Friends are the family you choose
by Susan Baldani
For those who may be far away from their families or not able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them for other reasons, consider having a Friendsgiving instead. Invite those people who have made a positive impact on your life and who you would love to have seated around your holiday table. After all, the day is about being thankful and sharing with others.
In her popular blog, Life of Alley, Alley shows us just how to do this. Originally from Connecticut and living in Houston since 2014, she created her blog as a place where women could go to find inspiration, advice, and encouragement from other women; her blog covers everything from home décor and wellness to food and beauty.
Last year, Alley threw a boho-styled Friendsgiving in her backyard. Luckily, in Houston, the weather is usually mild enough to be comfortable outside in late November.
She mentions on her blog that the unofficial holiday of Friendsgiving seems to have popped up in the mid-1990s. A combination of the words “Friends” and “Thanksgiving”, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Friends come together to celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks for one another.
Alley encourages hosts to think outside the box when it comes to the menu. There’s no rule that says you have to stick to traditional Thanksgiving foods, although some people might be upset if they don’t find a turkey on the table.
Also, decide how you’ll get all the food on the table, whatever it may be. Will you do all the cooking, or will you roast the turkey and have your friends each bring a side dish? Or, will you ask guests to bring a bottle of wine or dessert? Maybe you would prefer to sit back and relax and have the entire dinner, from appetizers to dessert, catered. You could even go a step further and hire someone who can serve and take care of clean up. Friendsgiving, says Alley, should be a relaxed event where you can sit back and have a great time with good friends.
Alternatively, if you are invited to a Friendsgiving and it’s not clear on the invitation, she suggests asking the host(s) what they would like you to bring. If no food is needed, then bring a bottle of wine or a small thank you gift such as flowers or a candle.
To find out more about Alley and to check out her blog, go to https://www.lifeofalley.com/.
Alley’s tips for a warm, wonderful, and successful Friendsgiving:
- Assess your space and seating area in order to determine how many people you can comfortably accommodate. Everyone should have a spot at the table and a comfortable seat.
- Then, create your guest list and send out invitations. Keep track of how who responds and how many will be attending.
- Organize your table linens, plates, and silverware to make sure you have the right amount of supplies.
- Next, plan your menu, and decide who will prepare it.
Written for Cypress Lifestyle magazine in Cypress, Texas.