Planning a Friendsgiving Dinner

This is a little untimely, but it’s been on my to-write list for over a year and I’m finally finding the inspiration to get it done…and hey, who says you have to wait until November to throw a Friendsgiving dinner?! 🙂

For all non-wedding events that I plan, I’ve developed this template to keep track of things.  It helps me make sure I’ve covered all bases (food, activities/entertainment, decor, etc.) and I can keep a list of things I need to do/make/buy/bring.

We didn’t have too much space to work with in our little home, so the tables were a bit crowded but I was pretty happy with my decor/set up.  Some of my inspiration:

Things to think about: centerpieces, decor for food/dessert tables and drink station, accents for each table setting (leaves, or in my case, individual labels that each said “Friendsgiving 2015,” “Be Thankful,” “Gratitude,” or something similar).  I also placed ice water carafes at each table (with lemon and cucumber) which worked out great so people didn’t have to get up during dinner for a refill (which means you need a glass at each table setting).

This was the sixth or seventh year that we’d had a Friendsgiving, so part of my decor was framed pictures of past Friendsgivings: it was amazing to see how our group has grown with husbands/wives, children, and more friends!

Note to self: make sure your photo background is large enough for group photos…

For entertainment, we borrowed a friend’s giant Jenga and had that in the backyard, along with a fire pit surrounded by chairs and blankets.  Corn hole would be a good addition.

But I guess most important of all at a Friendsgiving dinner is….THE FOOD.  We do a potluck style dinner every year, but it does require some organization.  Enter: google docs.  I love google docs.  I have this template on a google sheet and add a new tab every year (or you could clear it out every year, or make a new one every year-although with a new doc you have worry about re-sharing it with everyone) and share it with everyone, and people can sign up for whatever they want to bring.  This helps to ensure you don’t end up with 20 desserts but zero side dishes, and that everything is covered before the big day.

If you’re a traditionalist, your menu has to include: turkey and gravy (!), green bean casserole, sweet potatoes of some kind, mac n cheese, stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread rolls, and some pumpkin pies!

Here are some other appetizers and sides that have been huge hits in the past:

  • ham sliders
  • cheesy spinach rollups
  • cheese tray
  • chips & dips
  • mashed potatoes
  • salad
  • roasted veggies
  • brussel sprouts
  • creamed corn
  • German potato salad

Obviously, anything edible is fair game!

My favorite part of Friendsgiving, aside from the food (I could eat Thanksgiving dinners all year), is that after everyone has served themselves, we go around the tables and everyone shares what they’re thankful for.  It’s a great time to reflect on the year and what’s happened in our lives since the last Friendsgiving, and find the things that made that year great.

Do you celebrate a Friendsgiving?  What are your favorite traditions or ideas?

 

Advertisements