Thanksgiving with friends—better known as Friendsgiving—is becoming more and more popular for those who don’t have time off work to travel or the space to host their entire family. Now, we spend the holiday with our friends to eat delicious food and give thanks. Still, though, it can be stressful for the host or if you’re asked to prepare a dish. We listed our top tips below for creating a more relaxed and organized Friendsgiving.
Friendsgiving is better with friends. Get a group text going to assign dishes or build a menu together. This way, everyone works together to accommodate their own dietary needs and preferences. This also relieves the host of a ton of responsibility and a lot of stress—especially, if handling by themselves, the pressure of preparing enough food for everyone.
General rule of thumb: the host takes care of the turkey, guests take care of side dishes. Ask your host for their preference or, if hosting, tell your guests what will be the most helpful to you.
It’s good to be prepared for guests, but there is such a thing as being overly prepared. If you’re one to get lost in the details or stress out over decorations, consider off-loading the responsibility to someone else. If you’re hosting and tasked with cooking the turkey, only think of smaller things to focus on—you’ve got the main course, it deserves your attention. Maybe set the table (and make sure you have enough table settings) and get a playlist going. Don’t put on anything too jarring, but don’t put on anything that will put your friends to sleep. Maybe make a simple signature cocktail to share with your friends. Or don’t do anything. It’s totally up to you.
If you’re the guest and will need to use a kitchen to cook or finish a meal, check with the host first—you don’t want to add to their stress. Try to do everything you can to finish your meal at home because if everyone relies on the host’s kitchen to heat up their food or throw a quick meal together, you’ll be in the way and the kitchen will be less of a kitchen, and more of Times Square during the holidays.
With to-go containers on hand, guests can no longer use the excuse of not taking leftovers home because they don’t want to borrow your dish or pan. Or, if you’d rather not spend money on containers you might not get back, ask your guests to bring their own. This will help reduce the amount of food waste and time/money wasted to prepare the meal. And make sure to get glass or compostable containers to reduce your environmental impact.
If you do get stuck with a ton of leftovers, look up recipes that incorporate your leftovers or see if there are any local organizations that will accept them, but check that they take leftovers, not just canned or untouched food.
And lastly and most importantly, remember what Friendsgiving is all about: to share a meal and create memories with friends, reflect on the year, and express gratitude for all the wonderful opportunities you’ve had. Forget the stress of cooking, decorations, coordinating meals and guests—enjoy the moment and the joy of spending time with the ones you love.
You could also show thanks through volunteering at a food rescue or charitable organization, or whatever you’re capable or comfortable doing. The point is to make an impact, no matter how big or small.
We’d like to thank our readers and customers—both new and recurring—who have enjoyed Jarlsberg®. We’ve enjoyed providing you with our high-quality product all these years and look forward to sharing many more moments with you.