“Friends are the family you choose.” This sentiment can be even more understood and heartfelt this time of year.
If you don’t come from a large family or were compelled by college or career to travel far from home, then chances are you have attended or hosted a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner with friends and acquaintances. Or perhaps you and your spouse find the newly empty nest a little too quiet and want to welcome other chick-less parents to share a bottle of wine along with the prized wishbone.
No matter the generation or demographic, the prospect of being alone during the holidays is never welcome, especially when inundated with commercials and ads celebrating warm family reunions. Sometimes it’s a choice of avoiding familial drama or being asked for the thousandth time when you plan to marry. Friends tend to leave judgment off the menu.
Ready to host this year? Then it’s time to choose your Thanksgiving family. Invite single friends and parents without partners, Bill in accounting who never joins in at work, or the sweet old lady down the hall who receives meals on wheels. Once you’ve set your guest list – and make it flexible for last minute adoptees – the meal planning can begin.
If you’re in charge of the turkey, remember it needs several days to thaw to avoid a cooking disaster. Prepare some side dishes ahead of time if you’re limited on space, so they can simply be heated up the day of. Many “orphans” will want to pitch in, so you can never go wrong with potluck. Just in case, use Facebook or a sign-up app so you don’t end up with too many pumpkin pies and no vegetables. Hold up – there is no such thing as too many pumpkin pies.
Potlucks are also a great way to get to know your friends and neighbors while trying new things. Who says it has to be traditional turkey? A multi-cultural table with new and unusual dishes could be more memorable than the typical drumstick and stuffing.
A common woe of not hosting Thanksgiving is the depressing lack of leftovers, so guests will be truly appreciative if you provide takeout boxes for a delicious next-day turkey sandwich or slice of pie.
Whether facing your first holiday away from mom’s perfectly mashed potatoes or consciously choosing to skip Aunt June’s Waldorf salad, being part of a Friendsgiving celebration can be a welcome tonic for the homesick soul.
Source: DLP Marketing