If you’re one of those type A overachievers who plans out your Friendsgiving festivities six weeks before Thanksgiving, well, more power to you! You do your Martha Stewart thing and, when you’re done, teach us your wise ways. If you need a little help, check out our Friendsgiving planning timeline.
Because here at Thanksgiving.com, we imagine most people (read: definitely us) don’t even have time to start thinking about this special gathering until two weeks before the big day — and that’s if we happen to be at the top of our game.
The truth is, we’re not trying to win any best-host-ever trophies. We’re just trying to do the damn thing. As long as we can kick it with our besties, chow down on some good grub and no one sets the house on fire, we consider it a win.
In that vein, here’s a low-key checklist that will help you get high-key excited about your Friendsgiving plans. Not just because you get to see some of your favorite people, but also (and, let’s be real, largely) because you actually get everything done for once.
T minus two weeks
Lock down the details. You’re going to need to get hot on a few key decisions at this point: the date of your shindig, the theme (should you decide to have one) and the guest list.
Get the word out. Once you determine those things, you can send out invitations. We recommend e-invites because (a) they’re instantaneous and (b) you’ll be doing a good deed for the environment, too. And, don’t worry, we’ve even made that easy for you — click here to download one of our custom Friendsgiving e-invites.
Work on your menu. If you’ve settled on a potluck party, this means you need to have some sort of sign-up sheet so every single person in attendance doesn’t bring mac and cheese or green bean casserole. If you’ve taken on the role of master chef and intend to serve a specialty meat like a Thanksgiving turkey or a glazed ham, you may need to reserve it with your local grocer now. The last thing you want is a Christmas with the Kranks in-store ham-war on your hands.
T minus one week
Check your specs. Do you have enough seats? How about silverware? Where the heck is your roasting pan? Does your punch to food ratio feel right? Do you even own salad tongs?! Go ahead and do a quick inventory to make sure you have everything you need. That way, you still have time to supplement without the day-of scramble.
Clean out your fridge and freezer. Ah, betcha didn’t think of this one, did you? Don’t feel bad — it’s at the top of our forget-every-year list. It makes a huge difference if you do this the week before Friendsgiving, though, because then you have room for all the food you’ll be serving, along with all those leftovers you’ll be living off of for weeks.
Go shopping. Aren’t ya glad you cleaned out your fridge and freezer? You’ll obviously want to time this right so you don’t get any ingredients that may spoil before you use them, but doing the bulk of your grocery shopping now will take loads of stress off your plate (pun intended).
T minus three days
Decorate yo’ space. Does this mean you’ll have to live in a Friendsgiving wonderland of your own making for a few days prior to your party? Sure, but that sounds delightful, if you ask us. Especially if you consider the alternative — running around like The Flash trying to prettify your pad before your guests start arriving.
Start cooking. Start with the least perishable menu items or even those you can freeze and then easily thaw when you need to. Then, the closer you get to the big day, start tackling the bigger items. Your friends love you, so they’d undoubtedly forgive you if the turkey wasn’t done in time for your Friendsgiving feast. But, still.
T minus one day
Get to cleanin’. Sure, you can clean at various intervals leading up to the big day. But if you have kids, pets or even a significant other who always forgets to take their boots off in the house, you’re not going to be able to keep your home party-clean. The key is to wait until the last possible minute to clean, while still allowing yourself enough time.
Do last-minute food prep. Go ahead and pull anything you put into the freezer out. It’ll need to go into the fridge to ensure it isn’t ice-solid when you serve it to your guests. Wash and dry salad greens, and then store them in a resealable plastic bag. And, finally, run to the store for any last-minute menu additions or to restock your supplies.
Pick your outfit. It may seem silly, but many a holiday meal was partially missed due to a wardrobe crisis. This is particularly important if you choose a theme for your Friendsgiving! But either way, you’ll want to set aside whatever you plan to wear and make sure it’s wrinkle-free and ready to go.