Since we moved away almost two years ago, we’ve tried to make an effort to continue holiday traditions even if we can’t be with our families. Fortunately, my parents visit us pretty often (thanks, Mom & Dad…because driving 14 hours with two toddlers is not for the faint of heart!). But still, some holidays we’re on our own – and this year, we’re flying solo for Thanksgiving.
That’s why we decided to host our first Friendsgiving celebration this year in early November – which hopefully will become an annual event, because it was so fun! We’re so fortunate to have some awesome friends here in Memphis with kids close in age, so getting together is always a great time for the adults to catch up while the little ones play. I wanted to share some of the highlights while they were still fresh in my mind 🙂
Selecting the Date for a Friendsgiving Celebration
When we started planning our Friendsgiving celebration, the first thing I did was send a group text to see what date would work best for everyone. I had previously narrowed it down to two weekends and had everyone choose the best date for them. November 4th was the unanimous vote, which brings me to my next point: consider hosting your Friendsgiving early in the month. People tend to get really busy as Thanksgiving approaches and then afterward, Christmas events take over. The earlier you can plan a get-together, the better chance all of your guests will be able to attend!
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I’ve always loved sending and receiving paper invites, but these days, I never find the time to sit down and write them! I still prefer to send snail mail invites for the girls’ birthdays, but for this particular occasion, I thought a digital invite would be a great fit. I found some really cute invitations on Paperless Post (they even had Friendsgiving options!), and was able to manage my guest list from my online dashboard super easily. I actually liked using Paperless Post so much, I’m also using it for a holiday cookie exchange I have coming up! 🙂
Since our house was already pretty decked out for Fall, we didn’t need a ton of decor for the party. I did pick up a few more pumpkins for a centerpiece and some pretty sunflowers. I decided to go with a gold theme, and found the cutest plates at Walmart (of all places!). Luckily, they were available through Grocery Pickup, so I didn’t even have to brave the store. I ended up going to Target for napkins, and found adorable gold and white striped ones that ended up matching the plates almost perfectly. I decided to use our real flatware since we were having lots of hearty Thanksgiving dishes, but paper plates and napkins still made for easy clean-up.
Saving the best part for last! We decided to have our guests bring their favorite side dish or dessert and we made the turkey for the Friendsgiving celebration. I also made a broccoli casserole, pumpkin cake and cranberry sauce because I just love making Thanksgiving food 🙂 It was really neat to have everyone bring their favorite food, especially since we’re new to the mid-South and I was curious to see if Thanksgiving food traditions differed from the East Coast. For the most part, everything seemed pretty similar, except our friends hadn’t heard much about broccoli casserole before! Have you ever had broccoli casserole for the holidays?
I only wish I’d taken more pictures, but you know how that goes – when you’re hosting a party, the camera is the last thing on your mind 🙂 Have a Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!