Host a Friendsgiving Celebration

Whether you can’t get home for the holidays or just want to give thanks for friends, a Friendsgiving offers a fun twist on the traditional Thanksgiving celebration. Instead of spending it with relatives, Friendsgiving lets people share good food, memories and vibes with friends. Experts shared tips on hosting a Friendsgiving to remember.

Send the Invite

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Ditch the e-mail and throw it back to the days of tangible invitations. “Everyone loves a custom made invitation so this year we’re suggesting to make a classic paper craft even children can do,” said Sean Koski and Brian Kelly from Ticket2Events, a luxury event planning company in Florida. The party-planning duo proposed making “YOU’RE INVITED!” ombré colored paper doll chains and inscribing all the Friendsgiving details inside. Send these sweet and sentimental invitations by snail mail and have your friends gushing.

Don’t Forget the Décor

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Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, making it fun to go all out with holiday inspired decorations and designs. Koski and Kelly suggested choosing between a modern or rustic theme. “There are so many unique ways to jazz up your average dinner party spread and remind everyone of the season that makes Friendsgiving possible,” Koski said. For modern décor, they recommended painting gourds and placing them on a burlap table runner beside matching candleholders. For a more rustic vibe, go for wood tree slices, natural berries and floral displays. Simple do-it-yourself projects, like branch wreaths wrapped in fall foliage, will make tabletops pop.

Make a Statement with Signature Drinks

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Impress friends this year with specialty holiday inspired drinks and cocktails. Mix a fall punch, like Koski and Kelly’s favorite “Stillhouse Apple Crisp Whiskey BAD ASS APPLE!” It’s easy to make and it tastes even better than it sounds. Just combine a 750ml bottle of Stillhouse Apple Crisp with 375ml each of fresh lemonade and ginger ale and you’re ready to go. “We suggest serving the concoction in a cinnamon sugar pre-rimmed glass and adding lemon wheel slices and thin apple slices as garnish,” Koski and Kelly said.

Pick the Perfect Holiday Wines

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Special mixed drinks are perfect for cocktail hour, but once guests find their seats it’s wine time. Pick out a variety for them to choose from. Erin Vaughen, founder of online wine boutique and wine club Vinley Market, suggested offering wines that complement the richness of Thanksgiving foods. “My advice is to have a few bottles of Old World white wines on the table to keep your palates clean,” she said. “As for red wines, Pinot Noir and Gamay are the way to go.” When it comes to white wines, opt for blends originating from Mediterranean and French vineyards, and for red wines, go for acidic blends or opt for fruity, earthy flavors from California and Italy.

Focus on the Food  

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Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is really all about the food, and the perfect spread will have everyone talking (once they’re done noshing). Cooking a turkey is no simple task. Between preparation, cook time and carving, it’s a commitment, so hosting a potluck may be the way to go. “As the host, you’re probably trying your hand at turkey for the first time,” Vaughen said. “That’s why I suggest hosting a potluck. Your guests will be that much more invested in your efforts if they can participate by bringing the mashed potatoes or green beans.”