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7 Ways to Throw a Student ‘Friendsgiving’ Party This Year

7 Ways to Throw a Student ‘Friendsgiving’ Party This Year main image

Students all over the US eagerly await the last Thursday in November, a.k.a. Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the good things in our lives with the people we love.  Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving at home or abroad this year, it’s sure to be a time of happiness and reflection. 

A rapidly growing trend, but significantly lesser known, is Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is a Thanksgiving spent with friends, where you share huge amounts of food and have a good laugh. This is a perfect way for US students studying abroad to introduce Thanksgiving to their non-US friends. For more tips on how to celebrate Thanksgiving while studying abroad, click here

Read on as we give you seven tips on how to throw a great student Friendsgiving party this year…

1. Design homemade Invitations (or, alternatively, create a Facebook event)

The first step to throwing any great party is to make a list of people to invite; otherwise you’ll just be sat at home alone with a turkey (not very festive). Invite people from different friendship groups (course mates, friends from societies, old roommates etc.) – they’ll soon bond over copious amounts of food and drink. 

The next step is to send out invitations to your guests. To do this, you can either send paper invites, or create a Facebook  event. A Facebook event makes it easy to keep track of who is and isn’t coming and provides a platform for you to give updated information to your guests.

Paper invitations tend to give a more personal touch – particularly if you handmake them. However if making invitations from scratch really isn’t for you, you can always buy them online. Make a note of any responses you receive from your guests, so that you can keep track of numbers.

2. Ask your friends to bring side dishes

Unless your friends are all atrocious cooks, a fun way to cut down on the amount of cooking you have to do (as well as reducing the amount you spend), is to ask all of your friends to bring a side dish to your party. This is also a fun way to try out a wide range of dishes.

However, it’s the host’s job to make the main dish – traditionally a turkey or a chicken, although this depends on your guest’s tastes. If you have any guests with allergies or any vegetarians or vegans, remember to cater to their dietary requirements. This may sound like a lot of work, but you can probably get your housemates to help with this bit (if you ask nicely).

As with most events, the more food, the merrier, so don’t worry about making too much, as you can always give it to guests to take back with them or eat the leftovers throughout the week.

3. Decorate your house or flat

Decorating your flat is a great way to make your Friendsgiving party cozy and Instagrammable – we’re thinking balloons, candles, pumpkins – all of the Fall vibes.

If you’ve only got a few friends coming, adding place cards with your guest’s name to their seat at the table adds a nice personal spin to the party. If you really want to capture the spirit of Thanksgiving, you can add why you’re thankful for that particular friend under their place card.

If you’ve got a larger party coming, put some music on, and provide some chips and dips for a snack before the food’s ready to avoid hangry guests.

4. Make your own cocktails & mocktails

Making your own cocktails is a fun (and cheap) way to provide tasty drinks for your friends. Be inventive, and pick flavors that work well together for your final cocktails (taste testing is a good way to figure this out). When you’ve invented a tasty recipe, it’s time to name your specialty drink!

Alternatively, look up existing cocktail recipes online (probably a safer bet…)

5. Have a buffet style dinner

Of course, this is up to you. Buffets are good as they allow your guests to go back for seconds without feeling greedy and they get to choose only the foods they like. Set all the dishes out on a table and tell your friends to help themselves!

6. Have some games for after dinner

After your Friendsgiving dinner it’s likely that you will all be in a bit of a food coma. A good way to get over this is by playing some games. Whether these are board games or drinking games (or perhaps a combination of both) depends on your preferences. We’re thinking Uno, Jenga, Cards Against Humanity and Twister – another Thanksgiving favorite is Charades. Warning: these games can get extremely competitive.

7. Breakfast for the next morning?

If you have people staying over, you might want to prepare a breakfast for the next day (although you all might still be quite full from the feast the day before). Alternatively, just eat the leftovers!

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Are you throwing a Friendsgiving? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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