Friendsgiving: Advance Planning

Sean and I are so eager to host Friendsgiving at our new house. While we just had the wine tasting, this will be our first event with so many people, and we know we are going to struggle for space. However, being the typical American that I am, I refuse to miss out on the feast this year (Sean loves it just as much!) and we have plenty of English friends who are looking forward to finding out what all of the fuss is about.

Due to work schedules, we settled on 22 November as the date for our Friendsgiving, at the typical Thanksgiving meal time of about 3pm. If it’s not a Thursday, we figured Sunday would be the next option…at least American football will still be on! We will be having twelve of our friends over, over half of which have never experienced Thanksgiving. Therefore, in order to maintain America’s incredible reputation, I’m really stressing about this being a fantastic event!

I’ve broken my planning and errand running down in three stages: Advance, One Week Before, and The Day Before. I figured I would post about each of these stages on here (as well as the final product) for any future Friendsgiving planners! The Advance Planning has definitely been stressful, but I have finally solidified everything…yippee!

The Menu

Since we are having so many people and have such a small kitchen to prepare stuff in, we decided on a potluck style dinner. The menu was therefore the easiest part, but needed to be announced ahead of time so everybody could call dibs. Sean and I are taking care of the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie (realistically some brie as well, but that’s just a given). We’ve asked our friends to provide the rest: mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, etc. We settled on the basics simply because it is so many peoples first “Thanksgiving” that it needs to be a classic (and easy) as possible. However, everybody is already planning on their own twist on their dishes, so I’m excited to see the final product!

The Turkey

I’m going to admit this ahead of time so nobody is surprised or disappointed down the line – Sean and I are cheating. Not on each other, but on Thanksgiving. As in having the Turkey made for us (cue the gasps). I promise this is justified, though! First of all, he’s never made a Turkey and nobody could live up to my dads. Second, there’s the small oven issue. We’re serving 14 people, which means we need a big turkey. I didn’t want to go out and buy one to come home and find out it didn’t fit in the oven. Third, my dad offered to cover the turkey for us this year since I was so stressed about it. This means that we could actually afford to have the turkey made for us, and the ones from Whole Foods just look delicious. So that’s the situation – we will be picking up a turkey on the morning of Friendsgiving and serving it as if it were our own (don’t worry I won’t actually take credit).

The Furniture

This has definitely been the trickiest part of planning our meal considering our house lacks a dining room table. I’ve searched for hire companies who would be able to get me tables and chairs, but they were coming back too expensive for just one day. Thankfully, I found 12 folding chairs down in one of my offices and one of my coworkers offered me his two folding tables. I pulled out my tape measure yesterday and think it will all fit so everybody will have a seat at Friendsgiving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

The Amazon Order

The Amazon order was fun. We’re talking attractive paper plates, plastic wine glasses (which are surprisingly nice), and bits and bobs which will be part of the centerpiece. I felt extremely satisfied when I pressed the order button, knowing everything would get here on time as well…except everything was shipped individually. We are now dealing with what feels like a hundred “missed delivery” slips and will have to do a mix of running to the post office and tracking down couriers. At least Sean has the day off tomorrow and can deal with all of this for me. Another thing to be thankful for!

Once all of the Amazon orders have been collected, we will be able to tick off all of the advance planning and will be one step closer to a successful Friendsgiving.


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