I don’t know about you, but the holiday season is what I wait for all year. It’s a time of year where cinnamon and cloves fill the slightly chilled air, the hue in the world begins to shift toward a deeper palette, the evenings twinkle with the lights from decorated homes and storefronts.

It’s also a time where loved ones come together to celebrate one another. Hands are held, turkey is roasted, pies are baked, fireplaces are warmed, tables are adorned as the jubilations begin. Add to that list Friendsgiving, an event you can host by following the following steps and tips.

Invite

Send out your invites to the people you cherish. These people don’t have to necessarily know each other. Food is a universal language and is a great way to connect people. Make it a potluck, letting everyone bring a dish that means something to them.

Friendsgivings are wonderful because it’s not a single family tradition. There are representatives from multiple family traditions that are going to be present at the table. Highlight and value that.

Decorate

Host a mini decorating party the afternoon before Friendsgiving. Mini pumpkins from your local grocery store or farmer’s market are a beautiful and affordable addition to the table. Larger ones can be carved or painted white.

Use small tea candles, or make your own with a recipe here to create a warm ambience. If placed in mason jars, the candles can be a take-home gift at the end of the evening. Set the table the night before during the decorating party so that it’s all set up for dinner the following day.

Prep

Preparation is hard work, but the day-long cooking is arguably one of the best things about Thanksgiving. Make sure you start with the dish that takes the longest, set your timers, clean as you go and don’t be afraid to ask for help, because the more people you can cook with, the more fun it is. If you need ideas, some crowd pleasers include buttery mashed potatoes, wild rice with mushrooms and roasted sausage and chard.

Archive

Provide a polaroid camera or a few disposable cameras with thematic props at the door or table to start a new collection for future recollection. It’s a fun addition and a creative way to remember the evening from different points of view. They also make for sentimental gifts for friends.

Gather

After the turkey has been carved, go around the table to say what you’ve been grateful for this past year. This is a wonderful way to make the evening more meaningful by inviting people to celebrate the good things in life.

You can also make this a cookie decorating theme, where everyone decorates their cookies with a color, word or image to be expanded on regarding gratitude. Then, carve some pumpkins, eat some apple pandowdy, play some Thanksgiving-related games, like Thanksgiving bingo, and finish off the food coma with a holiday movie.

Let us know how you plan to celebrate Friendsgiving!