• Shop Local: How to Host Friendsgiving {+ Fit Everyone in a 1-Bedroom Apartment}

    It’s Thanksgiving season, which nowadays means more than just a Thursday late in November. In your adult life, it means gathering with some friends you love who live locally, drinking some wine, and attempting to cook a turkey while not burning the house {most likely apartment} down. Adult life, schmadult life…friendsgiving is for everyone. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned hosting it recently {+ how to shop locally as a host}:

     

    Send out Evites. Or a text. Or get FANCY.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    This is a duh, but make sure to make a list of everyone you want to invite — and MAKE SURE THEY CAN FIT IN YOUR APARTMENT. We just decided this year to go ham and invite a bunch of our close Hoboken friends, and we ended up with 17 people in attendance in our little one bedroom. No big d. So, plan accordingly! Evite is a great way to send an easy and quick invite — OR you can go the traditional way and send a little snail mail! 

    Shop Local Option: Washington General Store has super cute invites, and make sure to check out the Hudson Paperie {the old spot of Yes I Do!}.

     

    Submit potluck requests.

    I’m not a huge fan of potluck, but if you’re hosting a large crowd, it’s really helpful to ask people to bring an appetizer, side dish, main dish, or dessert. You should handle the turkey and gravy, but sides and other entreès are definitely helpful. Send out an email and have everyone reply all so that you know who is bringing what and people can get remotely acquainted if they don’t all know each other.

     

    Get a turkey.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    You should get a turkey that is about .75 pounds in weight per person coming…we had 17 people and I got an 18 lb turkey {which was juuust enough, but we could have had a bit more, alas, no bigger turkeys were in sight!}. 

    Shop Local Options: For an organic turkey, go to Sobsey’s — they have fresh ones! Frozen turkeys can be found at Shoprite {and sometimes Kings –possibly ACME, but we’ve yet to peruse}.

     

    Get enough tables and chairs to fit your guests.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    This is trickier than you’d think. In Hoboken, it’s nearly impossible. However, I lived {and survived} to tell the tale that you can fit 17 people in your one bedroom. Here’s a little step by step of how it looked:

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    Step 1: Put out the chairs and tables.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    Step 2: Realize that putting out tables means that said tables must be locked. Whoooops. Thank goodness I realized this before starting to set the table. What a disaster {and scary situation for the dog!}.

    Shop Local Option: This one is tricky; there are not many local options unless you bargain with a restaurant owner to borrow some chairs. My aunt came to the rescue on this one! Cosco and Home Depot are viable options which are not local, but do the trick.

    Watch YouTube videos to defrost and roast said turkey.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    ^Sometimes your BFFs even hold up the YouTube video for you so that you can multi-task.

    Here are a few favorites that are sure to help:

    Beginners’ Turkey Roast Video {this has been my go-to for the last two years of hosting and so far so good}. I love this guy talking — so calming even when you’re stressing about pulling out the giblets –DON’T FORGET TO DO THAT.

    Turkey Roasting Directions {this article talks about basting, which the Beginners Video says you don’t need to do — but it’s good to get another perspective}.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Turkey {realizing this is for Christmas, but it’s just as good if not better than any Thanksgiving turkey recipe I’ve ever seen! I love his “putting butter under the skin tip…so weird and gross as the turkey prepper but soooo delicious}.

    How to Thaw a Turkey {please note — your turkey should thaw for at least a few days if it’s large and frozen. The general rule is 5lbs per day needed to defrost — so it it’s a 20lb turkey, it needs at least 4 days}.

    Shop Local Option: Little City Books and Battaglia’s Home both have great cookbooks which I’m sure include roasting of a turkey.

     

    Set Your Table.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    If you are into decor and design, there are a few options of places to create beautiful table settings. I snagged the napkins/holders, and centerpieces + pumpkins from my mother-in-law + my storage unit, but table settings are a MUST. The plates, chargers, and silverware were all from Amazing Savings {in Verona!} and totally worth the trip. Everything looked like it was super fancy but it was, indeed, PLASTIC.

    Shop Local Options: Luna Rosa has some beautiful wares and Washington General Store always has beautiful decor! Battaglias Home has some great table options as well.

    Label everyone’s drinks.

    This can be done in a super casual fashion {see below}, or it can be designed to be something fancier {think: wine charms, etc}. Either way, it’s always great to label your drinks so that you don’t have major mix-ups with all of the glasses hanging around.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    Shop Local Option: Hudson County Art Supply Co on Willow Ave would have some paper to work with, and of course, not as “local” — but Michael’s is always an easy trip from Hoboken to Edgewater.

     

    Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    ^Proof that we can fit 17 people in a one bedroom and not kill eachother. So much fun!

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    So colorful, and so delicious!

    Dessert. And Games.

    Not necessarily in that order — but dessert is always a MUST! Have friends bring it, but supply a few of your own just in case.

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

    ^Just a smattering of our desserts {shoutout to Tiffany, Alexandra, and Katie [well her fiance Anthony] for their baking skillz!}

    Shop Local Option: Sobsey’s has amazing homemade pies from a bakery in NYC that they sell — opt for the mini pecan pies OR the sour cream apple crumb {it’s out of this world}. Otto Strada also has Nutella pizzas to go. Totally acceptable for Thanksgiving! You can always order Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes as a dessert option as well. And then, play games!

    Take a group photo.

    Friendsgiving is all about the memories — why would you have it, if not for that, in the first place? Make sure to set the self-timer on your iPhone and try to get everyone in — even the dog!

    how to host friendsgiving hoboken girl

     

    No matter how you celebrate, remember to relax, enjoy yourself…

    …and have a fire extinguisher + Anthony David’s Thanksgiving menu on speed dial!

    Happy hosting!

    xo

     

     

     


    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. She started the site to discover the wealth of fun things happening in Hoboken and Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County areas. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog Pierre, or watching some really bad {but oh-so-good} reality TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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