For some us, Thanksgiving won't be spent with grandma and her infamous mac and cheese or auntie's super-sweet sweet potato pie. Whether it's due to work obligations, finances, or the choice to save that coin for the Christmas flight home, some of us have to forgo the traditional experience for one that's a bit more local and practical.
Missing out on seeing family during the holidays can be a drag, but one thing that often kept my spirits up when I couldn't travel to see family--especially as a media professional often on deadline, paying expensive rent, or on a limited budget---would be having a Friendsgiving.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips to combat holiday FOMO and slay your Friendsgiving:
1. Get with the fun and be creative.
Every great Friendsgiving I've ever been part of included music and games. Gather up the rest of your friends and pool your resources for games and playlists. Try a creative game of Twister, a stay-at-home sip-and-paint with wine and art supplies, or get a good Black Card Revoked card game going.
2. Put your cooking skills to the test.
For a Friendsgiving, I'd always challenge myself to learn something different to cook and bring for the potluck. I loved planning the grocery list and menu themes for these events. The great thing about this is that you can get away from the usual, and try something new. It also helped me expand the range of meals I can now whip up on the spot.
3. Give gifts early.
This is a great opportunity to go ahead and offer a token of thanks for great friendship and, if you don't plan to be in town for Christmas, to offer gifts before you leave. Also, this can serve as a thoughtful preview to Christmas if planned as an organized activity for you and your friends to promote gratitude.
4. Plan a volunteer activity.
A friend of mine used to volunteer at a local soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving holiday, and afterward, she would continue with her usual Thanksgiving stops at various family members homes. Before the dinner, coordinate time with your friends to volunteer and choose something that's dear to all of your hearts. It's great for bonding and yet another reminder of things to be thankful for.
5. Create an after-dinner tradition.
At home, my cousins and I would all go to the movies to see a new release. This was a yearly tradition since we were teens, and as we got older, it was our way---as members of the younger generations of the family---to get away from those annoying older family members who'd ask questions like, "When are you getting married?" or "When are you having children?" For Friendsgiving, I would coordinate the same tradition with friends when I couldn't travel home. Try attending a Thanksgiving-night party, bar-hopping, bowling, or karaoke. Just enjoy and think about the bonds you're strengthening.
Did you know that xoNecole has a new podcast? Join founder Necole Kane, and co-hosts Sheriden Chanel and Amer Woods, for conversations over cocktails each and every week by subscribing to xoNecole Happy Hour podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
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