Texas Living

Tips for Friendsgiving With the Family You Choose

By Staci Parks 11.15.17

Friends are the family we choose, and giving thanks with friends has become a holiday favorite for those who can’t make it home for Thanksgiving or want to start a new tradition. Although these get-togethers are often thought of as a millennial-driven practice, people have been gathering for Friendsgiving for decades. These celebrations are for friend groups at every stage of life. Whether you’re a seasoned host or it’s your first time mashing all those potatoes on your own, here are four tips to help you make this holiday special.

Curate Your Guest List

Start with a larger list and pare it down. Keep in mind: You don’t have to invite everyone. Consider the personalities of the guests on your preliminary list. If you’re combining different sets of friends, think about their interests. Will they mesh well? Will they feel comfortable? Friendsgiving should be an enjoyable, casual event, and managing everyone’s comfort levels can incite stress. Have a couple of icebreakers in mind, and keep the conversation flowing with questions about your guests’ Thanksgiving traditions.

Timing Is Everything

Once you have your guest list set, start reaching out to everyone in late October. Many people will be spending the day with family. Add to that the growing popularity of Friendsgiving, and calendars may fill up fast with similar functions. As an alternative, if it’s too difficult to schedule, hosting a Friendsgiving earlier in the month is a great way to avoid turkey fatigue, catch people while they’re still in town, and try out recipes you might be considering for your own family gathering. 


The prep for this celebration shouldn’t fall on one household — especially if you’re new at this. Make your party a potluck, with guests bringing their favorite dishes. Know people who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen? No problem. Put your spreadsheet-loving, type A cohort in charge of a shared Google doc to keep the menu organized. (This is also an excellent way to track dietary restrictions or preferences your guests may have.) Place a couple of people on cleanup duty, and assign the decor to an artistic friend. A couple of spray-painted pumpkins and a few candles can create a simple yet beautiful centerpiece. It’s also fun to come up with some new traditions together beforehand.

What’s for Dinner?

Push tradition to the side, if you so choose, and serve whatever you want. Don’t limit your guests’ imaginations or taste buds. Bring a taste of Texas to the table with a King Ranch Casserole or this ooey-gooey chocolate pecan pie. Share your mother’s guacamole recipe or start with fun armadillo eggs. It’s also thoughtful to ask friends what their traditions are — especially if one of them isn’t with family because of a loss, or if others are far away from home. With a little planning and guests sharing their favorite dishes, you’ll effortlessly create a one-of-a-kind Friendsgiving meal. 

No matter when or how you choose to celebrate Friendsgiving, remember to cherish and appreciate the food and fellowship that will naturally manifest from this gathering. Take these four tips to heart when planning a laid-back gathering, and keep safety in mind when inviting people into your home. This is a chance to cultivate your own tradition with the people you hold close. Take it.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance has your safety in mind over the holidays. Schedule a 360 Review with your Agent to make sure you’re fully covered for your lifestyle in the new year.

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