If you’re considering hosting a Friendsgiving—a Thanksgiving celebration with friends, typically held before or after the main holiday—I’m here to be your Friendsgiving spirit guide.
This will be my ninth year as Friendsgiving host and I’ve learned a lot along the way. There have been mishaps (the year I forgot to thaw the turkey), atypical celebrations (the year a neighborhood fire derailed our plans so we ate Chinese food in a hotel room), failed activities (no one is game for touch football after a big meal), and failed recipes (turns out, vanilla almond milk does not make a good substitute for cream in mashed potatoes).
Despite many misadventures, Friendsgiving is one of the days my friends and I look forward to most every year. It’s all the best parts of Thanksgiving—good food and great company—without any of the awful traffic or tense political debates with random cousins at the dinner table. After nearly a decade of hosting Friendsgiving, these are my top tips for throwing the best Friendsgiving ever.