Tips for Hosting a “Friendsgiving”
Hosting your first "Friendsgiving"-- no sweat! Here are a couple tips on adding a personal touch, while removing the stress.
Greet guests with a pre-made punchThis is a wonderful way to set the tone as you welcome your guests, plus it’s a self-serving beverage, which leaves you time to prepare for your feast. (Here's a personal favorite.) You can use a punch bowl or a large glass spigot drink dispenser. If you opt to use a punch bowl, consider making an ice mold from a Bundt cake pan for added pizzazz.
Arrange a cheese, meat & antipasti displayThis is a staple at every event I host at home. Much like the pre-made punch, it’s an inviting & self-serving element as guests make themselves comfortable. Additional benefits--there’s something for everyone, it can be prepared in advance, and it looks visually impactful. Plus, you can add seasonal touches to it depending on the time of year.
Create customized place setting This may seem a little formal at first thought, but your friends will appreciate the added touch. It’s especially great in situations where your invited company may not all be closely acquainted, and you can strategically seat people with common interests. I like to play off my table-scape theme for place setting inspiration; think real or faux pears, apples, mini pumpkins, bud vases, etc.
Have everyone bring their favorite dish Lighten the cooking load so that you have time to enjoy your friend’s company instead of being in the kitchen the entire time. I usually take on the turkey and some pre-dinner apps, while my friends supply the sides. Just be certain to find out what everyone is bringing in advance…mash potatoes are delicious, but three different version may be overkill.
Set your table like a proGet inspired by the season for your table décor. Mums are a go-to right now and paired with some candles and lanterns it will surely make a swoon-worthy seasonal statement. Amplify your design with a pop of color through taper candles, linen napkins or a table runner. Tip: For an inexpensive option go to your local craft store or Fabric Row to find fabric remnants to make your own runner. If you don’t have a sewing machine, just use seaming tape that can be ironed.
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