Every year we host a Friendsgiving party. It is truly a day that we look forward to year round as a chance to get all of our friends together for good food and (a lot of) drinks. We hosted our Friendsgiving on November 3rd and due to the timing with Halloween decided to add a theme: Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. This really took things to a new level and we have already decided that all Friendsgiving parties should have a theme involved.
We centered our decoration and menu around combining the best of what Day of the Dead and Thanksgiving have to offer. We wanted the decor to have bright colors and feel sophisticated but fun and celebratory of Dia de los Muertos. To achieve this, we used bright blue linens and used a mix of colorful plates and napkins. We specifically chose not to put the plates or napkins in any specific order, instead to have a blend of colors throughout the entire table. Centerpieces were comprised of skulls that we painted in our Fall Party and skull candles. As a fun party favor, we had shirts printed that sat on each chair.
One of the best parts of hosting a Friendsgiving party is that you can ask all of your friends to help contribute and bring a dish. We wanted the menu to be traditional Thanksgiving foods with a Mexican twist. Luckily we have friends that are in for a themed party, so they were happy to play along.
With so many people bringing dishes, we don’t have linked recipes for everything on the menu. Hopefully this will serve to help inspire your party menu if you have any version of a Friendsgiving or a Day of the Dead party in the future.
Appetizers: Mini Burritos, Day of the Dead Hummus and Skeleton 7 Layer Dip
Main Course: Smoked Brisket and Fried Turkey Tacos served with Mexican Cole Slaw, Cotija Cheese, BBQ Gravy and Poblano Gravy
Side Dishes: Enchilada Mac and Cheese, Mexican Street Corn, Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Salsa
Cocktail: Classic Margarita
Four Tips for Throwing A Great Friendsgiving
1. For those looking to host a Friendsgiving party and don’t know how to broach people contributing with food or alcohol, we send out a spreadsheet (Google sheet) to our guests once they RSVP that they are coming. It helps people see what our ideas are and gets them excited to come and contribute.
2. If you are having a sit down dinner, make place cards. This way you can mix up different groups of friends so everyone mingles. Your friends that know each other well will have plenty of time to chat during the rest of the party.
3. Limit the amount of menu items that you take on as the host(s). Decorating, planning, and taking care of your party space is a lot to handle! Don’t feel like you need to contribute the bulk of the food as well. We always cook the entree but try to limit ourselves otherwise so that we can enjoy the day. If everyone contributes, there will always be plenty of food.
4. Put water and wine on the tables before you sit down for dinner. This prevents people from constantly getting up while you are trying to have a nice dinner and makes sure you aren’t playing waiter/waitress the entire evening.