Friendsgiving is the unofficial Thanksgiving-ish holiday that’s been growing in popularity for the past few years. In fact, many people look forward to their Friendsgiving celebration just as much as Thanksgiving itself.
If you haven’t hosted or attended a Friendsgiving dinner yet, this is your year to start. Here’s what you need to know about this fun new trend and how to plan a perfect Friendsgiving.
What is Friendsgiving?
As the name suggests, Friendsgiving is a mashup of friends and Thanksgiving. It’s for anyone who:
- Can’t make it home for Thanksgiving but wants to celebrate with friends close by
- Prefers a more laid-back and less formal Thanksgiving celebration
- Can’t get enough of the Thanksgiving festivities and wants more
While Thanksgiving is all about tradition, with Friendsgiving, anything goes. It’s an opportunity to enjoy all your favorite things about Thanksgiving — food, drinks, laughter, football (if you like) with your nearest and dearest friends. And the best part is, there are no tablecloths, seating arrangements, or rules about what to serve.
Friendsgiving Planning Tips
One nice thing about Friendsgiving is that it does not have a designated day. You get to choose the date and time that works best for everyone’s schedule. Many people like to celebrate it the weekend before Thanksgiving, but if no one is traveling or has plans for the actual Thanksgiving Day, schedule Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Day. If there’s a can’t-miss football game on a Saturday afternoon, plan a Friendsgiving watch party for that day.
After choosing a date, decide who will host and designate someone (ideally the most organized person in the group) to be the party coordinator. You don’t have to go overboard with the plans but keep a list of who will bring what and how to divide up the tasks. Make sure you consider:
- Invitations: Decide if they’ll be mailed, emailed, or texted.
- Plates and silverware: Will the host have enough? Do you prefer to use disposable plates or paper goods for easier cleanup?
- Dietary preferences: Will there be enough food options for those on restricted diets?
- Drinks: Consider having the host provide non-alcoholic beverages and coffee or tea, and BYOB for the rest.
- Set up and clean up: Make sure you share the work as well as the fun!
- The cost: Decide among the group if and how you would like to split the cost.
A good plan helps things run smoothly, especially if you’ll have lots of friends attending your Friendsgiving feast.
Fun and Games
Nothing says it’s time for a party like décor and games. A few fun decorations for your home and table set the tone, and who doesn’t love party games and activities?
For decorations, hit the craft, party store, or Amazon for some creative ideas like these:
- Welcome your guests with a bright gold, orange, brown balloon arch.
- Place mini squash or pumpkins and colorful fall leaves at each place setting.
- Set these thoughtful take-home Friends are the Family We Choose cups at the bar.
- Hang a Friendsgiving banner.
- Set some Friendsgiving photo booth props around so everyone can capture photos of the fun.
Party games are an easy way to keep everyone entertained and engaged. Plus, they make for great memories. Ask your guests if they have a favorite board game to bring, or try these ideas:
- Trivial Pursuit
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Friendsgiving Piñata
- Capture the Flag
- Thanksgiving Family Feud
- Conversation Starters
What’s On the Menu?
You certainly can go the traditional turkey and stuffing route, but you don’t have to, and you might not want to. Friendsgiving is all about fun and friends, so why not keep things as easy as possible and invite Rubio’s into your kitchen to do the work?
Rather than watching over the oven and worrying about a dry turkey, create an easy and fun taco charcuterie board instead. Here’s how:
- Order Rubio’s Deluxe Taco Bar. Choose from all-natural chicken, grilled USDA-choice steak, pan-seared shrimp, wild-caught mahi mahi, or wild Alaskan salmon. The Deluxe Taco Bar also comes with rice, beans, lettuce, cheese, our signature salsa, guacamole, limes, creamy chipotle or white sauce, shredded cabbage, flour tortillas, and chips. It serves 10 so make sure you order enough to keep your group happy and well-fed.
- Grab a large serving platter, cutting board, or cookie sheet. Make up different taco combinations and arrange them side by side on the platter.
- Add handfuls of chips in between and around some of the tacos. Include small bowls of guacamole, salsa, limes, and sauces. For maximum impact, cover the entire surface of your serving platter with color and texture.
- Garnish your platter with whole or cut fresh limes, a few handfuls of fresh cilantro, and some jalapeno peppers.
To keep things even easier, set everything up as a buffet and let guests serve themselves.
If you have a Rubio’s-inspired Friendsgiving celebration, we’d love to see it! Snap a photo and share it on Instagram. Tag us @RubiosCoastalGrill.