Admit it: Friendsgiving is a win-win-win for all of us. A guest list you handpicked, so it most likely won’t fail you? Check. Peers who are extremely unlikely to ask you what you’re doing with your life? Double check. And let’s not forget the more casual ambiance, because dish duty with plastic utensils and throwaway china is a ton more bearable than the obvious alternative. Check, check and sign me up.
But when you’re stuck doing Friendsgiving because a traditional Thanksgiving isn’t an option, it can be a tougher pill to swallow. Suddenly, you sort of even miss those heavy-handed political talks over slicing the ham. Or, maybe not. Either way, Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be a foreign, strange act in unfamiliar territory. Time with new and old friends can be just as valuable and rewarding as holidays past. Here are three simple ways you can take advantage of this special season, and make your Friendsgiving feel a little bit more like home for everyone involved.
Decorate your space.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like a pumpkin or two and, thankfully, you should have an abundance following your memorable Halloween celebrations! Don’t be afraid to go full out decorating your space, however big or small it may be. Paint your leftover fall decorations a festive gold, and allow your guests to create a guest book by signing in on some holiday-appropriate pumpkins. Complete a banner behind your food table, or even top off your table with a festive table runner of lights, fall leaves, photographs and wheat. The options are endless, and you’ll thank yourself for effortlessly setting the celebratory tone for the evening. So, check out some of The Best Friendsgiving Ideas From Pinterest, and get to decorating.
Invite your guests to get creative with their dishes.
This is the perfect opportunity to loosen the reins on your classic Thanksgiving food-to-bring list. Whether you’re an expert at traveling, or you’re starting to feel a bit of homesickness, you probably realize the mere fact that your friends are spending the holiday season with you instead of family means you’re not the only one outside of your element for the holiday season. Chances are, you’ve already met a vast array of people during your time abroad. You’ve probably even made a friend or two in your new city who don’t look just like you. Take a chance, and invite your Friendsgiving guests to share dishes that they make in their own holiday spread. Not only will this make your Friendsgiving uniquely diverse, insightful, and culturally inclusive, but your guests will feel even more at home in your house, and they will most likely thank you for such a simple act of kindness.
Leave some time for your guests to reflect on the last year.
There’s no better time to show some gratitude for the people who have gathered familiarly in your home to celebrate such a special time of year with you. Sharing in silence or out loud among the group – it doesn’t really matter. Even if that incessant ache for home stays cushioned in your stomach, take a moment to consider the good that traveling has brought you so far: knowledge, reflection, wisdom, and great company.