By Rachael Darner, Erin Estocin, Kira Ley, Abby Passarella, Kennedy Porter, Jordan Rutherford, and Sara Tallon
With Thanksgiving break this week, it’s time to start making plans for the holiday. Though many Ohio State students take this time to visit family, some who can’t go home, such as out-of-state students, may feel lonely over the long weekend. However, there is a possible alternative to Thanksgiving: Friendsgiving! Follow these tips to throw the perfect budget-friendly Friendsgiving celebration as a student that will satisfy all of your holiday cravings.
If you are looking for something to make your Friendsgiving feel more special and creative, one idea could be designing specialized invitations!
1. Decide whether the invitations should be paper or evite
Canva is a free programming website where you can make Thanksgiving-themed invitations (Note: if you decide on paper invitations, there is a fee on Canva to buy your customized invites.)
2. Allow your guests time to prepare for the event!
Typically, party invitations should be sent out at least two weeks before the event to account for friends who will be traveling. But you and your friends can surely pull together a great Friendsgiving week-of!
3. What to include on the invitation
You should include the location, date, time, and dress code on your invitations. To make things more fun, you could even have a theme! To keep track of who is coming, put down your email or phone number on the invitation and have your friends RSVP.
You can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking of food, and Friendsgiving is no exception. One fun way to keep the cost down and get people involved in the festivities is everyone picking a food they want to bring.
Having people bring their favorite Thanksgiving foods allows them to get to know the other guests better. This also allows for creativity and learning about others’ family or cultural differences when it comes to the holidays.
Some classic Thanksgiving foods to bring are mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, green beans, stuffing, etc. Because turkey can be expensive (and hard to make), try substituting with rotisserie chicken. These are cheap, easy, classic foods that everyone can enjoy!
After a delicious meal full of savory foods, you’d better make sure to save a little room for all of the desserts. Everyone can bring their favorite type of dessert, and whether that be the classic pumpkin pie, cute Oreo turkeys, or apple crisp, you’ll be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth after this course.
You can even start Friendsgiving before the actual day by baking all the desserts together. You don’t have to worry about running out of pie ideas because there are thousands of recipes online. Of course, you can always pick up a pre-made dessert and put it on a fancy plate. Whatever you choose, it’s a great way to end the perfect meal!
Before your friends arrive, you should put up a few decorations to set the festive mood. Decorations tend to be pretty expensive, but there are ways to make them fit into any budget (and not all of them are DIYs).
You could craft some pumpkin candle holders by simply hollowing small pumpkins and filling them with tea lights. With some pinecones, a vase, and a candle, you could create a beautiful centerpiece for your table. If you have colored construction paper and string laying around, you could make a maple leaf, turkey, or pumpkin pie garland. If you would like, you could also wait until your friends arrive and craft DIY decorations as an activity.
Not crafty? That’s okay! There are still many affordable decorations you could purchase. You could decorate with a Friendsgiving balloon banner or make a photo shoot station with Thanksgiving-themed photo props.
Planning activities or a craft can be the perfect way to spend more time with your friends before or after the meal. Simple crafts can be the classic turkey hand and pumpkin painting/carving. For the crowd seeking a craft with an older feel, you could paint wine glasses with cute holiday, personal, or friendship-based designs.
Whether you are missing your usual holiday traditions with family or just looking for another excuse to celebrate, Friendsgiving is a great way to spend your Thanksgiving. No matter who you are celebrating Thanksgiving with or where you are, these tips will ensure you have a memorable holiday this year!