How to Host a Friendsgiving

Posted on November 14, 2017

Have a group of friends who mean a lot to you? Tell them that over a festive Friendsgiving! Don’t know where to start when hosting a Friendsgiving? We got your back!

Photo of a calendar with glasses on top

Pick a Date!

Find a date that works for you and your crew before everyone splits their separate ways for Thanksgiving break. If you’re staying in the area for the holiday, find some friends who are also sticking around and celebrate together on Thanksgiving Day!

Photo of someone writing out a list

Make a Guest List

This can often be the hardest part, especially if you are co-hosting the dinner. Ask yourself: do I want a group of people who not only mean a lot to me, but also mean a lot to each other? OR do I want to bring together a group of people who might not necessarily know each other beforehand but have a fun night of making new friendships?


Friends writing in a notebook

Create a Sign-Up Sheet

Host should be in charge of the turkey and setting the space, but nothing else! Make your menu in advance so you can plan ahead for what will be served. Friendsgiving should be a group effort, so each guest ought to pitch in a dish or two.

GVSU preparing food

Get in the Kitchen

Speaking of dishes, here are some Thanksgiving staples:

  • You got your classic turkey, but you can substitute the turkey for another meat of your choice: ham, rotisserie chicken, or something new!
  • Mashed potatoes (a must have). And gravy!
  • A couple choices of cooked veggies: corn, green beans, carrots, mixed veggies, squash...the list could go on, you have a lot of options here!
  • Stuff your stomach with lots of stuffing.
  • Desserts, and a lot of them! Pies are a great place to start.
Photo of person carving a turkey

Set the Table

Make sure you have plenty of seating for all your guests. Try to make the space where you are eating neat and festive. If you have nicer dishes, pull them out and set a nice table! It’s easy to find inexpensive holiday napkins or place mats. Check out your local craft store or dollar store for decorations and deals.

Friends gathered around table in Kleiner

Good Conversation and Good Music

Set the atmosphere with good dinner music. Scour Spotify or Apple Music for the perfect dinner playlist. But a major part of having a nice dinner with your friends is to enjoy their company! As the host, brainstorm some good conversational questions:

  • What are you most thankful for this season?
  • How have you grown or changed over the past year?
  • What are traditions your family has during the holiday season?
  • What are traditions you’d want to have one day?
  • Are there people in your life who you are specifically thankful for that should know what they mean to you? Why do they mean so much to you?

End the night with a few games and be thankful for the great memories you’ve made!

Post your Friendsgiving photos on Instagram and tag @gvsustudentlife! We would love to share your Grand Valley Friendsgiving.

Page last modified October 14, 2021