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Looking for a theme for your Friendsgiving? Here are 10

Friendsgiving themed party
Photo credit: standret/Getty Images

Sure, the non-familial guest list for Friendsgiving sets this special holiday hangout apart. But if you really want to ensure your party feels different than your typical Turkey Day celebration, we have one word for you: themes. The theme for your Friendsgiving is going to be very important.

The beauty of Friendsgiving is that you aren’t bound by any traditions other the ones you establish. Whatever you say goes. So, you’re totally free to spend the evening with your closest friends (aka framily) dressed up, dressed down or dressed any which way you deem in keeping with the spirit of your get-together.

Why sit around eating turkey when you can sit around eating turkey in your PJs or rockin’ a lei? If you want to watch movies all night, hey, that’s your prerogative. No matter how you theme your shindig, your friends will appreciate all the effort you put into making the night memorable.

What we’re trying to say is themed Friendsgivings are the new black. Everybody’s going to be doing it — or, if they aren’t, they should be. Because YOLO, right? When you’re ready to get in on this hot trend, these 10 ideas should help get your party started.

1. Pajama Friendsgiving

With the possible exception of maternity pants (stretch panel FTW), there’s no ensemble better suited to Friendsgiving than PJs. To state the obvious, they’re inherently comfy. You can pour yourself straight into bed after a full night of festivities.

Prior to catching those z’s, though, your party should include shenanigans like building a blanket fort and having a pillow fight. Just think of it as those childhood slumber parties you loved so much … plus wine!

ALSO TRY: 10 killer Thanksgiving leftover breakfast and brunch ideas

2. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Friendsgiving

For the sake of total transparency, we’re lucky if we make it to November before we start decorating for Christmas. But if you have more patience than we do, your Friendsgiving party provides the perfect opportunity.

With classic Christmas songs playing in the background, you can get your friends in on the decorating fun. Between bites of traditional Christmas menu items like roasted chestnuts and figgy pudding, hang ornaments on the tree. Drape a garland of greenery on the mantle. You can even do a gift exchange if you’re feeling generous.

3. Taco-bout a Friendsgiving party

Tacos are always a good idea. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t approve of a Friendsgiving party that includes a taco bar, mariachi music and pitchers of margarita.

If you want to give your party a Thanksgiving spin, though, you could incorporate it into your menu choices — think shredded turkey tacos or sweet pumpkin empanadas.

Or, if you don’t want to bother with cooking at all, head to your local Taco Bell and stock up.

4. Netflix and chill

Or should we say #FriendsgivingAndChill?

Make your party a movie night for the ultimate cozy evening with friends. Step up your standard movie snack fare with more decadent, seasonal goodies like pumpkin pie spice white chocolate popcorn. Make sure you have plenty of comfy seating conducive to hunkering down and hanging out. And definitely have a mellow playlist on standby for guests to vibe to between movies.

As for the movie selection, any rom-com will do. We recommend some of the new hits from Netflix, like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.”

MORE: 6 store-bought shortcuts for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner

5. Mayflower and Mai-Tais: A tropical Friendsgiving

Here today, gone to Maui! You may not be able to fly all your friends to Hawaii for the holidays, but you can give them all the tropical feels if you play your Friendsgiving right.

Start by downloading a playlist full of tropical tunes they can “shaka” their groove thing to. For the menu, choose a traditional Hawaiian entrée like Kalua turkey or pineapple pork bowls. Tuna tartare could work well as a side dish. Most importantly, don’t forget the Mai-Tais, brah.

6. Dinner is coming

That’s right, “Game of Thrones” fans — this Friendsgiving is for you.

A rustic homemade bread just begs to be on a Westeros-style tablescape. Deviled eggs can double as dragon eggs. For dessert, try these lemon bars for a riff on Sansa Stark’s famous lemon cake.

Of course, you’ll find loads of inspiration on Pinterest, including the ever-popular (and admittedly morbid) Ned Stark head cake pops. You can create place cards for guests indicating which house they’re in: Targaryen, Lannister, Stark, etc. To bring it all together, hang a “winter is coming” banner above the door.

7. Pumpkin-carving contest

What’s more fun than a little friendly competition? Friendly competition and pumpkins, of course. With so many amazing pumpkin-carving tutorials on the internet, everyone can be a pumpkin Picasso. Let your friends flex their pumpkin-carving skills to see who deserves bragging rights.

After all, Halloween shouldn’t have a monopoly on jack-o’-lanterns. In keeping with the essence of the evening, make your menu a pumpkin extravaganza with recipes like pumpkin stuffing with gruyere and, our personal favorite, boozy pumpkin white hot chocolate.

8. Get a “Clue” Friendsgiving

A whodunnit theme will undoubtedly add an element of intrigue to your Friendsgiving, and there’s no whodunnit in history more iconic than Clue.

To bring this classic board game to life, ask guests to dress up as a character of their choosing. When they arrive, have tapered candles placed throughout the room to set the mood.

A menu is easy enough since you can base it off the characters’ names: air-fried turkey breast with maple (Colonel) mustard glaze, (Mrs.) white chocolate-drizzled apricot and hazelnut biscotti, lemon (Professor) plum skillet cake — you get the picture. A stash of murderous props like a wrench and lead pipe make for fantastic photo opps.

Naturally, you’ll want to have the game on hand, too.

MORE: Friendsgiving: Celebrating with Friends Who Don’t Have Family Nearby

9. What happens in Vegas Friendsgiving

If we’re really being honest, things have gone down in Friendsgiving past we wish would have stayed in Friendsgiving past. So, why not just embrace the debauchery?

Make a “Welcome to Friendsgiving” backdrop in the fashion of Sin City’s trademark sign. Hand out playing cards for guests to use as coasters. Depending on how handy you are in the kitchen, you could whip up some clams casino. You can even treat your friends to sweet petit fours decorated like dice.

10. #Blessed Friendsgiving

You know how hashtag-blessed you are to have such amazing friends in your life. And this year, you want to pay it forward.

There are several ways to turn your Friendsgiving into a chance to give back. You could create a fundraiser prior to the event and ask your friends to raise money for a local charitable organization. Or you could meet at your place to count your blessings before making a full holiday meal and taking it to a nearby homeless shelter.

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