*Updated 11/19/20* If you are having an in-person gathering please adhere to the new CDC guidelines: limit to 10 people for indoor activities, wear a mask, and maintain 6 feet of social distance. It is highly recommended to get tested for COVID-19 before visiting anyone for the holidays.

Friendsgiving, a Roadmap to Success

Friendsgiving hanging decor
Photo Courtesy of Alexandria_Cole

Embracing New Traditions

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Friendsgiving is one of my favorite gatherings of the year. Second cousin to Thanksgiving, this holiday became official around 2008 when the economy was suffering and millennials had tapped their bank accounts dry from student loans, leaving them ticketless and lonely in their respective college cities. I know, that sounds like a real bummer, but thanks to our dedication to celebrating (aka never letting go of the opportunity to lavishly eat and drink with our favorite people) something beautiful was created. And in recent years, it seems that Friendsgiving has not only become a substitution to the traditional family gathering, but an additional day of feasting. A second day of mashed potatoes? A second helping of stuffing? I’d never say no. Let’s talk about how to create a successful, stress-free day so that you and your chosen Jersey City fam can make the most of your time together.

Friendsgiving stuffing idea
Photo Courtesy of Alex_Lau

Divide and Conquer 

The way to guarantee that your kitchen runs as smoothly as possible, and that you serve food within the given time frame you’ve projected, is to get organized. Send around a sign-up sheet. Share a google doc. Delegate who brings what. This is a game changer in promising your day to be more of a celebration, and less of a stress-fest. It will also ensure that everyone is fed within their dietary needs or wants. On your sheet, create categories for allergies or restrictions, who’s bringing what, and confirm your number of attendees so that each guest can provide the appropriate amount of food. In addition, it’s important to have a column asking if the dish will be fully prepared before it is brought, or if an oven or stovetop will be needed, and how to create a schedule for using it. The kitchen could be a major traffic jam in the making if the logistics aren’t properly planned out.


Party Prep

Once you’ve got everything delegated in terms of food, make sure you’ve covered all of your personal bases to be as prepared as possible. There are several things that you can do ahead of time to make your day easier, including setting the table, writing out a list of what everyone is bringing as you get confirmation, creating pitchers of water, and making sure you’re fully stocked in the kitchen with glassware and napkins. These are just a few ways you can be prepared, but there are many more helpful tips to be found that will support your stress-free day.

Friendsgiving mashed potato recipe
Photo Courtesy of foodandwine.com

Batch your Booze

Part of the fun of Fall and Winter holidays is indulging in all things food and drink. And on Friendsgiving, that especially means wine, or a good small-batch cocktail. Creating a signature batched cocktail for the day will not only make serving easy, it’s a fun way for everyone to remember that delicious drink that brought them all closer together. It’s also a good way to learn a new drink with seasonally-focused ingredients. Check out these 13 Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes Full of Boozy Fall Flavors. You should also create a booze-free drink to have on hand as another option. Check out this festive Apple-Cranberry Bellini Mocktail. Great spots for purchasing spirits and wine are Jersey Wine & Spirits and Madame Claude Wine. For more options check out our EverythingJerseyCity.com Directory!

Friendsgiving drink idea
Photo Courtesy of BritMorin

Game Time

Since you’re already around the table, clear it and get to some fun stuff. Between the the group, there are bound to be many card games that everyone knows or can quickly learn and play. Here’s a great list of party games that don’t require heavy resources, and what they do need you’ll most likely already have on hand. But after being around the table for hours, you may also want to get up and move. Jersey City has many bars with games or entertainment that will be accommodating to any size group. Barcade is always a solid choice, or if you’d like to hear live music, check out New Park Tavern. If the group is into karaoke (and what could be better to finish off the night?) head to Grove Corner Bar for a song-filled finish to the day.


The Morning After 

There’s nothing I’d like to do less than clean up after a full day of hosting and a heavy night of eating and drinking. Don’t get me wrong, all of the fun is worth it, but the host deserves a little rest and relaxation after throwing such a successful shindig. A great gift to yourself for being so prepared is to order a cleaning service the day after your partying is done. There are several places you can check out, but we love Regina’s Maids and Maid in JC. Sit back, sip your coffee, and start thinking of your karaoke song for next year.