Thanksgiving isn't just for your family anymore! If you can't make it home for the holidays or you just want an extra night to celebrate the spirit of the season with your BFFs, think about inviting your pals over for a Friendsgiving night of food and holiday festivities.
As you set off to plan your first Friendsgiving, these easy tips will help you make it a night to remember:
Know your audience
You've eaten alongside your family for your entire life, so you probably have a pretty good idea of who likes what and which dishes won't get touched come mealtime. But your friends might be a different story, and there's nothing worse than showing up to a meal where you can't eat anything! Ask around so you know who has dietary restrictions or who just can't stand green bean casserole.
Divvy up the party duties
Once you know what people want, create an attack plan. Everybody wants to be a dessert hero and show up with a towering cake or a steaming hot dish of bread pudding, but it takes different dishes to have a successful meal. Make sure some guests are bringing appetizers and side dishes, and don't forget about plates and cutlery if you decide to go the disposable route.
If you have friends who are culinarily challenged, assign them to cleanup duty or put them on the decorations committee.
Go the pre-made route
If you and your friends all struggle in the kitchen, have guests pitch in cash in advance and order your dishes ahead of time from a restaurant or delivery service. Let somebody else do the work so you can focus on what really matters: friendship.
Make it shareable
What's a gathering of friends if you can't tweet and post about it? Find fun ways to encourage your friends to spread the love on social media. Come up with a quippy hashtag or even set up a custom Snapchat geofilter to spread the spirit of the season. If your friends are selfie fanatics, grab some larger-than-life props and set up a Friendsgiving photo booth.
Help your friends break the ice
Every good party ends with new friends made, so encourage your friends to mix and mingle with other guests. Try out an icebreaker or come prepared with an after-dinner game to play at the table.
During the meal, ask your friends what they're grateful for. It might sound cliche, but nothing brings strangers together more quickly than talking about their passions and gratitude. (And Thanksgiving is all about thanks, after all!)
Don't hoard the leftovers
Let your guests know ahead of time to bring a container for leftovers! Hosting Friendsgiving is an exciting thrill until you find your fridge overflowing with more leftovers than you can possibly eat.
The more the merrier
Friendsgiving is a great chance for people who can't make it home to their families to partake in all the holiday action. Think of your friends who might not be able to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving and welcome them into the fold. A simple invitation can go a long way.