How to: Friendsgiving


My friend Olivia Rountree and I on the morning of Friendsgiving at the 360 Overlook.

Lanie Malone, Staff Reporter

For people who celebrate it, Thanksgiving is a time of reunion with family members, fighting off cousins over cranberry sauce, and unbuttoning your pants at the end of the day after you’ve gotten so full that you simply cannot hold your stature any longer. Now take this holiday, and imagine it filled with your best friends, all sitting around a campfire roasting smores. This is the Thanksgiving that I look forward to every year, hosted right in my backyard. Maybe hosting something makes you feel exhausted, but if not, this is the event of the year for you. This is Friendsgiving.

The idea came to me one day when one of my best friends, Olivia, asked me if I would be interested hosting a party at my house. She said her mom didn’t want a bunch of teenagers over but my house had just been redone, and my mom was now constantly begging me to have people over for a shindig. I agreed, unknowing what the theme should be or how to host it. It was early November, so naturally, the first thing I pondered was, “What would be an appropriate theme?” Thanksgiving popped into my head, my favorite holiday.

I invited about 20 of my best friends, carefully choosing people based on how they were around my parents. The first step of any party should always be the invite list. It’s your house, your rules. Choose people who will respect those rules. After all, at the end of the day, you want to feel successful, like you’ve thrown a good party without any drama. This means only invite people who will get along.  If you have even the slightest thought that a few of your friends could get into a quarrel, you know what to do.

Next to plan on your list is the setting. Where in my house do I want 20 people to be allowed? This question may sound silly, but it’s completely valid. You don’t want people messing up your perfectly-made bed by sitting on it, do you? The place I chose at my party was my backyard. I chose it because in my yard, there are several couches, a tire swing, and a hammock. On top of this, it’s a covered deck, perfect for rain or shine. But the very best part about the backyard is the fire pit. If you are capable of safely making/purchasing a fire pit, Friendsgiving should be hosted in your backyard. Simply think of the most fun part of your house (indoor or outdoor) and imagine what everyone could be doing in it. If it seems safe, where nothing could get broken, that’s the place for you.

Make sure you’re comfortable with having all of your friends being goofy around your parents. Don’t bring anyone over who you think won’t mesh well with them. It’s their house, they’re the one letting you throw a party. Respect them!

Next up on the list is a menu. Everyone who joins the party should bring some sort of food. Text everyone to make sure they’re bringing something specific, that way you have all the food you want and not too much or too little of something. Think of what your favorite foods are and ask your friends to bring them. Pies, turkey, mashed potatoes, casserole, etc. The food is the most important part, so make sure you plan this most strategically.

Last, but not least, be prepared to clean up afterwards. Tell your guests about the designated spot to throw away their plates and trash. You don’t want to have a lot to clean after your party, so always keep in mind that you should be picking up the entire time, minimizing the amount of time you stay up after the party to clean. After all, cleanliness is closest to friendliness.

Now that you’ve got the main factors figured out, you’re ready to set the time for your buddies to come over and eat. The prime party time is the weekend before Thanksgiving break, this way your friends should be in town to hang out before they leave town. Keep in mind this party is supposed to be fun. If something goes wrong, stay calm and think of how much work you’ve put in for the perfect night. If someone is disrespecting you or your house, feel free to ask them to leave. Enjoy the time you have with your best friends while you have it, celebrating a holiday that was built over friendship and sharing.