The Ultimate Friendsgiving Guide

By Rachel Ramirez | November 23, 2016 3:58pm

by Sam Kee / The Beacon


[frends-giv-ing] noun

- exactly like Thanksgiving, but with friends; usually celebrated before the actual Thanksgiving dinner with family.

Thanksgiving is that holiday where you and your family members sit together in one room, interrogate one another, laugh at your wine-drunk mom and develop a food-coma from chowing down on slices of pumpkin pie.

Now that UP students are nearing adulthood and might be too far from home to fly back for a four-day weekend, Thanksgiving might transform into a whole new experience for you.

While there was a time when the “adults” were in charge of setting up the table and preparing food for Thanksgiving, you’ve come to the terrible realization that you are the “adult” now.

This is where Friendsgiving comes in. It’s a different environment and it can actually be more enjoyable to spend Thanksgiving with friends, but Friendsgiving also involves all of the stress and sweat you used to sit back and watch from afar as your parents or grandparents slaved over a hot stove.

If it’s your first time actually hosting or going to a Friendsgiving dinner, you’re probably still wondering what to bring, cook or how to set up. Don’t start stress-chugging wine out of the bottle just yet! The Beacon has your recipe to make Friendsgiving successful.


Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be fancy. It can simply be a casual gathering with friends.

You’re going to want a long dining table that can fit a bunch of food to easily gobble up, or you can strategically set up your couches in a way where everyone can interact with each other.

It would be cute to have some Thanksgiving or autumn-designed silverware and placemats. You could also maybe wrap your utensils with napkin and a gold ribbon.

Extra festive points if the table cloth is red, orange or brown.

A centerpiece such as a basket of fruits or a pumpkin vase of flowers would make the dining table look beautiful and Instagramable.

Autumn-scented candles should also be a part of the Thanksgiving aesthetic.

Food and beverages

Friends don’t let friends cook by themselves. There’s no better way to prepare the Thanksgiving table than potluck style. Plan the menu and coordinate with your friends so that no one brings the same dish.

Set up the food like a buffet.

Ideally, the host should prepare the turkey while others bring the main dishes such as mashed potatoes and creamy casseroles. It’s important to be creative with your recipes. For instance, a simple ham could be turned into an Apple-Topped Ham Steak or a turkey could be Spicy Asian Stuffed Peppers.

Stuffing, lots and lots of stuffing! Whether it’s in a turkey or a dessert, there must be a stuffed-type food that you can also stuff right in your mouth.

Sweet potatoes are key to a perfect Friendsgiving. Why not try a delicious Sweet Potato Casserole or even a mouthwatering Loaded Sweet Potato?

Most importantly, there should be wine for anyone over 21 and apple ciders for those that are underage.

If it’s already the day before Friendsgiving and you have yet to figure out what to bring, don’t panic! Here are some last minute dessert recipes that only require three ingredients.


First Commandment of hosting Friendsgiving: Thou shall not bore your guests. Offer some sort of entertainment or, if everyone is having fun and engaging in splendid conversations, play some upbeat music in the background.

For the sports lovers in the room, turn on ESPN. If you’re having Friendsgiving on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, watch basketball. The Golden State Warriors are playing against the Los Angeles Lakers. If you’re more of a football fan, watch the Steelers face off with the Colts on Thanksgiving Day.

Bring board games or the Pie Face game if anyone has it. Play charades or Pictionary.

If anyone has a karaoke set, have a sing-off!

Ultimately, just have fun. Thanksgiving is a day of giving gratitude. Not only should you be thankful for your family, but your friends as well.

Just be sure not to tell your parents how much fun you’re having. You might hurt their feelings or try to crash next year’s Friendsgiving!