The year is coming to a close, but the holidays are just getting started. And in the whirlwind of pumpkin picking, brisk outdoor bonfires, s’mores, and costume buying, we often get caught up in the bustle and forget to slow down and enjoy the experience. But when you take a step back and soak up the simplicity of gathering you can then create a multitude of beautiful memories with your loved ones. Friendsgiving is here to become part of your yearly tradition and give you the opportunity to truly make the most of the holiday season. This special event brings all your favorite people together in a Thanksgiving-like atmosphere that is fun, organic, and truly magical.

At Ashley, we have witnessed the power of a solid Friendsgiving potluck. Not only is it a stress-free and exciting event to plan, but it also gives you a chance to spruce up your home with the most beautiful seasonal decor yet. If you’re planning a Friendsgiving potluck, you don’t need to break the budget on food, so you can indulge in the Thanksgiving tabletop decor and accents that you’ve always dreamed of—then keep them up for the official Thanksgiving day. If you’re here for some Friendsgiving potluck ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ways you can host a Friendsgiving that’s enjoyable for everyone.

Friendsgiving Potluck Ideas

Now that it’s time to spice up your home for Friendsgiving, you should first remove any summer decor, clutter, and anything else that just doesn’t function well in your holiday-esque home. If this is your first time hosting a Friendsgiving, rest assured that there’s a lot less pressure or expectations compared to Thanksgiving. You got this! Here are some Friendsgiving ideas to make your first one a success.

  • Be prepared with extra seating. Having extra fold-up chairs and stools that can be packed away in a closet or shed will expand your hosting capabilities while not cramping your daily living arrangements.
  • Make it a team effort. Potlucks take the heat off the host to cook all the food, plus your guests can show off their best cooking skills! Everything comes together with the best when your friends sign up for a dish of their choice. As the host, it’s expected that you roast the turkey, but you don’t have to multitask all the sides. (Or, just order a bird from your favorite restaurant!)
  • Use decorative bowls to hold light bites. Candy and bite-sized appetizers like pigs in a blanket are better served in something pretty. Leave these treats out as casual snacks as your friends arrive. They are excellent for keeping hunger at bay before everyone digs into the main courses.
  • Go super casual and ditch the formal dining table. If you want to shift the mood completely, quit the dining table and feast around the couch, a kitchen island, or on a picnic table at a rented outdoor pavilion.
  • Make everything accessible at a convenient serving station. Great potlucks have an official spot for people to drop off food along with serving utensils. If you want to make these dishes look even prettier, place them on Thanksgiving-themed serving platters!
  • Don’t come empty-handed. If you’re not hosting, it’s important to know what to bring to a Friendsgiving. If it’s a potluck, bring the dish or beverage you signed up for. You may also bring the host some flowers or a bottle of wine.
  • Send your guests home happy. If you’re a host,  place a small gift on each guest’s plate or leave sets of “goodie bags” and food storage containers so that guests can take home leftovers to enjoy. After all, one of the best parts of this holiday is the food you can enjoy the day after!

Best Friendsgiving Table Decorations

Great eats happen in the fall. From the wonderful aroma of nutmeg in pies to the scent of cinnamon on top of your morning latte, it’s just a magical season. For the ultimate fall mood, your fall kitchen decor should flow seamlessly with the rest of your home. Since Friendsgiving is a relatively new holiday, people are still inventing their traditions to make the holiday their own. Do you want to stick to tried-and-true centerpieces like cornucopias and autumn-leaf table runners, or would you like to spice your table up with some LED light-up pumpkins?

Whether you lay out some decorative gourds from your local farmer’s market or invest in some stunning Thanksgiving plates and silverware, this is a holiday that you can decorate exactly to your taste.

If you need some ideas, simply start browsing Ashley’s fall and Thanksgiving decor. Every season, we come out with new selections to update and refresh your fall decorating game. Our robust selection of accent chairs, sofas, side tables, and coffee tables can also give you a chic furniture update or fill in a bare spot in your home.

What Food Should I Bring to Friendsgiving?

A great Friendsgiving menu starts with food staples and a signup list. Solutions like free digital sign up forms remove the confusion that would occur in a long text message thread. Have everyone take responsibility for one essential staple, such as drinks, Friendsgiving appetizers, and the most-expected sides like mashed potatoes. Some other great Friendsgiving food ideas include:

  • Baked sweet potatoes and marshmallows
  • Green bean casserole
  • Homemade gravy
  • Any kind of pie—especially pumpkin and sweet potato.
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Spiral honey ham
  • Fun appetizers like bacon-wrapped scallops

There are also many Friendsgiving recipes available on the internet and in cookbooks at your local bookstore, so take a look in a book!  If you have a specialty, such as a meal from a different culture that your friends have never tried before, Friendsgiving is a great time to share it.

Find the Best Friendsgiving Table Centerpiece

A great Friendsgiving centerpiece doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Something simple like a Thanksgiving-themed wreath, garland, or lantern is more than enough to make any Friendsgiving table shine. You can also go outside and pick a few pinecones and colorful leaves and arrange them on your table for free. However, placing these natural beauties in decorative bowls or platters from Ashley will certainly take your DIY craft to the next level. Table runners can enhance any centerpiece that you choose, whether it’s a long garland or a vase of fragrant seasonal flowers.

It’s Time to Gather

Fall is such a refreshing season because the cool breezes chase away the heat of summer. That makes fall the perfect time to refresh, slow down, and remember what we’re thankful for. Use these hosting tips to make your home cozy and inviting for you and your visiting loved ones. Ashley is here to help make your Friendsgiving and holiday season the best one yet!

Share all your Friendsgiving moments by tagging us on social with the hashtag #MyAshleyHome. We can’t wait to see how you opened up your home to your loved ones!