What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests

Jane Bertin
By Jane Bertin. Updated: November 26, 2018
What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests

What is Friendsgiving? It's a way to show how thankful you are for your friends, meeting and eating together in an informal setting and with less expectations and stress. There are many reasons to celebrate Friendsgiving; you may live away from your family, or find traditional Thanksgiving way too stressful, or want to avoid a certain relative, or maybe you just want to spend two great holidays instead of one.

Hosting a great Friendsgiving only requires some planning, some friends - or just one! - and lots of comfort food. Stay with us at OneHowTo to find out our best tips for hosts and guests on what to bring to Friendsgiving.

You may also be interested in: What to Bring to a Cinco de Mayo Party
  1. What food to bring for Friendsgiving
  2. What to bring to a Friendsgiving party
  3. Tips to host a Friendsgiving lunch
  4. What to wear to Friendsgiving: Outfit tips
  5. Don't celebrate anything but yourself

What food to bring for Friendsgiving

To save stress and time, it's best if whoever hosts the Friendsgiving party makes the turkey and gravy - but if you're vegan you may want to read our article on how to have a vegan Thanksgiving.

As a guest, you may be asked to bring a side dish to Friendsgiving, or perhaps drink or dessert; even if you aren't, it's the polite thing to do. Since Friendsgiving is more informal than Thanksgiving and you don't have to impress any faraway relative with your very grown-up kitchen skills, you can go for something simple. Choose a side dish that you know how to make and make it fancy by making a more elaborate stuffing, dressing or sauce.

Some good Friendsgiving side dishes (most of which can be made ahead) include:

  • Mashed potato casserole.
  • Mashed sweet potato.
  • Mashed cauliflower.
  • Potato and cheese gratin.
  • Sautéed Brussel sprouts.
  • Sautéed green beans.
  • Squash purée.
  • Homemade pizza.
  • Veggie frittata.
  • Pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake.

For a more informal, standing-up Friendsgiving lunch you can bring bite-sized food:

  • Cheese platter.
  • Filo or pastry puffs.
  • Mashed potato puffs.
  • Savory biscuits with herbs.
  • Pears or figs, sliced and wrapped in blue cheese.

As for sauces and dressings, you can spice up a traditional cranberry sauce by adding something sweet like fig or something tangy like ginger. Whatever dressing you choose, make it autumnal. The side dishes above go well with:

  • Fig confiture.
  • Orange sauce.
  • Honey mustard.
  • Balsamic dressing.
  • Herbal sour cream.
  • Cider glazing.
  • Goat cheese cream.

Drinks are a key element in any party! If you can make cocktails, get some autumnal recipes ready and bring the ingredients and a shaker. The best cocktails for Friendsgiving are citrus-flavored or herbal, to go with the food. What about a sidecar, herbal gin, something with ginger syrup or a classic apple cider?

Another good choice of drinks for a Friendsgiving party is sparkling wine; white or rosé are often a safe choice, but you must make sure they're served chilled.

What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests - What food to bring for Friendsgiving

What to bring to a Friendsgiving party

If you've been told not to bring food, don't worry. As a guest, there are still many things you can bring to Friendsgiving. However, do ask the host if it's okay to bring them, as you don't want to take up all their space or disorganize their plans.

  • Spare folding chairs: There's never enough room to sit down, especially in a student flat.
  • Blankets and pillows: Create a play or chill zone so that you don't have to stand up in the kitchen.
  • Food containers: You'll need takeout boxes or tupperware to store all those side dishes!
  • Music: Good speakers and a cheerful playlist for Friendsgiving.
  • Games to play after lunch: Let your stomach do its work while you play cards or board games.
  • Supplies for the day after: If you're staying over for the night, your host will be thankful to get breakfast out of the way.
  • A camera: To immortalize the Friendsgiving event.
  • Flowers for the host.

Tips to host a Friendsgiving lunch

Many young adults - and standard adults, really - feel that hosting Thanksgiving is too much responsibility. It requires a lot of time, and you'll always be comparing your turkey to your aunt's legendary recipe.

Enter Friendsgiving: A more informal and affordable version. The best advice to host a great Friendsgiving lunch is that you talk to your guests and ask them to help and bring things. Good organization is the key to success; don't just say "bring something", tell them what you need and how much.

It's very important to plan ahead, especially if you want to cook different dishes and you have a single oven and a small kitchen, like most of us mortals. It's always better to make the turkey beforehand, as it becomes progressively easier to carve. However, you can skip the turkey altogether and make a lunch out of different delicious side dishes.

As a final tip, remember to make sure you always have enough water and ice, and to serve something fresh - veggies and fruit, or sherbet - to take a break from all the rich creaminess.

What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests - Tips to host a Friendsgiving lunch

What to wear to Friendsgiving: Outfit tips

Every group of friends has its own vibe, style and dynamics; if you go to a Friendsgiving party dressed as you always do, nobody will think it strange or rude. However, it's the host who chooses the level of formality and dress code of the event - they may even want to make it a themed party.

Whatever you wear, make sure it's comfortable to sit down for a long time and that it has enough room so that you can eat as much as you want. Flouncy and sweater-weather clothes will be perfect, as are fall shades of red and gold. It's a holiday, so you can safely wear something sparkly.

However, remember that dark colors don't show cranberry sauce stains, so they may be your wisest choice.

Don't celebrate anything but yourself

A friendsgiving celebration can be a wonderful way to spend the holiday if you aren't able to spend it with family. But maybe your friends are also unavailable or you are so busy that the idea of a completely free day free of any social responsibility sounds like a dream. If so, here’s :

How to spend Thanksgiving alone

  • If you are spending Thanksgiving alone, have an alone day. This is your day to do whatever you want to do. If you want to make your own huge Thanksgiving dinner, do it. If you want to enjoy a day in your pajamas, watching movies, and enjoying take out food, do it. This is your Thanksgiving and you can do what you want! Just relax and enjoy your day!
  • Helping others is a great way to spend your Thanksgiving. You can go to a soup kitchen or to help feed the hungry at your local church. You can also donate your time to a charity in your area. Donating your time on Thanksgiving can really mean a lot to others. They may not have family or friends to spend the holiday with and your smiling face could be just what they need to turn their holiday around.
  • Thanksgiving is a holiday to remember what you are thankful for. Remember to celebrate in your own way. If you are alone and doing you're own thing, celebrate that! Celebrate the fact that you do have options and you chose to be alone on Thanksgiving. Make sure that you are thankful for everything that you have and all of the people that are in your life. Don't be sad if you are spending the holiday alone, just be thankful for this time to yourself.


What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests - Don't celebrate anything but yourself

These have been our best tips for hosts and guests on what to bring to Friendsgiving! Are you going to a Friendsgiving party this year? Tell us all about it in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests, we recommend you visit our Festivities & Celebrations category.

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What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests