The 10 commandments of Friendsgiving

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Esmeralda Arellano
For those wanting more than a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Friendsgiving is a fun way to celebrate what you’re thankful for with more than just your relatives.

Thanksgiving is often focused on family, but for those who want to add a little more fun to their holiday season, Friendsgiving is the perfect party idea. While it may not be as traditional as a family dinner, it’s a great opportunity to meet up with friends before Turkey Day to share some laughs and delicious food. Before you rush in to start planning your festive potluck, here are 10 sacred rules to live by to help prevent any major holiday disasters.

Thou shalt not repeat a dish.

As much as some people may love their desserts, they don’t want their Friendsgiving meal to only consist of a single turkey and 11 pumpkin pies. To prevent confusion among guests, create a group chat or email thread to keep them all informed of which friend is bringing which dish. Make sure to have at least one dish representing every food group to please all of your friends. Even if you hate eating veggies, keep in mind that others may be expecting their annual serving of green bean casserole.

Thy host shalt make thy turkey.

If you’re hosting this year’s Friendsgiving, you should make the turkey. It’s just common sense, as it’s much easier having to transport a main dish to a table a few feet away than it is to have it delivered from another house miles away. The last thing you want is to have your roasted turkey tied to the hood of someone’s Toyota Camry in holiday traffic.

Thou shalt not critique another’s dish.

Not everyone has the kitchen skill set of Gordon Ramsay, so don’t expect every part of your meal to taste perfect. Instead of criticising a friend’s dish, appreciate the fact that they took the time to contribute to the festive potluck. No one tries to fail miserably at cooking, so even if some of the food tastes like burnt rubber, it’s best to keep it to yourself and politely decline a second helping.

Remember thy dinner date and keep it timely.

Everyone can understand showing up to the party fashionably late, but showing up at the front door as the rest of the guests are putting away the leftovers is pushing it. Once the date and time of your Friendsgiving plans are finalized, add it to your calendar or set an alarm on your phone to ensure that you don’t miss out on the day’s festivities.

Honor thy host.

The host has gone out of their way to open up their home to everyone. Coordinating the guest list, making the turkey and setting the table are just a few items on their Friendsgiving to-do list. The least you can do is acknowledge all that they’ve done and make an effort to show up on time with something edible. It also wouldn’t hurt to bring them a small gift, such as a bouquet or festive candle, to thank them for being the hostess with the mostest.

Thou shalt not discuss politics.

Most of us have seen how quickly the room’s mood can change once current events are brought up at the dinner table. Ensure your guests understand that impeachment and foreign relations will be taboo topics for the day to prevent a disastrous food fight, otherwise your home may soon end up covered in gravy stains and sweet potato remnants.

Thou shalt not assemble thy dish in thy host’s kitchen.

Your host has put in  enough effort to make sure that this year’s Friendsgiving is a success and will not be pleased to answer their door and find your arms full with measuring cups and a box of cornbread mix. Make your dish ahead of time to avoid causing your friend any more stress. If you can’t fit baking into your schedule, you can, at the very least, pick up a cheese platter or cookie tray at your local grocery store on your way there.

Thou shalt be aware of thy friends’ food allergies.

No one wants to make a holiday tradition out of stabbing their friend with an EpiPen. To avoid having your mealtime be interrupted by EMTs, make sure to check if any guests have food allergies ahead of time so everyone is able to enjoy a meal without putting themselves in danger. Also, check to see if anyone has diet preferences, such as vegan or vegetarian, to include every member of your group.

Thou shalt not covet thy friend’s dishes.

It’s hard to have your watercress salad compete with  a warm pumpkin pie, so don’t take it personally if you have to pack up your dish for leftovers at the end of the meal. If you’re worried about your contribution being too plain, take Friendsgiving as an opportunity to experiment with new dishes. Try making those Kool-Aid pickles you found on Pinterest or watch a Tastemade video on how to bake black bean brownies. Just know that these out-of-the-box attempts might be a swing and a miss with several of your friends.

Thou shalt enjoy thy company.

The holiday season is a time to reflect on the past year and realize what you are thankful for. Whether your motivation to make an appearance is to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while or to avoid routine holiday drama with visiting relatives, Friendsgiving is a day to spend time with those you care about and it should be used as an opportunity to make new memories to carry with you into the new year.

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