Thanksgiving & Friendsgiving Tips & Etiquette


Happy Monday and Thanksgiving week! I am super excited not only for a short week at work, but to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving! I love that the holiday brings people together, revolves around food {mashed potatoes!} and allows us to actually focus on what we are thankful for. While remembering what I’m grateful for and sharing is something I try to do all the time, there’s something really special about people talking about what they are thankful for together out loud.

This will be the FOURTH year of a Friendsgiving we’re hosting at our apartment. It started because a lot of us from Ohio weren’t going home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and decided to celebrate as a friend group in SF. It’s expanded and evolved and still ends up being one of the best days ever each year. We pack 15 or so friends into my small apartment {and even tinier} kitchen and eat, drink, play games and have a hilariously fun good time.

I’ve been finding lots of good tips about hosting Thanksgiving, attending Thanksgiving, general Thanksgiving etiquette, etc. and I thought I would share some of the awesomeness I read. My favorite parts from the four articles are included below, but highly recommend clicking the link and reading the full articles. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

Ten Thanksgiving Tips via Shauna Niequist

Invite people into meaningful conversation. If you’re not intentional, a whole day with family and friends can go by without a focused moment or conversation. It’s especially easy to let it pass because you’re stressed about all the food prep. Plan ahead–a question on the back of every placecard, or conversation cards scattered on the table. If you’re hosting, take the opportunity to invite deeper connection around your table. Feel free to be quite directive about it–it feels awkward in the moment, sometimes, but I find that people are always thankful afterward–people want to connect deeply, but it often takes one person to create an environment that allows it.

Thanksgiving Etiquette via bon appétit

  • Never surprise your host with food that needs oven time. The oven is prime real estate, and not to be trifled with.
  • After the toasts, guests may be asked to share what they are especially thankful for. This is a charming way to learn something significant about everyone present.
  • Modern technology has not yet replaced the handwritten thank-you note—rather it has made it more precious.

Stress-Free Thanksgiving via Clementine Daily

Disconnect to Reconnect: Whether you’re in a conversation with friends or family or taking those calls, messages and emails that are urgent, it is critical to stop. The constant connection slowly erodes the internal connection we have with our bodies. That makes it more challenging to hear, understand and interpret the messages that our bodies’ are giving us all the time! So for a few seconds, just take time off from your computer screen, laptop, iPad, tablets and smartphones and let yourself just be where you are!

The 10 Rules for ‘Friendsgiving’ Dinner via Washingtonian

  • Remember ice. Barbecues and copious amount of ice go hand-in-hand, but Thanksgiving? Trust me, get lots of ice. Someone will want to chill beer, another person wants ice water, a third brought pumpkin ice cream for dessert (lame) and there’s no space in the freezer. And for that matter, remember water glasses. Friendsgiving can’t be fueled on whiskey and wine alone.
  • Start traditions. Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be a haphazard “orphan” gathering. If you have a blast, offer to host a similar gathering the next year. If your stuffing was the talk of the party, send everyone a copy of the recipe. Friends can be family, too.

Image via Erin Mercurio

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