Gather your friends and put a global spin on your Friendsgiving tradition!
Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. Many of us look forward to spending a day feasting on the classics with our family. The turkey and stuffing take center stage as we give thanks for all the wonderful things in our life. We tell stories, watch football, and perhaps even doze off by a crackling fire. It’s one of the best days of the year.
But there’s something else that’s even more classically American than pumpkin pie. Diversity. This country was built by people from all walks of life who, by working hard to strengthen their own families and communities, ended up strengthening the entire nation by bringing new perspectives to the table. We see glimpses of cultures from oceans away everywhere we look. In our cuisine, our language, our music, even our fashion. Ours is a country of cultures that have connected over centuries to create a beautifully chaotic collage.
Your community of friends is likely similar: a group of people from different backgrounds, whose variety of gifts and interests come together to create a strong support network. This year, as you gear up for traditional American Thanksgiving with your family, make time to celebrate a global Friendsgiving with your community. Friendsgiving is a special holiday; one where you don’t need to be related to take time to be grateful or celebrate the journey of life together. Invite your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors. On this day, surround yourself with people who build each other up because of, and not despite, their diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
Here’s how to host Friendsgiving like a pro.
Set the mood
Putting a global spin on the classic American holiday is easy, beautiful, and allows you to be a bit less traditional. Fine china and grandmother’s silver aren’t necessary here. Simply choose a tablecloth that gives your table a well-travelled look, light a few candles, and set the table. This might even be the perfect opportunity to test out your napkin folding skills!
Choose the main course
If you’re hosting Friendsgiving, it’s your job to supply the piece de resistance. Find a recipe that will be a crowd pleaser, but be sure to choose something that isn’t traditional Thanksgiving fare. It’s likely that your guests will be eating large quantities of turkey in the very near future, so cook something they may never have tried from a country they’ve always wanted to visit. Spanish paella, Cambodian fish amok, and Moroccan inspired almond chicken cooked in a traditional tagine are all meals that will take your taste buds on a journey around the world.
Organize the sides
If you’ve ever hosted a potluck, you know that it is definitely in everybody’s best interest if the side dishes and desserts are orchestrated so that there are no repeats. For your global Friendsgiving, take it a step further. When you ask your friends to bring a specific side or dessert, find out what country they plan on representing as well. Have a few suggestions handy so that if somebody has already claimed Italy, for example, you can give them some other options to explore.
Pour the drinks
Wine from South Africa, beer from Belgium, Mexican horchata, or Thai iced tea. No matter what your guests are thirsty for, there’s a fun, global drink recipe to try at your Friendsgiving. Add drinks to the potluck sign up list, or provide them yourself. Just be sure to have plenty of ice!
Let’s not forget what the day is all about: community and counting blessings. Ask each guest to say what they’re thankful for, and then take it a step further. Ask them to also mention one thing they can do to help create positive change. Whether it’s donating to a local charity, volunteering time, encouraging coworkers, or even just smiling to strangers as they walk down the street, a little goes a long way. Communities and friendships get stronger when we invest in each other. And that’s what Friendsgiving is all about!