The 10 Essential Rules for Every Friendsgiving Guest

updated Jun 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

So, your friend is throwing a Friendsgiving bash and they’ve asked you to attend. Lucky you! Before you get too excited, you should know that this isn’t just any friendly potluck or some open-house party you should invite even more friends to. Just like a traditional Thanksgiving, a Friendsgiving only goes smoothly if there are some rules in place. As a guest, it’s the least you can do to abide by these 10 essential ones.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

1. Put your host first.

Hosting Friendsgiving is a lot of of work. No matter what, you are not allowed to be a diva. Be as helpful as you can.

2. Arrive on time, with a bottle of wine.

Bring your contribution to the meal and, if possible, a small token of appreciation for the host to enjoy once the smoke clears and everyone’s gone home. Hosting is hard, but picking up a $10 tin of fancy tea or a $15 bottle of wine is easy.

(Image credit: Kristin Teig)

3. Do not arrive with extra, unexpected people.

This is a no-brainer. Your host and the other guests have brought a certain amount of food for people. If you arrive with other people unexpectedly, there’s a chance there might not be enough food. Don’t be that person!

4. Let your dietary needs be known in advance.

If you have dietary restrictions, make sure to let the host know so they don’t end up feeling terrible for planning and cooking a whole meal you can’t eat. Better yet, offer to bring something suitable for yourself that you can share.

5. Don’t bring anything fussy.

When deciding what to bring, keep two things in mind: It shouldn’t require any last-minute fussing or cooking that will get in the host’s way (remember rule #1), and it shouldn’t be too challenging in terms of flavor and spice. Although Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be as anchored to tradition as Thanksgiving with family, this is not the time to experiment with ghost peppers.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

6. Bring your own serving dish.

Most people don’t have a ton of fancy platters and bowls, so you’ll be saving your host the hassle of finding a special vessel. Plus, you can even take it home dirty. However, be sure to label it just in case it does get lost in the shuffle of dishwashing. Just write your name and number in Sharpie on a piece of tape and stick it to the bottom. Keep in mind that some hosts might have a whole table-scape planned. In this case, don’t be sad if they transfer your dish into something else.

The Best Non-Plastic Food Storage (Image credit: Faith Durand)

7. Bring your own container for leftovers.

But also don’t expect leftovers. If your host has tons of food to pack up, he or she will likely be thrilled to offload a bunch of it, and bringing your own container means you won’t deplete their supply. But if leftovers are at a minimum, they’re the host’s reward.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

8. Help your host clean up.

Your host might try to insist he or she doesn’t need cleanup help. Ignore this (unless you get the vibe that helping would make them really uncomfortable). If you don’t know where things go, you can clear the table, pack up leftovers, wash dishes, and take out the garbage and recycling.

9. Don’t expect to watch football.

Even if you equate Thanksgiving with football instead of turkey, don’t expect to be able to watch the game. You can ask the host if you can put the game on, but keep your expectations low and be gracious if it doesn’t work out.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

10. Don’t overstay your welcome.

Keep track of the time. You might be ready to pour another glass of wine and settle in on the couch, but your host is probably exhausted. Watch for cues that it’s time to go (the booze has been put away, conversation is at an ebb, the host is eyeing the clock). As a general rule, it’s a good idea to leave within an hour of after-dinner coffee and dessert being served.

Any other rules to add for Friendsgiving guests? Let us know in the comments!