For those of us far from home, making it back to our home state can be a challenge around the holidays. Instead of taking the trek half way across the country and gathering with family around the dinner table, many of us find ourselves calling up our closest friends for an impromptu Friendsgiving. If you find yourself hosting a get-together with your nearest and dearest, we've got just the solution to make your dinner extra special. We chatted with Christy M. Doramus, NYC floral stylist and founder of Crowns by Christy, to get the scoop on how to get your table in tip-top shape for the big day.
1. Create a centerpiece
"When setting your Friendsgiving table, use a low centerpiece arrangement so you can actually see your friends across the table while sharing your family style meal," says Christy. "During the fall and winter months, I love to make garlands with eucalyptus, branches, and seasonal blooms to add color and interest to the center of the table." If you're not as skilled as a florist as Christy, she suggests simply adding a few pieces of greenery at the center of your table and topping it off with a cluster of mini pumpkins "I love mixing white and orange!" she adds.
To buy: Want pumpkins that will last a bit longer? Try adorable ceramic pumpkins like Threshold's Decorative Pumpkin Figurine to dress your table and home.
2. Set the places
"Whether you are setting a table for six or 20, the personal touches are what your friends will always remember," says Christy. For her most recent tablescape, she added her own seasonal, handmade fresh flower crowns to each place setting along with a mini pumpkin topped with a beautiful calligraphy name card by Mot Problems. "Personal or homemade items like these can make your guests feel truly special and also serve great party favors or keepsakes," she adds.
To buy: Try your hand at calligraphy with Pilot's Parallel Pen 2-Color Calligraphy Pen Set, which contains a red and blue color option for whatever your theme might be.
3. Stock the bar
OK, so this tip might not be restricted to the table, but having a well-stocked bar is a must for any Friendsgiving. "Apple, pumpkin spice, and ginger flavors always seem to get everyone in the holiday spirit, so I love serving festive cocktails like spiked cider or a ginger Moscow mule." Christy also suggests opting for beautifully packaged cordials to whip up a tasty cocktail!
Try: There are so many tasty options to add to your bar cart. Some of Christy's favorites include American Juice Company's Ginger Gershwin and Belvoir Fruit Farms Spiced Apple & Ginger or Spiced Winter Berries cordials. Serve your drinks in seasonal Moscow Mule mugs for an added festive touch!
4. Get a killer dessert
"Crowd pleasing desserts like pumpkin or apple pie are always a hit during the holiday season, but a fun and surprising dessert is always a great way to finish off a Friendsgiving meal (or any meal for that matter!)," says Christy. For Christy's most recent Friendsgiving, she located Reality Bites Cupcakes on Instagram to design festive corn and mashed potato-inspired cupcakes. "The gravy was peanut butter-flavored, by the way, and we enjoyed every single bite!" she adds.
Try: Don't have access to a top-notch baker? Don't worry! You can decorate your homemade cupcakes with yellow jelly beans, corn holders, peanut butter, and yellow Starbursts to mimic the corn on the cob and mashed potato cupcakes, respectively.
Planning a Friendsgiving of your own? What are your best decorating and entertaining tips?