We had our annual Friendsgiving meal this last weekend. It’s been 15 years of Friendsgiving and I always look forward to it. After this many years of hosting Friendsgivings large and small I wanted to share a few trips I learned along the way. I also partnered with World Market on this post, which is the perfect fit IMO. You can find pretty much everything you need there from food to decor – to cut your prep time in half! Check out my simple and effortless Friendsgiving table set up below!
Top 10 Tips for an Easy and Simple Friendsgiving
- Start planning early. I make sure to have enough dishes, napkins, forks, glasses a couple of weeks beforehand so you’re not shorthanded.
- Get those groceries delivered! Why not? Free up your time to do something else and have someone else do the grunt work for you.
- Prep ahead of time. I think of dishes that I can prepare ahead of time and heat up the day of. That way you don’t have to worry about cooking on the day of!
- Keep it simple. Stick with simple, proven recipes. I always prepare tried-and-true, old favorite recipes. These are the dishes that everyone knows and loves. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
- If someone offers to help, let them! I’ll never turn down an offer to bring a salad or dessert or…anything. Just say yes.
- Make a plan of attack. Map out what dishes need oven time at what temperature and double check with guests to see if they’ll be need to warm their dishes as well. Try to combine dishes that need the same temp and schedule out the other ones so that no dish gets left behind!
- Put plenty of trash/recycling bins around the house so guests can find them. Anything you can do to help keep the house a little more tidy gets a high grade in my book.
- Decorate early. Set that table, put out those guest towels, arrange those flowers. Get the house ready before the actual day. It’s one less thing to worry about.
- Always have snacks/apps available. As you know, the turkey doesn’t always follow your schedule. Make sure you have a good amount of appetizers out for people to much on. You’re not the only one who skipped lunch to save their appetite for the big meal. Don’t make your guests hangry. Cheese and crackers and a good ole’ veg platter are always a great go-to.
- Keep the wine and beverages handy. Offer your guests something to drink and then show them where to find the beverages. That way when the need a refill, they’ll be comfortable getting one if you’re occupied. I’m not sure if that Abby Post behavior, but it definitely works for the kinds of occasions we host at my house 😉
I’ve learned that keeping decor simple and seasonal using natural items works best when it comes to the holiday entertaining season. I really hate having to store “faux” items of every size and variety. Faux pumpkins, faux pinecones, faux flowers, faux garlands, faux wreaths, faux trees…where does it end? I’d much rather have some real gracing my table. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. I used simple mini pumpkins that I bought back in Sept. They make the perfect simple centerpiece piled in a rustic wooden bowl.
I like to use my everyday dishes and flatware because I don’t like storing a special “holiday” set of dishes. I find it more fun for the guests and for me, if I find fun ways to dress up the table. In this case I used throw blanket that I already had, in place of a tablecloth. Sometimes I like to use kraft paper or even one time I used curtains! I also added these festive napkin rings because they add a touch of whimsy and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Do you have any tips and tricks that I haven’t thought of? I’m always looking for ways to streamline!