I am pretty bummed I’m not hosting a Friendsgiving this year. I’ve hosted a Friendsgiving for the med school crew three years in a row, and it’s something I look forward to every year. This year, with it being 4th year, everyone is around the country on rotations and interviews, and we couldn’t swing it. We’re hoping to all get together in January for a dinner party, and hopefully that’ll satisfy by need to host then lol.
Even though I’m not hosting this year, I know you may be! Whether it’s Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to add personal touches so your guests feel welcome. Below are five things I love to do when hosting!
1. Sweet Messages on Napkin Tags
I love adding a little message at each place setting for my guests. It’s sentimental and a let’s everyone know we are so excited to be celebrating with them. I just think it’s a nice surprise for everyone to sit down to! I’m still learning to hand letter (really far away from being average at it lol), so I created these napkin tags with a hand lettered font to add to my napkins instead.
I used a hole puncher and twine to add these tags to the napkins. I love how they turned out! You can get these napkin tags sent to your email by subscribing to the newsletter. If you already are a subscriber, it’s in your mailbox!
2. Creative Place Cards
There are so many creative ideas on Pinterest and Etsy of how to create custom place cards. My first year of hosting a Friendsgiving, I envisioned making name tags by writing names on kraft paper, cutting it out like a leaf, and hot gluing it to white pumpkins. I found out that year that white pumpkins quickly go out of stock by the first week of November and to buy them early. I’m still holding on to this vision for later!
That year I ended up writing my guest’s names on kraft paper and hot glueing them to pinecones I purchased from Michael’s. It was really easy and super cute!
If you are talented and can hand letter, I love the look of hand lettered leaves with a metallic gold. Or you can buy them on Etsy- I’m kind of obsessed with THESE.
You can also do what I do, and find a cute font to type everyone’s name and add it to the tablescape!
3. Thoughtful Tablescape
There’s just something about a pretty tablescape! If you’re looking for an extravagant tablescape, read how I created my neutral white pumpkin + live greenery tablescape HERE (it’s one of my favorites ever). If you want something a little simpler that still looks thoughtful (and it’s budget friendly), read about my simple farmhouse inspired table HERE.
Some of the elements I think make a thoughtful Thanksgiving tablescape include: greenery (live or faux), candles, and some sort of pumpkins (whether they are large pumpkins or small accents). I’m also a sucker for a pretty charger, but that’s not necessary!
4. Leftover Bags
The best part of Thanksgiving are the leftovers!! Am I right?? Last year, I found these cute to-go bags from TJ Maxx and also provided guests with plastic containers to take leftovers home with them. This was such a huge hit, especially to take home desserts in.
5. Make Signature Drinks or Cocktails
Having a fun drink is an easy way to bring another personal touch to your Thanksgiving. It’s super nice to have these drinks ready as soon as your guests arrive so they can immediately start enjoying the apps and relaxing.
I personally love Sangria during the holidays and THIS recipe is my absolute favorite to make (just a heads up, you need to plan to make it a day in advance). I also make this THIS pumpkin spice punch and make it non-alcoholic by using sparkling cider. It’s also a pretty sweet recipe, so I don’t add the sugar.