November is a time for getting together and giving thanks. While Thanksgiving is typically spent with family, there’s another group in your life to be thankful for: your friends.
Give thanks to your special group of friends by hosting your own Friendsgiving. Here are some tips on how to make it so great, your friends will be begging you to host again next year:
Make Your Space Photo-Worthy
Nothing puts people in the spirit like decorations. Provide fun photo ops like a backdrop and personalized touches your friends will want to share. Are you inviting friends from different groups that might not have met yet? Create personalized and color themed place settings and mix up normal seat preferences to create a more inclusive atmosphere. It will help friends that don’t know a lot of people feel more engaged and welcome. Add in a show-stopping centerpiece as your central statement.
Have your decorations go beyond the dinner table. Filling the room with colorful leaves, fall scented candles, and other autumn inspired décor can set the Thanksgiving mood.
Dr. Sally Augustin notes that warm-colored lights from candles or warmer bulbs put us in a more positive mood, which is good for getting along with others. Our sensory system associates this lighting to a campfire and can also remind us of autumn.
Keep Your Eye on the Pies
Cooking and positive experiences are what Friendsgiving is all about! Show off your inner chef by whipping up grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe, or even a simple recipe from the web: anything you know your friends will enjoy. Be conscious of your friends’ preferences, and keep in mind any dietary restrictions. It’s important for everyone to feel welcomed and accommodated.
Hosting may seem overwhelming, so invite your friends to join the fun by passing a dish. This can give your friends a chance to feel involved and also help you save on costs. People have different traditions, so it can be interesting to see what everyone brings to the table-literally!
However, remember to communicate what people are bringing beforehand to make sure you don’t have too many of the same dish. Assemble a quick Excel doc, Google Sheet or group text for more efficient communication. Some suggested staple items include turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, casserole, and of course, pie. A fun way to mix it up is by asking a couple friends to suggest a fun fall themed drink – we love this recipe for an Apple Cider Mimosa.
If you’re hosting a Friendsgiving in Columbus, you can make Thanksgiving shopping a snap with curbside express at Giant Eagle Market District. Curbside pickup is absolutely free, and apartment/home delivery is available next day for $5.95, and same day for $9.95!
Entertain Your Friends
As crazy schedules pause for Thanksgiving, this may be a rare time for everyone to get together. Due to the special occasion, it’s important to keep everyone entertained. Bust out the old board games or try coming up with your own, like this Thanksgiving Bingo.
Overall, be thankful for these friendships. Remind each other of how much they mean to you. This can be done in the form of a toast or a space for guests to write what they are thankful for–such as a wall or placemat.
Although the food and fun are nice, it’s important to truly appreciate those around you and to savor these special moments.
Cheers to your first Friendsgiving and to making memories in your downtown Columbus apartment!