Whether you celebrate it on Thanksgiving or on a special day of its very own (mmmmore pie), Friendsgiving is about a special kind of gratitude. Who would you be—and how would you survive?—without your chosen family…your besties…your tribe? You’ve probably been celebrating it since before there was a hashtag, so we’ve got a cornucopia full of Friendsgiving ideas to share as you’re planning this year’s soirée.
Friendsgiving ideas: Table decorations and centerpieces
Let’s be real: Our friends are much more likely than family to appreciate stunning, on-trend tablescapes. This year, we’re combining some of our favorites:
- Beautiful pumpkins: All the shapes, all the sizes, all the colors. We hit up our local farmer’s market and loaded up on gorgeous gourds. Hollow them out for flowers and candles, use paint to spell out words, and save the teeny ones to dress up place settings.
- Herbs and flowers: Leaves are stunning, but don’t limit yourself to traditional fall foliage and colors. Layer in fern fronds, billy balls, and succulents to keep your arrangement fresh. Putting together a simple, organic arrangement is easy, too.
- Your cornucopia overfloweth: And it doesn’t even need to be a traditional horn of plenty. Fill a basket, bowl, or platter with gourds and stems instead—check out the gorgeous texture and palette of the wheat, sage, and berries below!
- Bring out the textiles: Ahem. Please note the macramé table runner, above. We love it with a simple linen tablecloth and napkins in a fresh color palette. This is also the perfect time to show off your grandmother’s linens. Or to hem a giant piece of muslin and let your guests sign their names, then stitch over them in embroidery floss for everyone to appreciate as your tradition continues year after year.
- Place settings: Don’t limit yourself to first names when you’re assigning seats. Try nicknames and inside jokes, too. Find out how much fun it is when you make a game out of figuring out who goes where.
Friendsgiving activities: Giving thanks
- Time capsule: If your Friendsgiving celebration involves the same folks every year, capture the best things in their lives, memories you shared during the year, and milestones in a time capsule. Ask everyone to write down what’s good and store it in a (super-cute) jar to read next year. (Our Studio Ink team partnered with Brit & Co. last year to come up with more great ideas, too.)
- Paying it forward: Personalize a place card for everyone with a sweet message of gratitude. You can download our version here. We paired with a blank card so guests could pass the thanks along.
- Drink and doodle: Since you’ll be around the table for a while, encourage doodling by covering it with craft paper and giving everyone something to write or draw with. Crayons are great—but since we’re at the adult table, paint markers are allowed. (Try white or metallics.)
Because you’re friends: Thoughtful extras
- Expressions of gratitude. We love beautiful hand lettering, and we’ll put it anywhere. Any. Where. Pumpkins, placecards…and pie.
- Adorableness to go. Just like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is an opportunity to over-cook and send guests home with goodies. Craft up some super-cute and perfectly pie-sized takeout boxes.
- Leave it or take it. Our friends at Ideas have even more ideas for taking food or taking it home.
Bonus Friendsgiving ideas
- Food stuff: We’ve heard of Thanksvegan celebrations and all-side-dish buffets. But a seldom-broken Friendsgiving rule is that it’s a pot-luck: This is about fun, not work.
- Dress code: Let your friends know what to expect. Is this a chance to put on fancy grown-up clothes? Or are sweatshirts and stretchy pants encouraged?
- What else: While you’re together, why not have more fun? Play tag football in the backyard. Try a board-less game like Charades, Crambo, or Say The Same Thing. Award prizes for the best entree or dessert.
Photography and styling by Hallmark’s Union Hill Studios.