The Spontaneous Person's Guide to Friendsgiving

As much as society tells us that Thanksgiving is a time to slow down, enjoy time with family and friends and make as much food possible, they forget that some of us still have jobs, have unforgiving schedules or just really tiny kitchens that make throwing a giant get together unreasonable. It's wonderful to go above and beyond to make family gatherings work and feast for an entire day but a low key affair with friends can be just as life-giving.

1. Make it Impromptu. Text a group of friends and see if anyone would be free for an hour after work tomorrow. Sometimes it's easier to get together when naturally fits into a schedule instead of being forced in.

2. Make it Easy. Instead of needing to prepare an entire meal, choose one item to prep from scratch. Making food from scratch means that you'll probably have quite a few of the ingredients on hand.

3. Prepare it the Night Before. Making food ahead means that a few minutes in the oven to warm up is the only work you'll need to do the evening of your gathering.

4. Enjoy the Process. Get in tune with your artisan cooking skills. You'll get to hone your kitchen expertise without getting overwhelmed at 7 dishes going all at once.

5. Clean Up as You Go. Make the prep as simple as possible by rinsing, washing and wiping down all items and areas you're done with. By the time the food is in the oven, there'll be just a few things to wrap up and put away.

Apple Crisp Oct 2015 with Lauren-098-28.jpg

6. Delegate to Your Friends. On their way to Friendsgiving, have people pick up a premade side or plates or drinks that will complement your dish. It can turn into a potluck but it can also be kept minimal to honor them and their time.

7. Meet in a Public Space. Don't worry about the mess of laundry, kid's toys and holiday wrapping currently taking over your home. If it's warm enough, plan to meet at a park for a picnic, inquire about reserving time at your neighborhood association building, or ask your tidy friend if they'd be willing to be the host.

8. Enjoy the Spontaneity of it All. No pressure to stay longer than an hour or so, no giant mess to come home to, and the time spent with friends without a pressure-filled build up.

Photos by Austin Day