If you're making a turkey for the people you emoji text all the time, you can't throw the same old traditional Thanksgiving your grandma would host.

No one is saying that we don't love our families! But as you get older and build friendships, you realize that attending a Thanksgiving dinner with your friends is wayyyyyyyy less intense than spending it with your cousin who can't seem to shut up about how you're not married yet. No thanks. Instead of cramming yourself a table and trying to answer that question, here are our tips on being an awesome Friendsgiving host.

Make the Menu and Let Your Friends Fill in the Blanks

As the host, you are in charge of the main parts -- the turkey (in case you don't know how to make one, here are some different cooking methods to try), the stuffing, and of course, some on-point pumpkin pie. But the rest of the event should involve your friends! Two weeks prior to the event, send out an email asking if there are an dietary constraints as well as a list of other Thanksgiving-inspired dishes that they can volunteer to make.

table settings for holiday hosting
Credit: Johnny Miller

Get All DIY with It

Hey, hey. No one is expecting you to bust out a paycheck's worth of burnt-orange decor. You have two options here: You can go glam with a plant-based Thanksgiving table or kitsch with cute Paper Turkey Place Cards. Either way, keep it simple.

Mason Jars FTW

This isn't your mom's house. You're not at the point in your life where you have a full-stocked cabinet of profesh glasses. But you don't want to use disposable cups -- this isn't a keg party. Mason jars will suffice -- and if you're looking to get creative, try this gingham mason jar craft.

Credit: Kate Neal

Craft Some Crowns

Get into the season with some adorable headgear for your mates. Set up a station with wire, tape, flowers, and wire cutters so that your friends can create their own flower crowns to wear during dinner. Those looking for a less feminine version can make this easy foil and paper crown. Can you think of a better way of telling your friends that you are grateful for them?

Set the Mood with Good Tunes

The right music will really keep this party going. You want to be able to hear it in the background but also the conversation. We suggest Alabama Shakes, Marie Laforet, and Thee Ahs.


Break Out the Cider

Nothing says you're the Martha Stewart of your friend group like a pot (okay, vat) of hot mulled cider for your guests.

T-Day Games

Set up a few goodie bags full of fun, cheap items or books you're trying to remove from your apartment. (If you need help finding stuff you want to give away, read this: 20 Reasons to Get Rid of It.) Tell your best (or worst) family Thanksgiving stories around the table. The person with the best story gets a goodie bag!


Self-Service Bar

Add recipe cards, booze, mixers, ice, and glasses to a table close to the dining area so that guests can help themselves while learning how to make each autumn-inspired cocktail!

Go-Go Leftovers

Purchase a bulk order of takeout cartons for your guests. That way they can leave with a cute food container, and they don't have to worry about returning Tupperware. Now that is grown up!


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