. For the ones you’re doing yourself, simple, delicious recipes won’t detract from the rest of your host(ess) duties.

Check out this video.

  • Don’t try to over-organize your guests. Friendsgiving parties are about reconnecting and catching up over a great meal. Unless you have something in mind that’s easy to pull off, don’t stress or waste time over organizing activities for your guests. We find it’s best to just let people mingle, and keep the drinks flowing. The rest will take care of itself.
     

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  • Choose the right tunes. A good background playlist will keep the vibe going, especially earlier in the evening when people are still arriving. Remember that you’ll be spending most of the time talking around the table, so avoid anything that will drown out conversation. We like to go with light, feel-good and vintage-y tunes for a touch of holiday nostalgia. If you have a friend that wants to contribute something but all the dishes are taken, you can also give this task to them.
     
  • Keep decor subtle but thoughtful. Elaborate Friendsgiving decorations aren’t necessary since food will be the main focal point. However, a few simple and inexpensive touches will go a long way. Hold onto leftover pumpkins and gourds from Halloween and repurpose them as centerpieces or to hold up signs. Make festive leaf crowns for guests to wear, or get guests involved by setting up the supplies and creating a make-station with spiked cider nearby.

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  • Create a signature drink. You have your menu, now get started on the drinks. While it’s a good idea to have wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages on hand, having a pre-made signature drink is a nice way to add something special and seasonal to the mix. It’s also a good way to make sure a decent amount of the booze gets consumed.