Here are some ideas on starting new Thanksgiving and "Friendsgiving" traditions....
1. Have Everyone Bring A Special Family Recipe
Since most Friendsgivings are potluck-style, instead of assigning dishes this year, you can have people bring the recipe that's treasured most by their family. Many families have that one signature dish that scores an invite to Thanksgiving, no matter what. And if your family doesn’t go all out on celebrating Thanksgiving and nothing comes to mind, now’s the time to be creative and try out a new dish — no one will fault you for doing your own thing. Not only do you get to enjoy your own favorite dish, but it's nice to be able to share something you love with your best friends.
2. Stream Your Favorite Thanksgiving Episodes While You Prep The Turkey
After watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you and your friends can stream your favorite Thanksgiving episodes while you prep in the kitchen. Obviously, the Gilmore Girls episode where Lorelai and Rory go to four different dinners is essential, and all of the Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episodes will ensure you have several side dishes of drama to enjoy. Though, it wouldn't be Friendsgiving without Friends or New Girl — so choose wisely!
3. Taste Test Seasonal Thanksgiving Beers And Ciders
Every year there are a ton of fall- and Thanksgiving-inspired beers and ciders to buy. If you and your friends are over the age of 21, make it part of your Friendsgiving traditions to try all of the seasonal drinks through a small tasting flight to figure out which ones are the best. You can even make it official by including some cute beer tasting score cards for everyone to fill out with their thoughts and rankings.
4. Mix Up A Festively Punny Cocktail
As your friends begin to arrive, have a signature cocktail ready for them to sip while they wait for dinner to be served (for those of you who are 21 or over). Come up with a new recipe each year, and name it something punny like, "Love You Berry Much." You could even incorporate fun mix-ins such as pumpkin spice Baileys or Fireball into some piping hot spiked apple cider.
5. Guess What Everyone Is Most Thankful For
Instead of going around the table and everyone saying what they're thankful for, make it a guessing game. Have your friends each write down on a piece of paper what they're grateful for, and put them all in a bowl. Pass the bowl around the table, and read out loud what each answer says. Then, have everyone guess who wrote it. It's a fun twist to a sweet tradition.
6. Decorate Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
No Friendsgiving traditions are complete without the classic pumpkin pie. Instead of having someone bring the dessert, make it into a pre- or post-dinner activity by holding a decorating party. Rather than making way too many actual pie-sized pumpkin pies for everyone to decorate individually, go for the cupcake option. That way, everyone has a personal canvas to show off their decorating skills, and there are a perfect amount of desserts to enjoy.
7. Plan A Post-Meal Walk In The Park
Usually after dinner, everyone tends to fall asleep. To ensure the party continues, get your crew to walk through the park to help digest all that yummy food you just ate. It also gives you a chance to check out the gorgeous fall foliage and maybe snap some Insta-worthy pics. You could bring a football to toss around, too.
8. Get Customizable Keepsakes For Your Guests
If you're planning on having the best Friendsgiving ever, you'll want something to remember it by. That's where Etsy comes in to make your crafty dreams come true. You can get pretty much anything you want customized — even Friendsgiving keepsakes.
Get personalized wine glasses for all of your besties, or even cute drink koozies with the punny name you came up with for your feast this year. These items will be sweet party favors your friends can take home with them, along with some leftovers.
9. Play Pumpkin Bowling
Have any extra pumpkins laying around from the past month or two? Set up a bowling game with ten water bottles (or a set of plastic bowling pins) and a few pumpkins as bowling balls. Raise the stakes and unleash the competition by setting up teams and making light-hearted bets on who will end up on top. Loser has to carve the turkey!
10. Create And Decorate A Thankfulness Wall
With some autumn- and harvest-colored paper from a local craft store, set up a decorative wall to be filled with everyone’s gratitude lists as the day progresses. By putting up a bunch of markers in a Thanksgiving-themed mason jar, you can encourage your friends to write down everything they’re thankful for on the wall. It makes for both a wholesome activity and easy makeshift party decor.
11. Come Up With A Name For Each Friendsgiving
If your crew has had Friendsgiving together for years, a fun tradition to start is coming up with a name for each feast. For instance, your dinner this year could be called "Friendsgiving 2021: Let's Get Basted." Once the name is picked out, you can even get personalized invites to send out to everyone.
12. Don't Forget The Squad Family Photo
A picture of your entire squad is a must! Snap a selfie when you're sitting around the table, or pose for one all bundled up outside. You could even set up a makeshift photo booth in the corner, complete with Friendsgiving decor, to take polaroid pictures in all day long. Just don't forget to come up with a punny caption for when you want to post to Insta.
No matter how you decide to celebrate Friendsgiving — be it a traditional potluck, a football-themed party, or maybe even an unconventional fast food Thanksgiving — the most important part is that you make lasting memories with some of the people you’re most thankful for. Creating some Friendsgiving traditions for you and your besties to look forward to each year is a great place to start.