Throw a Great Friendsgiving for Friends With Kids
By Laura Pitcher
Friendsgiving is one of my favorite days of the whole year; I mean, what could be better than a party dedicated to celebrating close friendship, gratitude, and good food? As you get older, it’s one of the things that seem to fall the quickest to the wayside, as schedules get busier, especially during the holiday season. Recently, I got to sit down with Heather Fujikawa from the television show Design Twins, who recently launched her DFW Interior Design business, Habitat Studio. She talked to me about how to throw a great Friendsgiving, and her top tips for throwing a great Friendsgiving when you have kids, to make the event easy, achievable and family-friendly.
Consider renting a neutral place
It’s always hard finding someone to host Friendsgiving, especially since it’s normally right before family comes in town for the holidays. Heather recommends all chipping in to rent a space for the event. This year, they hosted theirs at Oak & Ivy, a French Country style barn in Aubrey, Texas. The kids had plenty of room to run around, and none of the adults had the responsibility of hosting or making sure their house was clean.
Pitch in for catering
Sometimes, when split between multiple families, looking into catering options can be just as cost-effective as going potluck, and is way less stressful than trying to figure out who’s going to provide the turkey. Heather mentioned that they had local caterers, Red Maple Catering, create a grazing table instead of a traditional meal for our Friendsgiving. She said they figured everyone would get plenty of green bean casserole this month, so they loved having something light to eat for our gathering. Another good thing with a grazing table is they can easily become part of your decor.
Have a kid-friendly table with crafts
Since Heather is a mom to three young kids, she mentioned that they always have a table for the kids with crafts, so the adults can enjoy each other. This year, they’re using PPG Paints to set up a “paint your own” pumpkin station that’s perfect for keeping little minds occupied (and finger painting is always encouraged!). They make sure there are other games and crafts at the table as well.
Have a conversation starter as part of your decor
Heather told me about a family tradition in her husband’s family, which was to have a question under everyone’s plate that they would answer during dinner, to encourage conversation. That inspired the Joyful Living Conversation Runner that they use every holiday- everyone goes around the table, and answers a question to keep the conversation flowing.
Keep decorations simple and seasonal
Whether it’s some eucalyptus from your local grocery store or pumpkins the kids picked out at your local patch, the decor doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to be beautiful and effective.
Use it as a teaching moment for your kids
Heather told me how one of her favorite things to do when including the kids in Friendsgiving is to teach them why we go out of our way to make this even happen. It’s a great chance to use it as a day to teach children the importance of kind friendship, loyalty, and prioritizing community.
We hope these tips on having Friendsgiving when you have kids make celebrating the holiday stress free, and a day you look forward to all year.