5 Tips For A Fantastic Friendsgiving

Like Nashville, Friendsgiving is a holiday that is up and coming. At least according to Google, Friendsgiving has grown in popularity every year, and it is for good reason.

Friendsgiving is like a holiday but one where you get to choose your relatives. Friendsgiving’s newness means that it doesn’t have quite the same level of tradition as more classic holidays, but that lack of history means that you get to make your own traditions. Here are ThriftSmart’s 5 Golden Rules of having a great Friendsgiving.

  1. Make It An Experience
    If you only remember one rule, make sure that it is this one. Friendsgiving, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, et al, is not about stuff. It is about relationships, people, and the experiences that connect us together. So don’t stress about about having the perfect food or place settings. Don’t worry about who sits where or any of that. Friendsgiving is special because of who is there, not what is there. Your friends are what will make it memorable, so capitalize on that! Activities that prompt conversation, plans, and laughter will go a lot farther than putting on a movie or sitting around watching football. The best way to facilitate that is to have activities planned and then don’t stick to the plan. Have something ready for when the conversation ebbs, but let it go whatever direction it needs to when it picks back up again.
  2. Make It A Memory
    The ideal Friendsgiving is one that everyone leaves with good memories. And the best memories are of how they felt, more than of what someone said or did although that can be part of creating the feeling. Memories are most easily made when you are paying attention. That means focusing on the moment, eye contact with the person you’re speaking with. No getting distracted by your phone or, like Martha in the Bible, getting distracted by all the things that need done. Having a purpose or theme can help with this. For example, you could have everyone bring a few items to donate to ThriftSmart or another charity.
  3. Make Them Prepare
    The best Friendsgivings are potluck style. This improves Friendsgiving in two important ways. The first is that it just makes it easier for the host to prepare. Usually it is the host’s responsibility to cook a turkey or main entree which is a big job all by itself. But also the additional prep will help to get the rest of attendees start to think about it ahead of time and get in the right frame of mind. The expectation building up to a memorable evening spent with loved ones is half the fun. Don’t deprive your guests of that fun by doing everything yourself.
  4. Make It Easy
    Ok, so they have to prepare, but that doesn’t mean your guests need to get a degree from culinary school or take a week off of work to get ready for your little party, and it shouldn’t mean that everyone needs to hustle up and find a babysitter, arrive 6 hours early to get a good parking spot, or bring their own chair. Make things easy and natural for your guests. Make sure that the space is appropriate for everyone. If kids are involved, make sure that there is a play room, or have your Friendsgiving party outside or at a park. Part of making everyone feel welcomed and loved is by making it easy for them, whether they are married with 50 kids, painfully single, happily single, painfully married, or just awkward. Make it easy for them to have fun.
  5. Make It Personal
    This is the other most important rule (yes there can be two “Most Important Rules”). Make each guest feel like the most special person in the room. Place settings with names are a great and easy way to to do this. Fun and cheap gift bags personalized to each guest can do this (make sure to stop by ThriftSmart to find inexpensive gift bags and gift bag items). But at the very minimum, you should take a moment during the party and go around and share memories of each of your friends. Instead of the general, “what is everyone thankful for this year” why not consider, “what did someone in this room say or do that you are most grateful for this year?” The best parties are where large groups of people bond over personal connections. Make sure to keep it personal and the rest will happen naturally.

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