Friendsgiving Ideas: Keep it Simple

If you want to host a casual Friendsgiving party, you are in the right place! Get table setting ideas, menu suggestions, and ways to make your home cozy and welcoming.

friendsgiving ideas place setting on table

There are five of us. We’ve been friends for literally a lifetime.

We’ve gone through everything together. All of our weddings. Children, grandchildren, deaths of parents and spouses, cancer, serious heart issues, relocation, and everything else life has thrown at us.

We are incredibly lucky, and as we get older, we don’t take our time together for granted. We make an effort to gather every couple of months, and each time, we all leave grounded and grateful.

The one thing we have never done is plan a Friendsgiving! So this is the year, and I’m hosting. Here are 10 best Friendsgiving ideas that will make it all very simple, relaxing, and fun.

At the end of the post, a few of my friends are sharing their ideas for special November moments. Make sure to take a look!

wood trestle table set for friendsgiving

Throw tradition out the door.

A Friendsgiving celebration definitely doesn’t have to be like a Thanksgiving meal. There’s no need to serve turkey with all the side dishes. You don’t need pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, or stuffing. Save all of those things for the actual Thanksgiving Day. You just need good food. You don’t have to dress up, so make sure to let your friends know to come casual and comfortable. Designate a time of day that works for everyone, and get ready to relax!

thanksgiving ideas table setting with fall colors

Invite your closest friends…old or new.

By the time we get to a certain age, our friendships have developed, and if we’re lucky, there are a handful of people we can count on. Your guest list should include those people.

Or…maybe you have some new friends and want to get to know them better. A Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity. Paper invitations are always nice, but a text chain works just as well!

blue plates on round wicker placemat

Keep it small.

Big parties are fun…but they take planning, prep, and time. By keeping your Friendsgiving celebration small, your planning is simplified and quick. Consider the size of your table, what place settings you want to use, and how much food you will need. Six people, give or take, will provide a lovely gathering with plenty of conversation.

fall centerpiece for friendsgiving

Plan a simple menu.

Make plans to serve food that’s simple, savory, and sweet. To make things easy for everyone, serve your meal potluck style. Here are some delicious suggestions for menu items:

Light appetizer

A small plate of something your guests can nibble on while they’re waiting for dinner. This puff pastry baked brie would be amazing, or if you want something super quick, take a look at this Old English cream cheese dip. Make-ahead suggestions are a small relish tray or a fruit and vegetable charcuterie board.

friendsgiving idea fresh salad with apples

Salad

A fresh salad is the perfect way to start any meal, but especially an informal Friendsgiving. This Honeycrisp apple + romaine salad hits the spot every time, or you can make this romaine cranberry pear salad. The flavors of cranberries and pears are so good together.

Bread

The absolute easiest Friendsgiving food idea is to pick up a nice loaf of Italian bread at the grocery! Or, if you don’t mind baking, this beer bread would be wonderful. More suggestions are this homemade rustic bread, or this savory rosemary buttermilk bread, and you can never go wrong with little loaves of fresh pumpkin bread.

loaf of pumpkin bread on fall table setting 2022

Cute Favor Idea

Here is an idea for a Friendsgiving favor. Well in advance of your gathering, bake small loaves of pumpkin bread. Store them in the freezer until you need them. To package, fold pieces of parchment paper, wrap them around the loaves, and finish with a piece of twine, along with a sprig of eucalyptus, rosemary, or thyme. Put a loaf at each place setting.

pot of chicken florentine soup

Soup

For our main course, I’m serving this classic Chicken Florentine soup. This soup is so many things. It’s hearty, delicious, thick and creamy. It’s easy to make, and serves at least 6 people, maybe more. More soup ideas: Chicken Gnocchi soup, or this so good Chicken and Rice soup. An option with no meat is this tasty Corn Chowder.

Dessert

Hopefully one of your guests will bring the dessert, but here are some suggestions just in case! This layered pumpkin dessert is wonderful because it’s made with a cake mix. These Pumpkin snickerdoodle cupcakes are so moist and good, or go a different route, and make pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.

fall table set for friendsgiving celebration

Ask your guests to bring something.

You can make everything yourself, or you can ask your guests to help lighten the load! If everyone brings something, maybe their favorite dish, your work as the hostess is significantly reduced. Because your friends love you, they will be happy to help. I’m sure of it.

throw blanket used for tablecloth

Set a beautiful Friendsgiving table.

For a bit of the unexpected, I’m combining my Liberty Blue dishes with the colors of autumn. I built this tablescape with things I already had, with the exception of the inexpensive soup bowls. I don’t have a tablecloth that fits our table, so I angled a throw blanket, and I love the way it looks.

The centerpiece takes literally five minutes to assemble. I placed my long dough bowl on the table, added candles and pumpkins, and finished with faux greenery plus some berries. The finishing touches are the little vessels of fall flowers at each place setting.

Add custom napkin rings.

These printable napkin rings are a great way to add a custom touch to your table settings. They are so easy…just print, cut out, and tie around your napkins. Fill out the form at the end of the post and I’ll send them straight to your inbox!

orange thyme spritzer drink on sutton place

Serve festive drinks.

Since I don’t drink anything with alcohol, my friends are bringing the wine. I am, however, going to make a pretty non-alcoholic drink. Two of my favorites are this orange + thyme spritzer, and pomegranate + lime spritzer. If you have a signature cocktail of your own, definitely serve that.

homemake wassail in slow cooker friendsgiving idea

A Hot Drink Idea

Depending on where you are located, it may be chilly the day of your Friendsgiving. It’s a welcoming and warm idea to serve a hot drink. This homemade wassail recipe is wonderful. It’s made in a slow cooker, it’s got just the right amount of spice flavor, and it smells divine.

Provide the coziest atmosphere possible.

  • Friendsgiving decor can be whatever you want. Set the mood by lighting some candles.
  • Place throw blankets on the backs of chairs and sofas.
  • When you are arranging your fresh grocery store flowers for the table, make a few little arrangements for your sitting area. Flowers everywhere!
  • Make a playlist for some soft background music.
  • After dinner, watch a movie.

Spruce up the bathroom.

When we have people over, the very last thing I think about is the bathroom! I love when I go to someone’s home, and they’ve made the extra effort to lay out special hand towels, light a candle, or add a small pitcher of fresh flowers. And don’t forget a hand soap that smells yummy!

SHOP THE LOOK

Click the images below to be taken directly to the product listing. Every effort has been made to provide sources for the items found in this post. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.

*Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement.

Now it’s time to take a look at what my friends are sharing!

november moments collage

Designthusiasm | On Sutton Place
Shabbyfufu | Maison de Cinq

Make your table beautiful!

DIY PRINTABLE NAPKIN RINGS

Fill out this form to get six different
versions of these printable napkin rings.
The PDF will be sent straight to your inbox!

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3 Comments

  1. Ann this all looks so simple and cozy! Love all your suggestions – especially using the little pumpkin loaves as favors (and they look so adorable sitting on each plate!)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Sheila
    xo

  2. Your table looks lovely as always.You are truly blessed to have your friends for a lifetime.Enjoy your Friendsgiving dinner.

  3. At my imaginary Friendsgiving table a special seat is reserved for you. Thanks for once again offering lovely ideas so beautifully presented.