Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you’re not sure you can make it home for the holidays. Maybe you’re getting rid of debt and just don’t have the extra funds to travel. Or, you are heading home for the holidays but really want to have a special celebration with your friends, too. Hosting Friendsgiving is the perfect solution to any Thanksgiving related stress!
Tuesday Tip – Hosting Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving is a new trend among those who just can’t make it home for the holidays, but don’t want to forgo the tradition of Thanksgiving. It’s also an up and coming event among friend groups to celebrate with people who have come to feel like family.
The cool thing about Friendsgiving is while you have the feeling of a traditional holiday, it doesn’t have to completely follow the rule books. Many people celebrate Friendsgiving sometime in November before actual Thanksgiving, so there’s some time for flexibility of schedules. And, the menu can stray from the classic dishes (if you want). So, when you have a Friendsgiving, it actually ends up being a huge, low cost, potluck. And what’s better than eating all of your favorite foods with your friends? Hosting a Friendsgiving can be a fun gig, but just make sure to cover all of your bases. Here are a few rules to help the day go as smoothly as actual Thanksgiving (we hope):
- Divide & Conquer: A cool thing about this faux holiday is that one person isn’t stuck slaving away in the kitchen all day. Instead, everyone does their part. To make sure everyone contributes, start a list of what you and your friends want to eat and assign dishes for everyone to bring. This way, everyone brings something to the table, literally. From a classic turkey, to chicken, or your favorite chips, dips, and casseroles, everything goes at Friendsgiving. I know a Friendsgiving that consisted of buffalo chicken dip, homemade fried rice, dinner rolls, and blueberry pie. And you know what? Everyone loved it. Friendsgiving is a cheap and easy way to have a delicious meal and feel festive. For some extra help to throw Friendsgiving and stay on budget, use this holiday budget worksheet!
- Decorate: Just like real Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving should have a certain holiday flair. Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to do so. As the holidays tend to be a season that drives up consumer debt, being frugal wherever possible is a must. So, DIY whatever you can. I’d suggest Pinterest for any cute, festive, and CHEAP ideas. Construction paper hand print turkeys? Sure. Mini pumpkins that you can get at the grocery store for less than a buck? Great. You don’t need to have tons of decorations – just a few easy things to whip together that will make Friendsgiving feel special. And, you can always re-use your decorations if you end up heading home.
- Variety: When you host Friendsgiving, try not to put too much pressure on yourself in the kitchen. But also get the opinions of your friends on what they like to eat. Make sure to accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions so the day can be as fun as possible.
- Don’t Forget the Drinks: As with regular Thanksgiving, the emphasis of the day is food. But people get thirsty, too! Having one person be on “drink duty” is a great idea to ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Drinks can be anything you want. Just keep in mind that if you are purchasing adult beverages to consider the cost and chip in so one person doesn’t get stuck spending a fortune. Managing debt can be stressful, especially when trying to balance a budget with participating in the holidays. Try to be accommodating to what everyone is willing and able to spend.
- Use Your Favorite Recipe: If you are unable to head home for the holiday, bring a bit of home to your Friendsgiving. Ask your family members for your favorite recipe and recreate it for your friends. Be it stuffing, potatoes, or even a dessert, it’s always great to have a slice of home.
So, whether you’re hosting Friendsgiving in the place of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re just itching to have two special meals, make it fun and keep it inexpensive to keep your financial goals on track.