Alternative Thanksgiving: 3 Tips to Make Your Friendsgiving a Success


We are currently a far cry away from where we were in the pandemic last Thanksgiving, but we aren’t out of the woods yet. Because of that, some folks might skip going home for the holidays and opt to stay put and celebrate with friends, where vaccination status might be more stable. 

Since it’s such a hassle to get home, we have typically opted to stay in the Big Apple for Thanksgiving in favor of returning south for Christmas. Since many will be following suit in having a non-traditional Thanksgiving, I will try to impart as much advice and wisdom as I can.

Always Make a Spreadsheet

Nothing will make your lives easier than delegating the dishes and duties of the day amongst your friends ahead of time. Don’t rely on the group chat, because you will have two people accidentally bring the same dish, and invariably it will be a dish that people don’t really care about like green bean casserole. Plus, a spreadsheet is a perfect way to kindle some low grade frustration after your friend claims a dish that you feel is your signature recipe. Nothing says authentic Thanksgiving like unsaid angst.

Assign Roles

This is different from assigning cooking and cleaning responsibilities. This is about manufacturing the vibes of a “real” holiday. Make sure you have a friend assigned to be the uncle that makes everyone uncomfortable. This doesn’t need to be an act, you could just invite a friend that is like this to up the authenticity, but if need be someone should be assigned this character and given a few key lines. Maybe it’s making a really weird comment about how another guest looks like they could have been in Playboy, or maybe it’s just a devil’s advocate defense of Trump. Get creative with it.

Watch the Thanksgiving Classics

In our age of cord cutting, make sure the host home either has cable or someone has a youtube TV Account. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving doesn’t have a ton of streaming content surrounding it, so you’re stuck with a lot of live TV. You don’t have to watch all of it, but some combination of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Dallas Cowboys, the Westminster Dog Show, and the Egg Bowl are a must. You don’t want to miss something horribly awry happening, like a parade float catastrophe or a Creed halftime show.

I hope these tips help, and whatever you do, please don’t go out Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving evening. I promise you don’t need to, and the store employees will hate you.