Celebrating Thanksgiving with your family can be a wonderful thing - but there's something wonderful about celebrating or giving thanks with your friends - your chosen family - as well.
As you probably know, Friendsgiving - or a Thanksgiving dinner with just your friends, and perhaps any family members that you might consider friends as well - is becoming a more common thing these days, held either on the actual day of Thanksgiving or on a date close to it. But you're not trying to replicate or compete with a more traditional Thanksgiving, of course. No - Friendsgiving is something awesome that's all its own.
But there's a lot to throwing an awesome celebration than gathering up your friends and having some turkey. Here our suggestions for "Friendsgiving 2016".
Skip the turkey.
If you feel so inclined, of course. After all, most of us get more than enough turkey over the holidays, and perhaps there are other amazing over-the-top options that you can make, like a beef Wellington, a huge roast, or some kind of elaborate seafood meal that you'd never do on your own.
Don't skimp on the desserts.
Perhaps you'll make elaborate cupcakes with a festive theme, or go all out and make a Cherpumple. Or perhaps try one of our new eggnog recipes for a Christmas-y twist on the day.
Respect dietary restrictions.
Chances are some of your friends are vegetarian or vegan, can't eat gluten, don't do dairy, or have any other allergies or preferences. Don't let that totally dictate your menu of course (unless you want to have a totally vegan Thanksgiving, for example), but encourage them to bring a dish or two so they have something that they know they can eat, and cater to their needs with your main dish or at least a couple of substantial sides.
Don't forget the leftovers.
Send people home with the extras and perhaps get fun takeout containers ahead of time if you're really organized. Or take the simple route with disposable tupperware - or the really simple route and tell your guests to bring their own!
DJ by committee.
Make and publish a Spotify playlist in advance, and get your friends to add their current favorite songs. You'll be listening to this all season long, and it is a wonderful way to capture the memories of your Friendsgiving.
Choose your guests wisely.
You want to keep it limited to the number of people you have seating for (it's tough to feast if you're standing up), as well as ensure that you have more than enough food for everyone to stuff themselves with. After all, it's not really Thanksgiving until you've consumed a week's worth of calories during one meal!
Dress for comfort.
This might be the one party where showing up in sweatpants or even pajamas is encouraged. Make it a theme and dress appropriately for lounging, not living it up.