So, unfortunately, you can’t make it home for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have to work, or maybe you simply don't feel like traveling a long distance to visit home this year. Holiday travel is a logistical nightmare for pretty much anyone that lives far from family, and I know the struggle all too well.

There is a solution, however. 

Instead of eating alone in your kitchen, drowning your sorrows in some tasteless frozen meal, start your own kind of holiday and get some of your best people together for your very own “Friendsgiving.” This could be interpreted all kinds of ways, but it should usually include friends, music, food dishes and of course, lots of pie.

Here are some tips on how you can make a “Friendsgiving” dinner with a group of your closest pals:

1. Put Out a Feeler, Then Send Those E-Vites

Photo: Pexels

Before you get too excited and hit that send button, see if you have any friends who can make it and are willing to commit to this event. The chances are high that you know people in the same communal boat as you, but it’s still a good idea to put out a feeler text or make a group chat ASAP. If people reply, go ahead and share some invites with a time, place and more information about what and who to bring.

2. Plan out your meal

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Your parents may have made cooking Thanksgiving dinner look like just another day in the kitchen, but let's be real, you can't do it all alone. I mean, you could cook the whole meal yourself, but you should have reinforcements just in case. In your invites, tell everybody to bring at least one dish of their choice, pie, cake, deviled eggs, you name it, and if you desire, something to sip on (alcoholic or non-alcoholic.)

Now, if you have friends with dietary restrictions, drink preferences, and dish desires, it is up to you all as a team to coordinate so there is something for everyone to enjoy! If there’s something specific someone absolutely must have, they’re responsible for providing it. Thanksgiving is known for being the biggest feast of the year, but it can also just be a good meal with a bunch of different options. 

3. Use Disposable Dishware

Photo: Pinterest

If there is one person who isn’t a cook in the group, have them be in charge of providing disposable plates, utensils, ice, or helping with meal prep or serving trays instead of a dish. There’s no need to call them out, and they will probably know who they are. Or, if you aren’t comfortable with that, offer the role up for anyone who’s interested and someone will take the bait.

4. Set everything up buffet style

Photo: Pexels

Put out everyone’s dishes out buffet style and let everyone pick and choose their favorites. Have a “Friendsgiving” playlist ready to go and crank it up when people arrive (It could be fun to ask for song requests in your invites). Then, get to mingling.


Photo: Pexels

You're with your people, so you don’t have to worry about dodging questions from family members about why you are still single or wearing that sweater from three Thanksgivings ago that your grandmother insists should still even fit you. Release any stress, let your hair down, metaphorically speaking, make a fancy fall cocktail, play some music and games and enjoy yourself. This is what Friendsgiving is all about.  

And there you have it. These smooth, five steps are all you need to host your first Friendsgiving. As long as you have good friends and good food, you can consider this event a success.

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