A lot of New Yorkers come from far and wide, so a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family may not be doable. Your friends are your family in New York, so a Friendsgiving dinner has become a Thanksgiving staple within the Big Apple.

If you’re thinking about hosting your very own Friendsgiving, check out these easy steps to make it an unforgettable, and hopefully disaster-free, night!


1. Party Planning

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About two weeks before the event, start planning it. Send out invites or create a Facebook event. Start food shopping to avoid the big Thanksgiving shopping haul and missing out on the last can of cranberry sauce.

Make sure you have enough space and seating for all your friends. Stock your cabinets with enough plates, glasses, and cutlery (preferably plastic to avoid any breakages). Start researching recipes for your favorite pies and sides, or call your parents to ask them for their signature stuffing recipe.


2. Prepare

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Meal prep! It takes longer than you’d think for a turkey to thaw and with most of us only having one oven available, everything that needs to go in there has be to timed.

Come up with a schedule of when to prepare the pies, sides, the turkey itself, and the drinks. Even better, make it a potluck and have everybody bring a food item or drink. Make a poll in your Facebook event or create a shared document to keep track of what everybody is bringing.


3. The CountdownClock

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Just like at home, when we used to start cooking at 7am to make sure everything was ready by dinner time, make sure that you organize yourself.

Get furniture out of the way to make room for additional seating and a bigger dinner table. Double check with your friends to see if everybody has been assigned some food or drink to bring. This gives you enough time to make an emergency run to the deli to get all the missing items if need be.


4. Customize Your Friendsgiving

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Whether you create a signature drink and name it after an inside joke or create cute name tags for everyone, adding a quirky or fun detail to your event will make it more memorable for everyone.

Those tiny details take your Friendsgiving from just another night with friends to an event that is going to be remembered, and might become a yearly tradition for you and your friends.


5. Have Fun!

New York City Kai Pilger

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Another factor that sets Friendsgiving apart from the traditional Thanksgiving, and actually gives it a big advantage, you can hit the streets of New York City with your friends afterwards! If you’re not stuffed with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, that is.

Partying on Thanksgiving is particularly awesome since the city will feel a bit deserted. Many New Yorkers will be out of town to be with their families, after all. Research some awesome clubs and parties beforehand and have your friends discuss options at the dinner table.


6. Leftover Paradise

Sandwich Anton Porsche

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Friendsgiving is the event that keeps on giving, with leftovers, that is. Prepare little boxes or takeout containers for your friends and fill them with leftover food for them. Who doesn’t love having turkey sandwiches for work lunches for an entire week after Thanksgiving? When they unwrap them at the office, they’ll remember the good times they had with you on Friendsgiving.


Final Verdict

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No need to be sad about missing out on your family’s Thanksgiving dinner, hosting your very own Friendsgiving can be just as fun! It’s a unique chance to show your friends how much they mean to you. Plus, you’re going to score major points at #adulting.