The time of year is here… less than a week until Thanksgiving break. That means it’s Friendsgiving season. Maybe you’re not going home for Thanksgiving, or maybe you just realized that you want to spend some time eating good food with your friends outside of the library. Either way, here are some last minute tips to having a successful, festive, and filling Friendsgiving.

Kindly R.S.V.P.

It’s essential to have invitations. To get some in town, I suggest Target. If you don’t want to go full out and buy more expensive invites, you can find tons of blank greeting cards in the $1 section. You know, the section right when you walk in that drains out your wallet?

inviteIf you prefer to order online, one of my personal favorites is Paper Source. They have invitations for every occasion. If you like the idea of staying online, but would rather just create your own, design some on Canva and print to your own liking.

If you simply don’t have time for invitations because your event is last minute, there’s nothing wrong with creating a Facebook event or sending out a group text.

Remember, when creating your guest list, it’s important to invite all of your VIPs. On the other hand, keep in mind that if you invite more people than you can handle, this may turn into a stressful event for you.


Menu Management

When you send out these invites, be sure to stress that this is a potluck style effort (unless you really want to do this on your own… but I wouldn’t advise it).

Some rules for hosts during potluck style dinners are…

  • Ask your guests if they will need special equipment, utensils, oven time, etc. Everyone needing everything at once, without preparation, is a recipe for disaster.
  • Do your research: if one of your guests has a serious food allergy, either advise them to bring a dish that is suited for them, or find another solution.

Some rules for guests are…

  • Come prepared: while it’s important that you coordinate with the host, it’s even more important that you bring as much as you can for your dish. After all, the host is already renting out their home for this party.
  • Make a potluck google sheet: okay, so, while this isn’t a traditional tip, I think it’s fitting for college students. We’re always on our computers or phones, so to make sure that guests don’t repeat dishes, make a list of what everyone is bringing. Also, if there is a need for a vegetarian or allergy-sensitive dish, this is the perfect way to make sure it’s accounted for.
  • Be menupolite and patient: Do not treat your host like a waiter/waitress. Also, obviously, do not comment if you feel that a dish isn’t up to par. If a dish isn’t made to your liking, walk over to the kitchen and fix it yourself. This is a group effort.

Ideas for creating the menu…


Set the Tone

Turn your dorm or apartment into a cozy space by following these few simple tips…

  • Make sitting on the floor seem a lot more glamorous than it really is. Take the tapestry from your wall and lay it on the floor. Add some decorative pillows and a bean bag chair if you have one.
  • Hang some Christmas lights. This is one of my favorite things to do year round. Find some cheap ones here.
  • Have a killer playlist, and invite your guests to add songs that they like. If you’re not into listening to Christmas playlists on Spotify yet, just go ahead and create a mash up of everyone’s favorites.
  • Light some candles (as long as you’re not in a dorm). You can find cheap candles just about anywhere, even in the $1 section of Target. You can also find some at Walmart, or pick up your holiday favorites at Bath & Body Works in the mall.


While everyone’s Friendsgiving traditions and preferences are different, I hope my insights helped you to make your best Friendsgiving plan possible. If you use any of these tips, take a picture and tweet it to @jmudailyduke.


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