Windy City Novelties

Party Ideas

Windy City Novelties is party planning central! We can provide you with the inspiration and all the right tools to create the ultimate party experience from start to finish.

How to Throw a Stress-Free Friendsgiving Dinner Party

How to Throw a Stress-Free Friendsgiving Dinner Party


While spending Thanksgiving Day with your family is a special and memorable tradition that occurs each year, it’s nice to spend a separate Thanksgiving meal with your friends. Hosting a nice, family Thanksgiving Dinner can put a lot of pressure on those hosting—especially if the in-laws are attending. Am I right? The table setup must look just right, and that turkey better come of out of the oven cooked to perfection.

Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving with friends, can be a lot less stressful and loads of fun. The only unwritten rule of Friendsgiving is that the host must cook the turkey—unless, of course, someone else is just dying to do it. The rest of the Friendsgiving meal typically comes from the guests. Also, on Friendsgiving, it is completely acceptable to use paper plates and napkins, and no one will give a second though to drinking of out plastic cups. The table décor doesn’t need to be expensive and extravagant; it can be cute and cheap.

So start a new tradition and host a Friendsgiving Dinner Party! Pick any weekend date in November (a Sunday works best if you would like to watch football all day, just as you may do on actual Thanksgiving Day) and tell your friends to whip up their best Thanksgiving dish. Here are a few tips for hosting a Friendsgiving party, from the decorations to the activities.




Inform your friends of your Friendsgiving Dinner Party with fun invitations. Be sure to specify that this will be a FRIENDSgiving party, and let the guests know that when they RSVP, they will also need to inform you of the type of dish they will be bringing. That way, you can keep track of the dishes that will be served at dinner to prevent serving the same dish twice. Once your guests RSVP, you’ll be able to get a better idea for table settings, decorations, seating, turkey size, etc.



For Friendsgiving, there is no need to fret over the decorations. Because dinner is going to be the focus of your get-together, you just have to make sure your dining table is well decorated and put together!

If you own a brown, wooden dining table, the color coordinates perfectly with other fall colors so you won’t need a table cover. Instead, set a gold metallic table runner down the center of your dining table to add a touch of color. If you don’t own a brown, wooden dining table, you can create the same look by first placing a solid white table cover over your table.

Decorate your dining table with a honeycomb pumpkin centerpiece. In addition, collect a handful of real mini pumpkins and gourds and place them along your gold table runner, on both sides of the (fake) pumpkin centerpiece. If you enjoy the metallic look, feel free to paint some, or all, of your mini pumpkins and gourds. You can also add glitter to your pumpkins and gourds if you would like a touch of sparkle.

To finish off the décor along the center of the table, place LED candles in any open spots to create a relaxing ambience. You can also fill any open spots with other fall decorations that coordinate with the color scheme of your tablescape.



Once you have received your RSVPs and have a headcount, set up place settings for each guest that will attend. Use clear plastic plates as “chargers” that your guests will ultimately eat their Friendsgiving dinner on. Position gold printed paper plates directly on top of the clear plastic plates. Your guests can use these smaller plates for appetizers or dessert. Set matching paper cups on the right side of each place setting, along with a plastic wine glass. Fold gold napkins and place them on the opposite side of each place setting, topped with plastic silverware. Instead of putting name cards on each plate to assign your guests a seat, wrap each set of silverware with twine and a small piece of cardstock that reads “Thankful for ______.” 


Of course, the purpose of your Friendsgiving Dinner Party is to eat delicious food and visit with friends that you maybe don’t get to see as often as you would like. But, in case you need some activities to keep them busy, here are a few ideas.

If you plan your dinner party for a Sunday, football will most likely steal the attention of some of your guests for a good chunk of your party. But for those who aren’t particularly interested in football, you can have them participate in a little Thanksgiving game. Have them write down what they are most thankful on a piece of paper. Fold up the pieces of paper and put them into a jar. Pick them out one by one and read what is written on the piece of paper and have your guests make a guess as to whose piece of paper it was.

If part of your dinner party will occur during daylight hours, and if you have enough time to plan this, you can have your friends partake in a scavenger hunt. This will get them to spend some time in the outdoors taking in the gorgeous fall scenery. Just be sure to pre-warn them to wear sensible shoes and clothing! 


At Windy City Novelties, it’s our hope that this article inspires you to create a fun and unique party for your loved ones. For more helpful tips on organizing your event, email our dedicated party planning experts at [email protected]. You may also subscribe to our emails for weekly party planning ideas, featured products and more at

Tags: Thanksgiving decorations,Friendsgiving party,fall decorations,thanksgiving tableware,thanksgiving dinner,dinner party,friendsgiving decorations