17 Nov Friendsgiving: Celebrating the Ones You Love
Being born days before Halloween fosters a penchant, a need, to appreciate all things dark and delightful. There is “just something” about dark colors: black tie, dark chocolate, Bordeaux wine, Black Bacarra roses. They all just sound so decadent and rich.There is an aire of mystery and power. And as I’m packing up my skeleton garden sunflowers and other trappings of my favorite holiday, I find myself a bit wistful. Fall is in full bloom, but if you’re like me and not quite ready to say goodbye to the dark and moody spirit of Halloween, there is still time to celebrate the rich and dramatic colors of the fall season.
Friendsgiving is a perfect opportunity to invite a selective group of chosen loves for a soiree filled with warmth, laughter and you guessed it, a rich tablescape filled with fresh florals and dark vibes. Friendsgiving is a holiday designed to get together with the non-familial people in your life. The earliest known reference to friendsgiving is from 2007. Since then, the holiday has grown in popularity. It’s an opportunity to celebrate and show gratitude for those close relationships and for some whose loved-ones are too far to travel to no longer with us, it may be their only Thanksgiving-esque event. Here I will focus on throwing a flower-inspired event filled with flora (flowers), fauna (people) and fashion.
How to throw an elevated Friendsgiving event:
- Select a date – Friendsgiving doesn’t have an official date, so you have options between now and Thanksgiving. Select a date that’s convenient for you and the majority of your close friends.
- Send paper invitations – there’s still time! If you have a minimal budget or no time, you can print invitations at your local or big-box office supply store.
- An alternative is creating a Facebook invite where you can share ideas and details via social.
- Select a menu – most hosts will invite their friends to bring their favorite traditional dishes in potluck fashion. If you’re looking for easy recipe so you can enjoy more time with your friends, try one-pot meals and casseroles that you can just toss in the oven with a timer. You may want to poll your guests to confirm there are not food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Here’s options I have enjoyed in the past.
- Since cranberry salad is a controversial dish, try a salad with cranberries instead – https://www.food.com/recipe/cranberry-feta-and-walnut-salad-59829
- One Pot Turkey Dinner – https://iamafoodblog.com/sheet-pan-turkey-dinner-recipe/
- Pattie Labelle’s Mac and Cheese – https://www.food.com/recipe/patti-labelles-macaroni-and-cheese-17186
- Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables – https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/oven-roasted-root-vegetables
- Archtichoke Bouquet – https://www.twospoons.ca/eggplant-rose-bouquet/
- AND Pecan Pie Bars for dessert: – https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pecan-pie-bars
- OR Cherry Spice Cake Trifle – https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/cherry-spice-cake-trifle
- Hor’derves – proper etiquette would include some kind of option for noshing while dinner is prepared like a charcuterie board and fruit. You could also try the viral TikTok trend, the butter board. If you’re looking for a more elevated charcuterie option, try an ornate cupcake stand and top it with your favorite fruits and finger foods.
- Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board – https://wanderlustandwellness.org/thanksgiving-charcuterie-board/
- Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoe Bites – https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-wrapped-sweet-potato-bites/
- Butter Board – https://www.brit.co/food/recipes/butter-boards/
- Bruschetta – https://www.cookingclassy.com/bruschetta-recipe/
- Opt for a feasting table with a beautiful centerpiece where food and decor meet – This is your opportunity to channel your inner Rhaenyra Targaryen and host your friends like the Queen or King that you are. For you are the bestie of [insert your best-friends name], Friendsgiving planner, protector of the turkey, signature cocktail-bearer and the first of your kind.
- Make a beautiful floral arrangement your centerpiece. I will be featuring a brief and recipe for a cascading pumpkin floral arrangement.
- Use fabric as your table runner. Purchasing fabric from your local fabric store is a great way to bring a royal and high-end feeling to your table. Whatever you do, I beg you to ditch the plastic table runners you purchase from discount and party stores. They are atrocious and not very environmentally friendly since most people dispose of them after the event has ended.
- Incorporate fruits and vegetables like blood oranges and eggplants in your display.
- Select your dinnerware and make it dramatic.
- Offer a signature cocktail –
- No Egg Nog – https://www.food.com/recipe/eggless-eggnog-16171
- Berry Rum Punch – https://heatherchristo.com/2016/02/17/blood-orange-blackberry-rum-punch/
- Party favors – what better way to thank your honored guests for attending then by gifting them something green. I might recommend a propagated cutting in inexpensive glasses or a succulent baby. Seed bombs are also a fun way to spread a little extra flower power in the world. If you’re not a flower lover, you can also give boxes of incense with a little message of thanks and gratitude to each guest (e.g. “you set my heart on fire”). Looking for some floral recommendations? Try scents like palo santo, lavender, and patchouli.
- What will you wear? You can decide on a dress code for your event along with your friends. I typically appreciate casual attire. Pair a pair jeans, a blazer and a fun shirt to keep things easy and sophisticated. I find my tops and tees from Etsy shops to support local and small business.
New inspiration coming soon, please enjoy my dark and delighted friendsgiving playlist while you wait.