Sure, the non-familial guest list for Friendsgiving sets this special holiday hangout apart. But if you really want to ensure your party feels different than your typical Turkey Day celebration, we have one word for you: themes. The theme for your Friendsgiving is going to be very important.
The beauty of Friendsgiving is that you aren’t bound by any traditions other the ones you establish. Whatever you say goes. So, you’re totally free to spend the evening with your closest friends (aka framily) dressed up, dressed down or dressed any which way you deem in keeping with the spirit of your get-together.
Why sit around eating turkey when you can sit around eating turkey in your PJs or rockin’ a lei? If you want to watch movies all night, hey, that’s your prerogative. No matter how you theme your shindig, your friends will appreciate all the effort you put into making the night memorable.
What we’re trying to say is themed Friendsgivings are the new black. Everybody’s going to be doing it — or, if they aren’t, they should be. Because YOLO, right? When you’re ready to get in on this hot trend, these 10 ideas should help get your party started.
1. Pajama Friendsgiving
With the possible exception of maternity pants (stretch panel FTW), there’s no ensemble better suited to Friendsgiving than PJs. To state the obvious, they’re inherently comfy. You can pour yourself straight into bed after a full night of festivities.
Prior to catching those z’s, though, your party should include shenanigans like building a blanket fort and having a pillow fight. Just think of it as those childhood slumber parties you loved so much … plus wine!
2. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Friendsgiving
For the sake of total transparency, we’re lucky if we make it to November before we start decorating for Christmas. But if you have more patience than we do, your Friendsgiving party provides the perfect opportunity.
With classic Christmas songs playing in the background, you can get your friends in on the decorating fun. Between bites of traditional Christmas menu items like roasted chestnuts and figgy pudding, hang ornaments on the tree. Drape a garland of greenery on the mantle. You can even do a gift exchange if you’re feeling generous.
Make your party a movie night for the ultimate cozy evening with friends. Step up your standard movie snack fare with more decadent, seasonal goodies like pumpkin pie spice white chocolate popcorn. Make sure you have plenty of comfy seating conducive to hunkering down and hanging out. And definitely have a mellow playlist on standby for guests to vibe to between movies.
As for the movie selection, any rom-com will do. We recommend some of the new hits from Netflix, like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.”
5. Mayflower and Mai-Tais: A tropical Friendsgiving
Here today, gone to Maui! You may not be able to fly all your friends to Hawaii for the holidays, but you can give them all the tropical feels if you play your Friendsgiving right.
Start by downloading a playlist full of tropical tunes they can “shaka” their groove thing to. For the menu, choose a traditional Hawaiian entrée like Kalua turkey or pineapple pork bowls. Tuna tartare could work well as a side dish. Most importantly, don’t forget the Mai-Tais, brah.
6. Dinner is coming
That’s right, “Game of Thrones” fans — this Friendsgiving is for you.
Of course, you’ll find loads of inspiration on Pinterest, including the ever-popular (and admittedly morbid) Ned Stark head cake pops. You can create place cards for guests indicating which house they’re in: Targaryen, Lannister, Stark, etc. To bring it all together, hang a “winter is coming” banner above the door.
What’s more fun than a little friendly competition? Friendly competition and pumpkins, of course. With so many amazing pumpkin-carving tutorials on the internet, everyone can be a pumpkin Picasso. Let your friends flex their pumpkin-carving skills to see who deserves bragging rights.
If we’re really being honest, things have gone down in Friendsgiving past we wish would have stayed in Friendsgiving past. So, why not just embrace the debauchery?
Make a “Welcome to Friendsgiving” backdrop in the fashion of Sin City’s trademark sign. Hand out playing cards for guests to use as coasters. Depending on how handy you are in the kitchen, you could whip up some clams casino. You can even treat your friends to sweet petit fours decorated like dice.
You know how hashtag-blessed you are to have such amazing friends in your life. And this year, you want to pay it forward.
There are several ways to turn your Friendsgiving into a chance to give back. You could create a fundraiser prior to the event and ask your friends to raise money for a local charitable organization. Or you could meet at your place to count your blessings before making a full holiday meal and taking it to a nearby homeless shelter.