How to Host Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving Potlucks

Thanksgiving table set with chargers, dinner plates and pumpkins
It’s the details that matter the most when hosting a Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving dinner. (DepositPhotos)

Many people like to celebrate Thanksgiving in addition to Friendsgiving (a lesser-known observance where you share a meal with friends a week before Thanksgiving), and make it special and memorable for guests.

If you’re hosting a party but need help with the details, here are some tips to inspire you!


Thanksgiving place setting with charger plates, candles, silverware and pumpkins
Who wouldn’t feel special with this as their place setting? (DepositPhotos)

1. Set the Table

A well-ordered table set with plates, silverware, candles and some personal touches such as name cards (or “Happy Thanksgiving” cards) shows you put great care and preparation into the meal’s presentation.

Now’s a great time to break out the charger plates! These are plates that you place underneath soup, salad and dinner plates to catch bits of food and spills that would otherwise stain the tablecloth. Just make sure you replace the chargers with clean ones between each course.

An autumn-themed tablecloth gives guests a nice, festive place where they can sit and enjoy a home-cooked meal with their loved ones.

And don’t forget the buffet line! You can dress up a plain, ugly plastic folding table with a wooden table topper.

Remember: It’s the details that matter the most when hosting a dinner, so whatever you do, just make sure the dining room looks and feels special.

Watch and Learn: How to Transform Your Plain Folding Table to Rustic Chic


Woman holding pumpkin in her hand
Share what you’re thankful for and pass the pumpkin to your guests! (DepositPhotos)

2. Pass the Pumpkin

At the heart of Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving is gratitude, and you can encourage guests to share what they’re grateful for with a simple pumpkin.

Purchase a pumpkin that’s small enough to fit in your hands; you can paint “Give Thanks” on it or leave as is. Then, before the meal begins, show it to your guests and ask everyone to take turns passing the pumpkin around and sharing what they’re thankful for.

This shared experience could easily become an annual tradition!

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