Hey friends, I just finished prepping for our 17th annual Friendsgiving this weekend. I can’t believe we’ve been doing it this long! It’s really evolved over the years into something all of our friends look forward to all year. And when we first starting having them, it was during college with friends and roommates. It’s been so amazing to see it expand and contract over the years with new friends, old friends, new spouses and significant others, children, pets…you name it!
I figured I’d share my top 10 tips I’ve learned along the way!
1. Get things ready ahead of time.
Do yourself a favor and do anything and everything you can ahead of time. It will be one less thing you have to worry about the day of. I also like to get things ready-made if I can. Things like this gravy or cranberry sauce can be a really time/life saver.
2. Use the right equipment.
Make sure you have all the kitchen tools you need. Things you wouldn’t really think of, until you get into the nitty gritty of cooking. Things like a roasting pan big enough for the turkey (made that mistake once!) or this roasting tool set makes things a whole lot easier! Usually the first place I go is World Market, just because they have almost everything we need to get ready in one stop. Now if they only started selling turkeys 😉
2. Take home containers.
Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers? Many guests can store leftovers in the serving dishes they brought, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. Take home containers are handy to have, just in case.
3. No shame in using paper plates, especially for dessert.
Paper plates and napkins have a come along way these days. I always use them for at least dessert. Clean up is much more bearable that way!
4. Don’t forget the beverages.
Be prepared with whatever your guests might want to drink. Whether it’s wine, beer, water or mixed drinks. I always like to serve a festive drink for the night like warm apple cider or mulled wine. I found this cranberry wine to try this year!
5. Always have entertainment.
After the meal is done, games are a great way to extend the fun a bit. Or even a fun craft beforehand. This year I thought it would be fun for everyone to color their own placemat – adults too!
6. Start off strong.
Don’t forget the pre-meal goodies. Your guests probably came with their appetites rearing to go. If you don’t plan on eating right away, have some tasty appetizers waiting for them. A plentiful charcuterie board is a perfect solution!
8. Make sure to bring your dish ready to go.
If you’re not hosting and responsible for a hot dish. Don’t expect to cook or even warm up your dish there. Most homes only have one oven and most likely the turkey will be occupying it. You’ll have to be creative about how to serve your warm dish. Whether you keep it in an insulated container, a crockpot or even a cast iron dutch oven that retains heat or can be reheated on the stovetop if available. This pumpkin shaped dutch oven works perfectly in the oven, on the stovetop or for serving!
9. Don’t forget the utensils & server-ware.
You don’t want to be the person that forgets the salad tongs and makes your host have to scramble around to find something.
10. Think about the kids.
There are reasons that the kids’ table is tried and true. Set up the table with durable dishes and cups. Or if you don’t have the space feed the kids first and then put a holiday movie on so the adults can eat uninterrupted.
Do you celebrate Friendsgiving as well? What are your favorite things to do to be ready? I’m always looking for more ways to simplify! And if you’re in the mood for more advice, check out my tips from last year.
Also, don’t forget to take advantage of World Market’s Furniture sale going on right now until the end of December! 40% off you guys, that’s pretty major. I’ve had my eye on a couple of pieces all year and I’m finally pulling the trigger. Check out my favorites here! And get that dining room ready for entertaining with some new chairs or a new table, you can’t beat these prices!