2020 has certainly been unpredictable. However, you don’t have to forgo your traditions — you can still celebrate holidays with your loved ones. In fact, you may have an even better time when you don’t have to host 20 guests at your apartment.
Here are five ideas to make this year’s Friendsgiving a hit.
1. Use Decorations Strategically
It may seem fun to go full-blown Southern Living magazine with your display, but you’re only going to eat for a few hours, right? Therefore, it’s more reasonable to take a minimalist approach, whether you’re celebrating with a few roommates or hosting a Zoom dinner.
You don’t have to spend more than $15 on decorations for your event. Try an autumnal flower arrangement for your centerpiece. You can always grab mini gourds and pumpkins, too. Then, you can add appropriate napkins, silverware and other touches for depth.
If you’re crafty, you can even make holiday themed crafts for your table. An acorn place card is both cute and practical.
2. Experiment With Food and Drink
On Thanksgiving, you’ll have your fair share of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and cranberries. Why not switch things up for your Friendsgiving? You don’t have to get too experimental, but you can use this day as an opportunity to try some new dishes.
If you’re cooking for yourself and your roommates, you’ll want to check that everyone agrees upon what you’ll eat. Look online for ideas. You could cook seafood as an accompaniment to your seasoned tofurkey. If you want to make only side dishes like green bean casserole, now’s your chance to do so.
Do the same for drinks. You can mix fun cocktails like apple cider mimosas to round out your meal. If you’re attending a virtual dinner, you can all make your favorite seasonal beverages and talk about them while you eat.
3. Find Games to Play
This idea will work whether you’re eating with friends in person or online. A few games will keep you occupied after you finish your meals — and Friendsgiving is all about companionship. Explore new board game options you and your roommates will enjoy.
There are plenty of virtual games to play, too. You can try “Codenames” or “Mafia” for a little fun as you and your friends enjoy some post-dinner drinks. It’s also a good idea to screen a movie, as well. You can never go wrong with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” but you may prefer “Knives Out.”
4. Give or Send Sentimental Gifts
You may not usually give gifts on Thanksgiving, but this is a special year. You don’t have to buy anything lavish. Instead, you can make something homemade to help foster a sense of home in your apartment. If your friends live elsewhere, they’ll love to open a gift from you.
For example, you could send those crafts you made so everyone has some decor to display in your virtual call. Why not make pumpkin cookies and put them in a festive tin? There are many ways to add those heartfelt touches to your Friendsgiving.
This effort may take extra time, but it’s these actions that make you a host. If you’re not actually providing dinner this year, you can still create that unique experience for your friends.
5. Craft a Themed Playlist
What’s better than music to set the tone for Friendsgiving? There are dozens of dinner playlists on Spotify, so it should be easy to find a mix that suits your needs. You can also collaborate on a playlist with your friends. Make a shared playlist that allows everyone to add songs as they please.
There aren’t many tunes that scream “Thanksgiving,” but you can peruse acoustic fall playlists, too. Artists like Bon Iver and The Lumineers are a smart place to start. A jazz vibe can help your Friendsgiving feel a little fancier, as well. Spend some time making your playlist so it’s suitable for your celebration.
Try These Suggestions for a Memorable Friendsgiving
You can still have your Friendsgiving despite COVID-19. Choose the setup that feels safest for you, whether that’s a small gathering with roommates or a video chat with distant friends. Then, you can use these ideas to make the most of your evening.