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How to Host a Friendsgiving

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 54 / LIFE November 10, 2011

There’s a decent chance you don’t live near your parents— whether you’ve moved away from home because of school, work or just because you hate the weather. The distance, though, can be especially tricky around the holidays. For those with limited funds and/or vacation time, Thanksgiving travel often takes a backseat to going home for Christmas. That means a holiday traditionally celebrated with family could be a very lonely affair. So this year, why not discover the joy of a “Friendsgiving”—a Thanksgiving with friends. Here are a few tips to make it a holiday to remember:

1) GO POTLUCK

One of the drawbacks to not going home for Thanksgiving is having to pay for everything yourself. So share the load: You make the turkey and your guests bring everything else. Plus, it gives everyone a chance to bring something that matches their own traditions. You’ll end up with someone’s grandma’s stuffing, someone else’s mom’s casserole and your own aunt’s famous turkey rub recipe.

2) PLAY GAMES

You’re with friends—so act like it. Make cheese-tastic Thanksgiving games like “pin the tail on the turkey” or cut pilgrim hats out of construction paper to wear during dinner. Or just have a giant Settlers of Catan marathon. Either way, hang out with your friends and enjoy having an entire day (instead of just an evening) to do so.

3) CREATE MEANINGFUL MOMENTS

It is called Thanksgiving, after all. It might sound awkward and weird, but chances are everyone’s feeling a little sentimental about being away from their family. So talk about what you’re thankful for during appetizers or dessert. You’ll be surprised how much better you get to know your best friends.