how to successfully throw a friendsgiving celebration

This is probably not the first time you’ve heard of Friendsgiving – a portmanteau of the words friendship and Thanksgiving coined for groups of pals everywhere to take the season of thanks one step further by dedicating a day during the holiday season to celebrate friendship exclusively.

Derpsgiving Cake, November 2012

This is embarrassing, but this is also true: the first time my friends and I celebrated our friendship as a collective was six years ago using the title Derpsgiving.  The year was 2012: we were finishing our first semester of college and very into rage faces. I’m not proud of it, but it’s who we were and must be included in the tale.


Each year the amount of  cheese-based food products we have varies, but the most important aspects of the celebration remain steadfast. As we have matured, the celebration of Friendsgiving has matured with us.  What was once a fun day to talk about classes and complain about group projects has since become a cornerstone in our lives.  It’s an opportunity to sit down and really catch up with those you are unable to because your schedules very seldom coincide. It’s the day to survey your surroundings and recognize how much has changed, and then listen to your closest friends belt a song you all loved in high school, and be thankful for the things that never will.

I love hosting Friendsgiving:  my family is close with my friends, and I enjoy presenting an opportunity for my siblings, parents, and friends to catch up with my siblings as they meander the house. Because the idea of the celebration is for everyone to bring a dish to share with the group, there (thankfully) isn’t a lot of cooking to be done in preparation for the day.  But here are some things that should be considered:

Planning the Date – Chances are, you and your friends do not all live in the same city.  (How lucky if you do, though!) Reach out to everyone who you want to celebrate with and  try to accommodate everyone’s schedules as best as you can.  GroupMe offers a “poll” feature which is super helpful when presenting a couple dates that friends can vote on.


Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 1.52.35 PM
friendsgiving invitations 2017

Saving the Date – Usually I do not make printed invitations, but as I said, we’re ~mature~ now, and I wanted invitations to reflect that. Plus, who doesn’t love getting mail?

I cannot draw to save my soul, but Canva is incredibly user-friendly and has enough customizable fields in their pre-set forms that I felt like I was still being creative and original.  The prices are reasonable, and the cards and envelopes were delivered to me in about a week; I made sure to send the finished product out about a month before the event date.

Food & Drink – Like I mentioned before, typically the Friendsgiving experience is that of a potluck: everyone brings a dish and shares.  The basics count as contributions as well! Don’t forget about soft drinks, plates, silverware, and napkins!

Decorations – Less is more in my opinion, so decor is very minimal.  Plus, after six years of celebrating Friendsgivings, I know my friends well enough to assume that something is going to get knocked over and red sauce is going to end up all over a nice tablecloth.  Last year, the only decoration I employed was the Happy Friendsgiving banner from Mailbox Happiness that accented our group photo (see header image).

Music –  I’ve tried to make playlists for varying celebrations, but the truth is, nothing will be as big a hit as opening up your Spotify and letting your guests curate a queue… especially because your playlist probably does not include only the drum riff from “In the Air Tonight” on repeat.

A lot of this planning and prepping is frivolous and just for fun, as when these elements are stripped down, the most important facets remain: a celebration with the ones you love, letting them know just that.  Happy Friendsgiving, all.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s