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Ultimate Guide to Hosting Friendsgiving and How to Assign Duties

By David

November 10, 2023

Hosting Friendsgiving can seem like a stressful undertaking if you’ve never done it before, but you don’t have to worry. We have the ultimate guide to hosting Friendsgiving, with ideas for food, supplies, games and more. Our number one tip for a stress-free Friendsgiving: assign duties and delegate what to bring. 

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What is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving is just what it sounds like: a Thanksgiving-type holiday that is spent with your friends, rather than your family. If the word sounds new, that’s because it is! “Friendsgiving” joined the Merriam-Webster dictionary in early 2020. 

Friendsgiving is often a bit less formal than a Thanksgiving with the family, and it’s often more a potluck-style meal where everyone brings something to the table.

When is Friendsgiving? 

Friendsgiving is often held around (or on) Thanksgiving, either to give friends a place to feel welcome when they can’t get home for Thanksgiving or as a way of celebrating friends on a secondary Thanksgiving-type meal.

Because it’s such a new holiday and designed to fit what you need, Friendsgiving can be whenever you want it to be. There’s no official date, and there’s nothing to keep you from taking the idea of Friendsgiving and hosting it around Christmas or in the spring or summer.

Hosting Friendsgiving Checklist

How to host friendsgiving checklist

Maybe you’re the mom’s friend or the dad’s friend. Maybe you’ve got a few friend groups you want to spend time together. Maybe you’re trying to play matchmaker. Whatever the reason, hosting Friendsgiving is going to be as hard as you want it to be. Here are our tips for hosting a successful Friendsgiving:

    1. Figure out your guest list and any “plus ones” so you know who might be coming
    2. Make a list of what you think you’ll need to accommodate everyone. Most Friendsgiving hosts need at least one additional table (and some chairs).
    3. Send out your Friendsgiving invites. Decide now if you want a hard end time.
    4. Tell your guests what to bring to Friendsgiving. Either assign things to them or let them fill out a form with what they’re bringing so you know ahead of time what you need.
    5. Refer your friends to Fetch. If they’re bringing supplies or snacks, let them know how to snap points and earn in our rewards app (and score some for yourself, too).
    6. Get your Friendsgiving supplies. Once your guests have their assignments, your job as host of Friendsgiving is to fill in the gaps. In most cases, you’ll also be handling the main course.
    7. Tidy up the house. You know your guests, and you probably don’t need to go overboard, but it’s a good idea for your place to seem open and inviting.
    8. Be ready for early (and late) arrivals. It’s generally best to give your guests some flexibility. It’s good to expect early visitors and to wait for all of your guests before dinner starts.

At the end of the day, hosting Friendsgiving is about giving your friends what they want. My most memorable Friendsgiving was declared “Hanksgiving” and featured Tom Hanks movies running in the background all day.

What to bring for Friendsgiving

You know your friends better than we do, so you’ll know whether to stock up on vegetarian and vegan options or if you can prep a meaty meal. If you want a truly unforgettable Friendsgiving, invite your friends to whip up their favorite recipes for everyone to try.

Friendsgiving Appetizers, Sides, and More

The main course is the main course, but your Friendsgiving appetizers and desserts help hold up that turkey, turducken, veggie loaf, wellington or whatever you might make your main course.

  • Stuffing
  • Biscuits or rolls
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Green bean casserole
  • Roast or mashed potatoes
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Drinks (alcoholic and non)

Friendsgiving Main Course Ideas

  • Turkey –  You can’t go wrong with a classic main course, and turkey finds a home at many Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners.
  • Turducken – If you’re looking for a Friendsgiving main course that’s familiar for the turkey fans but unique for everyone else, challenge yourself to cook up a turducken.
  • Wellington – An excellent choice regardless of guests. Go more traditional with a beef Wellington or serve up something for your herbivores with a seitan or mushroom Wellington.
  • Veggie Loaf or Roll – From the well-known Tofurky to your homemade recipe, a good vegetarian protein or veggie loaf will satisfy even your most devout carnivores. 

Friendsgiving Games and Events

The point of Friendsgiving is to get your friends together around a table and celebrate being together with a shared meal, but you shouldn’t just rely on the meal. Here are some popular friendsgiving games and events:

  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Charades
  • Pictionary
  • Jenga
  • Karaoke
  • Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity
  • Family Feud
  • Have a bake-off

If you’re hosting some friends who like board games but you might be more of a dabbler, ask someone to bring over

  • Settlers of Catan
  • Betrayal at the House on the Hill
  • Pandemic
  • Ticket to Ride

Friendsgiving Supplies

You’re hosting, and you don’t have parents or grandparents to impress. Give yourself a break and have your friends bring supplies like

  • Tableware
  • Paper or plastic plates
  • Leftover containers
  • Garbage bags
  • Extra chairs
  • Decorations
  • Your best Friendsgiving playlist(s)

Friendsgiving Decor

If you’re looking to go the extra mile for your friends and love to play host, then we have some Friendsgiving decor and decorations recommendations:

    • Bring out the candles
    • Create fun and unique drink markers for your guests
    • Decide on a theme and let your guests know
    • Set up at least one “grazing” area with snacks and charcuterie
    • Create an impromptu bar (and put a friend or two to work making drinks)
    • Thanksgiving decorations and/or themed tableware

How to host friendsgiving

Host Friendsgiving and watch your points add up

Once the Friendsgiving invites are sent and you’ve delegated appetizers, decorations, side dishes, games and anything else you want off your plate, start planning for filling up your guests’ plates. Be sure to snap those receipts with the Fetch app to get the most points on the items you need to host an unforgettable Friendsgiving.

Topics: Food and Drink, Shopping Lists



David Fairbanks is a writer, science educator and Chicagoan fueled by coffee. He's written about everything from Ferraris to handcrafted pet urns to Superman, and he genuinely loves loyalty/rewards programs.