‘Tis the season to gather with friends and family and celebrate all that you’re thankful for. But just because Thanksgiving has ended in the U.S., doesn’t mean you still can’t host a Friendsgiving-style dinner party this season. Even though Friendsgiving typically occurs before Thanksgiving, there’s no official date for the event. Still, it would be best to host the event sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.
For those not familiar with Friendsgiving, it is a celebration of friendships, and typically includes plenty of comfort foods and social activities, such as cooking together, playing party games, or having a poker night. How you decide to celebrate is completely up to you, but when throwing a dinner party, it’s necessary to have a menu and plan in place before the event. So what are you waiting for? Show your friends how much you appreciate them by hosting the ultimate Friendsgiving-style dinner party this season. The following are several ideas for how you can make this event a success.
What Kind of Dinner Party Will It Be?
Before you can start planning the menu or picking out decorations, you first need to have a brainstorming session about the guest list. Keep in mind the location of the dinner party; if your apartment can only fit 10 guests comfortably, don’t invite more than that. Here are a few questions you should consider:
- How many guests do you want to have?
- Will this be a party for close friends, or is this an opportunity to get to know acquaintances and coworkers?
- Is the guest list strict, or can guests feel free to bring others along?
Regardless of the formality of the event, if you want to add an extra-special touch, consider sending out email invites or paper invites with a description of the party, any requests (such as a dress code, if guests should bring food or wine, etc.), the location, the date and time of the event, and how long the event will last.
Plan the Menu in Advance
Planning the food and drink menu out in advance is crucial. After all, you don’t want to run out of food or serve food that certain guests can’t eat (due to allergies or dietary restrictions). Create a group chat and ask guests about any dietary restrictions or food and drink preferences in advance, so that you know to have certain dishes and drinks available. For this reason, you may want to serve the food buffet style or family style, so that guests can choose their own food. You may even want to suggest that guests each contribute a dish to the dinner party. It’s a good idea to have enough food so that every guest can have two servings (if they choose to). And buy some extra Tupperware or reuse old takeout containers to send any leftovers home with guests when they leave.
Decorations and Preparations
A theme, no matter how small, can set the mood for your dinner party and create a cosy and inviting atmosphere for guests. At the very least, the most important aspects to pay attention to are the lighting, music, and table setting. Consider adding some candles or stringing Christmas lights around the main entertaining areas, and invest in a decent speaker if you don’t have one already (and don’t forget to create a playlist!).
As for the table setting, you should make sure you have enough flatware, placemats (if using), and glassware (for water and other beverages). You may also want to consider adding a centrepiece, such as a bouquet of flowers. If you’re looking for some great theme or centrepiece ideas, Pinterest will be your best friend. Still, some examples might include a winter wonderland theme, a rustic fall-inspired theme, or a murder-mystery theme (if that’s more your style). You don’t have to spend a lot on decorations, either! That’s where you can get creative. Check Amazon or a discount store for bulk party supplies, or a thrift store for interesting decorations or serving ware.
Have a Game Night
This is a night to celebrate friendships, so why cut the party short? Before or after dinner, have a few games around for guests to play. If you’re inviting guests that haven’t met before, this can be a great way for them to relax and get to know each other. Consider having a few decks of cards on hand (for a post-dinner poker night), some party games (like Trivial Pursuit or Cards Against Humanity), and any materials needed for role-playing games (like Charades or Pictionary). Lastly, don’t forget the appetizers or snacks! A great poker game or party game isn’t complete without some snacks for guests to munch on.
Still not sure how to throw the best Friendsgiving-style party for your guests? It doesn’t hurt to ask them if they have any ideas. This may help you to narrow down the menu, theme, dress code, or plan for the evening. Whatever you decide, don’t forget: this is a night to relax with friends, eat good food, and have a good time.