As you saw from yesterday’s Thanksgiving tablescape post, we hosted Friendsgiving this past weekend. This is now our second time hosting and we’re basically Friendsgiving pros. KIDDING! We were still running behind on time and everything didn’t come out perfect, but that’s the beauty of Friendsgiving, none of that matters. But, just in case you want to be prepared and avoid some stress, I’ve put together a few tips for hosting Friendsgiving. These tips are also very relevant for Thanksgiving too.
- Timing and organization is everything. I need to work on my timing all day, every day, so this tip doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving for me, it applies to my life. But for real, you hosting a gathering means you’re probably going to be busy the day of and days prior. Cook foods that can be prepared the day before or days in advance to get ahead of the game. Also, take my mom’s advice and time everything out – write exactly when you need to make certain foods or put them in the oven. That way, you’ll ensure almost everything is ready when guests arrive and you’ll stay organized throughout the entire process. Word to the wise, give yourself a couple of hours of buffer time to avoid falling behind.
- Accept all offers of giving with gratitude and thanks. When your guests offer to bring something, accept it!! You’re going to be cooking and cleaning more than you have in a week’s time, so you’ll need all the help you can get. Express how grateful you are to your guests and ask if what they’re bringing will need to go in the oven or need any other preparation when they get to your home so you know what to expect. Also, make sure you have many, many serving utensils on hand for your guests to use.
- Incorporate some seasonal flare. Decorate your home, or decorate your table like I did here. Creating a warm, cozy environment will help your friends feel welcomed and get them into the spirit of giving thanks. Make DIY name tags, add flowers, pumpkins or little turkeys to the table, and light seasonal candles. Every little detail will count.
- Leave the dishes for tomorrow. This is probably the most important tip. Your leftovers and dishes will be here tomorrow, but your guests won’t. Enjoy their company and take time to catch up with them because they trekked out to attend, most likely brought something for everyone to share and most importantly, they want to spend time with you. If you’re super worried about dishes, buy festive paper plates, utensils and napkins – it will save you time and back aches later.
- Send your guests home with a little treat. This was something new I did this year, and I’m so glad I did! I placed little chocolate covered caramels in cream colors bags I bought from Hobby Lobby and stamped them to add some personalization. I really wanted to make homemade caramels, but I ended up buying them because I didn’t have time and I stamped the bags before I made my decision…so maybe next year?). Our friends seemed to really like and appreciate the gesture.
If you’re hosting some sort of Thanksgiving get together, you’ve got this and I hope you find joy in gathering together! Don’t sweat the small stuff, none of it will matter when your guests are around the table and enjoying each other’s company. If you end up using my tips and post pictures, don’t forget to tag #marinamakesdiy.