Over this past weekend we had the best time with some of our closest and oldest friends. We are lucky to have a close and big group of friends that stems back to high school (even earlier for some) and college. The last time we were all together without kids was probably two years ago. We lucked out and got almost the whole group together for a friendsgiving/holiday party.
I (Katie) am not a master entertainer or host by any stretch of the imagination, but we did have fun putting together this party. For this friendsgiving, we made it adults only, other than a sweet newborn baby girl. With a group this big, there are so many kids making it hard to have adult conversations at times, you know? At any rate – it was so great to see our friends!
Table & Decor
Our living room is a decent size space which allowed us to set up two 6-foot tables in our living room. I bought a roll of butcher paper off Amazon and used that as a table runner. It made clean-up so easy! I also used the butcher paper on the bar downstairs which was a great spot for it. I will use it again!
Our family had gotten our Christmas Tree the day before so I had some left over branches from the bottom of the tree to use for table decorations. Sara bought some white berry branches from Michael’s and i cut them up and tied to the pine branches with some twine.
For food we decided to do a Thanksgiving style dinner. Justin made the turkey. The boys were hoping to deep fry the turkey but our lovely Wisconsin weather didn’t allow that to happen along with some other logistical issues that Sara and I didn’t care to worry about.
I asked everyone to bring a dish to pass, which is definitely the way to go in my opinion. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, delicious homemade stuffing, sweet potatoes, balsamic carrots, dinner rolls, brussel sprouts, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring something along.
For the “signature” drink, I made an easy pomegranate punch that was tasty and simple.
- 2 Bottles of prosecco
- Pomegranate seeds
- 1 bottle of pomegranate juice
With such a fun group of friends, we decided to do a gift exchange. We did one many years ago that we still talk about to this day.
To turn things up a notch, the rule for the gift was that it must be homemade. I made a blanket, because – obviously (see tutorial here). Travis had made a grilling table for us but had some changes he wanted to make to it – so he gave away his original table. Sara made a homemade sign to hang a wreath on – great idea and the wreath can be changed out for different seasons. Justin brewed beer and made homemade apple pie (alcohol – not the dessert).
The rules for the actual gift exchange:
- Every person drew a number.
- Each person went in numerical order.
- When it was your turn, you could either draw from the gifts under the tree or steal from another person.
- Steals: Each gift could be stolen 2 times. On the third owner – it could not be stolen again. If your gift was stolen, you then could choose another gift from under the tree or steal from a different person. You could not steal back-to-back.
- The first person to go had a final chance at the end to steal from another person.
The homemade gift exchange was a fun twist on a white elephant gift exchange. There were some funny, creative, and even a few NSFW twists on gifts (ahem – Travis).
Because I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I created this fun photo wall.
Tell us about some of the fun things you do when you get together with your friends and families below in the comments!