Friendsgiving is a wonderful way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether your family is far away or you want to celebrate with friends a week early, it’s a great reason to gather around delicious food and drink. The ritual of an official Thanksgiving dinner often develops a pattern, with each family following their own traditions year after year, right down to the menu of dishes that are served. And this is where Friendsgiving offers a really refreshing take on the holiday. Friendsgiving is your opportunity to try something completely new.
To inspire your planning, here are 6 completely adorable Friendsgiving ideas.
1. Friendsgiving Party Activity: Before you sit down to eat, ask everyone to write the name of a person not present who they are thankful for. Pass out small pieces of heart-shaped brown craft paper. Punch a hole in the corner of each heart and use colorful ribbon or rustic twine to tie each onto a small votive candle in the center of the table. This is a great alternative to the usual "say what you're thankful for" activity, and doubles as a really beautiful Friendsgiving table decoration idea.
2. Send Free Friendsgiving Invitations: While an email or a text will get the word out about your Friendsgiving dinner, it's always nice to get guests excited with a proper invitation. Send one of our free Friendsgiving invitations via email and get the best of both worlds. Here are two of our favorite Friendsgiving invites. Send one here.
3. Host a Friendsgiving Brunch: Having trouble finding a date that works? November is a busy month! Host a Friendsgiving brunch instead. It’s a more casual occasion than a sit-down dinner, and may fit into busy schedules a little better. Make this easy Quinoa Pumpkin Porridge recipe as your main dish and ask guests to bring their own favorite breakfast treat.
Easy Quinoa Pumpkin Porridge Recipe
- 1 c. dry quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 1 ½ c. almond milk, divided
- ½ c. pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ginger
- ⅛ tsp. cloves
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 2-3 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- ¼ c. chopped walnuts
Directions: Add 1 c. water and 1 c. almond milk to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has absorbed. Next, take off the heat and stir in the flaxseeds. When serving, top with some more almond milk, walnuts, and honey or maple syrup. Enjoy!
4. Serve a Signature Cocktail: Nothing gets good conversation started faster than a festive beverage. We love this delicious Pumpkini Recipe that you can easily make for your own Friendsgiving cocktail.
Pumpkini Cocktail Recipe
- 1.5 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
- 1.5 oz. Irish cream liqueur
- 1.5 oz. pumpkin flavored liqueur
- 1 c. ice cubes
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Directions: Pour all the alcohol into a cocktail shaker, over ice. Cover and shake well (tip: you know it’s ready once the outside of the shaker has frosted over!) Strain into a chilled martini glass and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
5. Have a Pumpkin Pie-Off: Challenge your friends to a pumpkin pie baking contest. This is especially great if you've got several bakers in your group. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to test their recipes before Turkey Day with their families, and it makes for a plentiful dessert spread! Set the pies out with numbers, and ask your guests to sample and vote for the best one. Here’s one of our favorite Pumpkin Pie recipes.
Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- 2 c. pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ c. heavy cream
- ½ c. packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ c. white sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, plus one additional yolk
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground cardamon
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 1 pie crust (store-bought, or your favorite homemade recipe)
- Preheat your oven to 425º
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in sugars, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Then, add and mix in the pumpkin puree. Stir in the heavy cream and beat together until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the filling into your pie crust, and bake at 425º for 15 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 350º and bake for another 45-55 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the pie on a wire rack for a few hours after cooking. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!
6. Set Up a Thanksgiving Craft Table: Does anyone really ever stop missing elementary school craft projects? Set out a few art supplies and let everyone release a little creative energy. Make Pilgrim hats, handprint turkeys, or these adorable toilet paper roll figures. All you need is colorful construction paper, scissors, and glue. Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial for how to make these adorable Pilgrim and Native American figures.
Thanksgiving TP Puppets Craft
- Empty toilet paper tubes
- Construction paper in a variety of colors
- Black marker
Instructions: Let your imagination take over here! Cut out clothes, hats & headbands, hair, and more from various pieces of colored paper. Use the marker to draw on cute faces.