25 Fantastic Friendsgiving Ideas for 2023 That Go Beyond Turkey
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Recipes, products, DIYs, genius hacks and more to help you celebrate with your besties in style.
Fall's newest big holiday is inching ever closer, and we are Here. For. It. with 25 super-smart yet surprisingly simple Friendsgiving ideas to make this year's celebration the best yet. The event, which salutes found family, is said to have been first referenced in a 2007 tweet, but most people credit the show Friends with popularizing the notion of spending Thanksgiving with your ride-or-dies. It tends to be less formal than the much-older holiday that originated with the pilgrims some 400 years ago, and unlike Thanksgiving, there's no official date for Friendsgiving.
In fact, there aren't many hard-and-fast rules associated with it, so Friendsgiving can actually be a more relaxed, and dare we say, fun occasion than the fourth Thursday in November. In fact, you don't even have to serve turkey if you don't want to, much less the traditional sides. Think casual for Friendsgiving instead, and maybe dish up a delish breakfast, or even an al fresco meal. As you'll discover below, there are loads of little, easy things you can do (and inexpensive products you can buy, too!) to ensure the big day is a hit, from using place cards, to creating a signature drink and making a music playlist. Read on, and then head over to our list of Restaurants That Are Open on Thanksgiving 2023, in Case You Want to Go Out if you don't feel like cooking at all.
Sending out invites is a great first step to making your Friendsgiving special, but why not go further? With these delectable printables, you can craft your own menus, recipe cards (for when they just gotta know the secret to your stuffing), and even labels for leftovers.
See more at The House That Lars Built.
Share the workload and the cost of the meal by turning it into a potluck (with you, the host, providing the turkey, natch). Be sure to circulate an email sign-up sheet for side dishes, including an option to help clean up for people who don't like to cook. After all, they're your friends, so they'd probably love to lend a hand!
RELATED: Best Thanksgiving Potluck Recipes for Sharing the Joy
By overlaying your tablecloth with kraft paper and adding some pens in fall colors, you bring a fun, cheerful vibe to the proceedings. Guests can play games, share what they're thankful for, or just jot down a cute message.
See more at Inspired by Charm.
SHOP KRAFT PAPER
Place cards add an extra hospitable touch to your table and can act as decor for it—particularly when you DIY them with autumnal touches such as colorful leaves, berries, and seasonal posies like mums. Use inexpensive votives as the vases and they even double as party favors!
See more at Lovely Indeed.
SHOP VOTIVE CANDLE HOLDERS
Dress up the bar this Friendsgiving with these witty wine labels that tell it like it is. "In vino veritas," as they say.
Speaking of wine, set up a serve-yourself drink station ahead of time where everyone can fill up a glass with their favorite adult beverage. That way, you don't need to play bartender all night.
RELATED: Festive Thanksgiving Cocktails
There's no rule you have to decorate with muted colors at Thanksgiving. That's especially true for a Friendsgiving meal, which is all about making new traditions—like that adorbs apple pie, which gets its message across with candy letters.
See more at Studio DIY.
SHOP CANDY LETTERS
There's no better way to celebrate the good things in life—like your chosen family—than by giving back. Grab your crew and volunteer at a clean-up event, in a senior home, or by spending time with shelter animals. You'll fill your heart, then you can fill your bellies with a potluck!
RELATED: 30 Ways to Give Back to Your Community
These aren't your grandma's paper plates and plastic cutlery! The new generation of disposable (but plenty pretty) tableware makes clean-up a snap, so you can hang with your squad rather than spend all evening at the sink.
See more at Revel & Glitter.
SHOP DISPOSABLE DINNERWARE
Nothing adds a festive holiday touch like a pretty banner, and it's so easy to whip one yourself with this tutorial, which includes printable letters.
See more at Homey Oh My.
RELATED: DIY Thanksgiving Decorations That Will Win You Hostess of the Year
Buffets just make sense. They're so much easier to serve from, and they keep that tablescape you worked so hard to create uncluttered and looking lovely. If you don't have a sideboard large enough to hold your repast, get creative and use countertops, or even a bench.
