This was originally published on November 24, 2015. If you still have friends (and we hope you do) you’ll need this. -ed
Before continuing, I’d like to begin by saying: Go you! You’re so real.
I’m here to bring this type of enthusiasm to your friends.
I’m making the assumption they will be surprised you pulled it off, because my first tip for those looking for reactions such as those portrayed above is to sell yourself short. Real short. If a friend calls you the day of Thanksgiving, I suggest saying something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter which end you put the stuffing in, right?” Another way to lower expectations is to create a Facebook event for the meal. Make the image something that suggests a haphazardly put-together feast—like a picture of you as a baby or a pile of uncooked potatoes. The description portion of the event page also offers opportunity to lower expectations. Definitely be sure to include something like, “Well this is my first time hosting Thanksgiving but no matter how the food turns out it’ll be great to see all of you!!!!!!!” Include lots of exclamation points, and make no promises.
My second tip? Follow one of these guides so you cook something edible. Epicurious, Food Network, and All Recipes have beginners guides guaranteed to help not remind all your friends that they’re having Thanksgiving in your nasty apartment in Bushwick instead of at home. Also, take-out is always an option.
If you are truly incapable of making something edible, and you know it, my third suggestion should be especially helpful. Presentation! Go down to your nearest party supply store and stock up on autumn-themed ware. Nothing says “great Thanksgiving” quite like paper plates with drawings of turkeys on them and brown streamers. Table confetti gets extra points.
AND, if you want your guests to have some serious fun with that table confetti, buy lots and lots of booze. Honestly, this suggestion is kinda the key to everything. Ever been that sort of drunk where you drop a slice on the street but eat it anyway? Or, had the drunchies so hard you ate the stale cookies that had been sitting on the counter for weeks—and were your roommates? This is what we want: drunk people. Why? Because drunk people like food. All food. You could spend hours preparing an elaborate meal and still make stuffing that tastes like cardboard and turkey drier than the bones within it OR you could spend an hour reheating some pre-prepared food ….and just buy lots of alcohol! Blog Mix that Drink has some awesome Thanksgiving-specific drink options sure to get your guests to rave about your delish boxed potatoes and out-of-this-world canned cranberries.
FINALLY: be sure to buy some very good pie. Drunk or not, if the last impression your buddies have of Friendsgiving is a hot cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie they will leave happy. (Extra points if you get sappy…people do like being reminded that they are loved and you are, indeed, thankful for them.)
You got this.