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If you’re staying on campus during Thanksgiving or want to celebrate the holiday with a group of friends before going home, then you should definitely be thinking of organizing a Friendsgiving. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend an evening with friends baking and crafting to celebrate the end of the semester and the start of this festive season.

To spice things up a bit, Spectrum has compiled a list of craft ideas and different recipes you should definitely be trying if you are going to organize a Friendsgiving this week.

The DIYs

Pumpkin centerpiece

If you have some leftover (unrotten) pumpkins from Halloween, you can use them to make a beautiful centerpiece for your Friendsgiving table. Take a trip down to Riverside Park and gather different colored leaves. With some white glue and a brush, stick leaves of the same colour on one pumpkin and repeat that for all the leaf colours you have. You’ll end up with some nice fall-themed pumpkins to compliment that pumpkin pie you’ll be sharing. Alternatively, you could also use some paint or spray paint to create an ombre pumpkin centerpiece.

Leaf decorations

To emphasize the pumpkin centerpiece, you can make glitter leaves to spread all over the table. You can use any leftover leaves you gathered for the pumpkins or buy artificial leaves for best results and some red, yellow, and green glitter. With some white glue and a brush, sprinkle on the glitter and let the leaves dry. Spread them around the table, add some candles and you’re all set! A decorated table is a must to add to the festive atmosphere of the holiday.

Pumpkin cooler

If you’re sticking to the pumpkin theme, you can even make your own pumpkin cooler to chill your drinks. Make sure to get a large, sturdy pumpkin that you can cut in half. After removing all the seeds, line the pumpkin with a bag or a bowl to avoid any leaks. Fill it up with ice and place your drinks inside to chill right before guests start arriving. To really emphasize on the pumpkin theme you have going, we recommend adding in some pumpkin beer to the cooler if you are of legal drinking age.

Festive backdrop

Finally, one Friendsgiving must-have is definitely a backdrop for some memorable pictures to send to your parents to show them what a wholesome Thanksgiving you’re having. With just some colourful tablecloth and some letter balloons to spell out ‘Friendsgiving,’ you can create a very Instagram-worthy backdrop to add some colour to the party.

The menu

The drinks

Making some spicy, spiked festive cocktails for your friendly gathering is a must! Why stick to boring, old wine when you can make spiced apple cider jelly shots? You’ll only need some apple cider, gelatin, sugar, and vodka to get the party started!

You could also try to make apple pie sangria! It’s everything we love about apple pie in a more delicious, alcoholic, and drinkable form. Alternatively, you could make pumpkin martinis, which James Bond definitely drinks to get into the holiday spirit. You’ll only need some vodka and pumpkin pie liqueur (shaken, not stirred of course).

The sides and desserts

You should definitely be making your Friendsgiving a potluck because cooking a full course meal for a group of people is definitely not an easy accomplishment. For a successful dinner, you should have a variety of sides to compliment the turkey. We recommend having some kind of dip to share as an appetizer. Pumpkin hummus or a spinach artichoke dip are two classic party dips that are very easy and simple to make or find at a grocery store.

To give your dinner an upgrade, substitute the classic mashed potatoes for a roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes dish. Of course, someone will have to bring the classic mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. There should always be some elements that remind us of home.

For dessert, we recommend trying to bake the classic pumpkin and apple pies as a group right before the dinner! It will make the baking experience much more fun and enjoyable for everyone. As you sit down for dinner, the sweet smell of those pies you just baked will waft around the room and make the atmosphere much more cozy and festive for everyone!

The turkey

The turkey is the dish that is the hardest and most time-consuming to make. To allow you to focus on the decorations, drinks, side dishes and desserts, we really recommend getting some turkey from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Westside Market. Nobody expects you to make an incredible turkey worthy of your usual dinners at home. As long as the sides and desserts are fine, your dinner will be perfect with some supermarket turkey!

Barnard Columbia Thanksgiving Friendsgiving
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