A great party needs a good photo booth, and these hilarious props are sure to have them insta-ing all night long.
RELATED: Thanksgiving Captions for All Your Instagram Posts
Mixing up a signature drink for your soiree is one sure way to add a dash of class to your Friendsgiving. We recommend this delish, seasonally-appropriate Cranberry Paloma, made with tequila, grapefruit and cranberry juice, and club soda.
See more at Posh Little Designs.
If you live in a climate where it stays reasonably warm through Thanksgiving, consider taking the meal outside. Then decorate the table with natural elements like cattails and leaves (both with a little glitter added in this example just to jazz things up).
See more at Design Improvised.
Whether it's a game of touch football, a karaoke competition, or a round of Pictionary, don't forget the fun and games on Friendsgiving.
SHOP KARAOKE MACHINES
RELATED: Funny Thanksgiving Games to Play with the Family in 2023
Emma Chapman at A Beautiful Mess suggests including a toast before you tuck in to your Friendsgiving feastie. As she says, "It’s a great opportunity to tell your friends how awesome they are and what they mean to you." If you want to up the merrymaking, the post includes the link to a cranberry jello shot recipe.
See more at A Beautiful Mess.
Whether you hang it on your door or on the wall above your table, a Friendsgiving wreath is a warm, welcoming way to greet guests. We love this minimalistic beauty, DIYed with dried plants and grasses gathered from local fields.
See more at The Merrythought.
SHOP HOOP WREATHS
RELATED: Unique Fall Wreath Ideas to Spruce up Your Front Door in 2023
Stay on theme with this adorable Friendsgiving set that includes a dish towel and ceramic baking dish. If the meal isn't at your place this year, it would make a thoughtful gift for the hostess.
RELATED: Best Friendsgiving Gifts for the Whole Gang or Just the Host
Serving a round of apps before dinner keeps your guests busy so you have some extra time alone in the kitchen to wrap up any last-minute tasks. Try this brie and cranberry sauce crostini recipe that's just the right combination of savory and sweet.
See more at A Pumpkin and a Princess.
RELATED: 12 Easy Crostini Ideas for Thanksgiving
This is a flat-out brill idea. If you're like us and prefer people kick off their shoes when they enter the house—or you just want to encourage them to be as comfy and cozy as possible—set out some disposal spa slippers.
See more at Dash of Jazz.
SHOP DISPOSABLE SLIPPERS
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Baby Shower Ideas for the Cutest Party EverFriendsgiving ideasSee more at The House That Lars Built.RELATED: Best Thanksgiving Potluck Recipes for Sharing the JoySee more at Inspired by Charm.SHOP KRAFT PAPERSee more at Lovely Indeed.SHOP VOTIVE CANDLE HOLDERSRELATED: Festive Thanksgiving CocktailsSee more at Studio DIY.SHOP CANDY LETTERSRELATED: 30 Ways to Give Back to Your CommunitySee more at Revel & Glitter.SHOP DISPOSABLE DINNERWARESee more at Homey Oh My.See more at Homey Oh My.SHOP STRINGSHOP STRINGRELATED: DIY Thanksgiving Decorations That Will Win You Hostess of the Year RELATED: Thanksgiving Captions for All Your Instagram PostsSee more at Posh Little Designs.See more at Design Improvised.SHOP CATTAILSRELATED: Funny Thanksgiving Games to Play with the Family in 2023See more at A Beautiful Mess.See more at The Merrythought.SHOP HOOP WREATHSRELATED: Unique Fall Wreath Ideas to Spruce up Your Front Door in 2023RELATED: Best Friendsgiving Gifts for the Whole Gang or Just the HostSee more at A Pumpkin and a Princess.RELATED: 12 Easy Crostini Ideas for ThanksgivingSee more at Dash of Jazz.SHOP DISPOSABLE SLIPPERS