Tossing Tradition to the Wind - Happy Friendsgiving!

In the 2020 movie, Friendsgiving, best friends anticipate a laid-back holiday together, but in true Hollywood fashion things quickly go, well, up in smoke. Hilarity ensues aided by a cast of dysfunctional characters which makes for good comedy, but the trend of pre-gaming more traditional festivities has gained ground over the years.

The mash-up holiday known as Friendsgiving has become increasingly popular as those closest to us, not related by blood, make November plans and pilgrimages around the actual holiday.

According to Miriam Webster, "the word (Friendsgiving) first appeared around 2007 as an informal replacement for the holiday typically spent with family."*

AWave From It All

Friendsgiving Preparation

Many of us would not choose to replace Thanksgiving, but rather opt to tack on an extra day or more, to extend a pre-winter holiday gathering time for added enjoyment. What better way to make family gatherings easier to digest than by also spending time with our closest comrades (and for yet another opportunity to get a turkey leg)?

With the urge to travel hitting a fever pitch in the US and holidays being prime travel time, perhaps a Friendsgiving get-together that falls off the traditional day makes even more sense in 2021. Although last minute getaway homes can still be found, our travel trend data shows that the number of days in advance - guests are booking their trips- is trending up this year.

To help get your planning juices flowing, below are some tips to make your time with “adopted” family even more memorable and stress-free.**


Around the Dinner Table

Five Friendsgiving Tips

Group effort
Remember, this is supposed to be all about the love, and little about the stress! Make it a truly democratic event wherein no one person is stuck with all the prep or – shudder - cleanup. Think paper plates instead of china, Solo® cups instead of iced tea glasses. Remember: these are your peeps and so it’s all about the togetherness, not the pretense. Identify specific roles on who is, well, bringing the rolls!

Think outside (the stuffing) box
It does not have to be a time for traditional – and labor sucking – turkey with 30 side dishes. Perhaps everyone prepares an appetizer—or think of a cuisine theme that everyone can get around—like Italian or Thai. Have fun with the planning and make implementation simple. Keep the number of dishes to a manageable number. Remember, more traditional Thanksgiving meals take hours, or days to prepare and just minutes to eat!

Cool cocktail
Nothing puts the breaks on too many folks bustling around the kitchen than breaking out a good libation. Think about your invitees and what would generate memories and excitement for a customized cocktail. Make the holiday hooch tasty enough to take on a non-alcoholic version (can you say cranberry spritzer with a sprig of rosemary)? How about The Fallen Gimlet, or stock some tasty seasonal microbrews?

Make time for R&R (aka nap time)
Whether you’re planning to hit local hiking trails, skiing out West, or walking the deserted beaches of the Eastern shoreline, make sure your destination offers plenty to do (or not do). Natural Retreats has vacation rental homes in many key resort locations across the country and can accommodate groups of 2 to 22. However, remember the holiday buzz about tryptophan? A nice nap between the clean sheets of your vacation home bed may also be on the menu to reenergize for the evening Giant Jenga match around the fireplace.

A well-equipped kitchen
Nothing is more disappointing then to get to a vacation rental home and find five spoons and one decent knife in the kitchen drawer—and hey—where’s the corkscrew? A successful Friendsgiving hinges on having the kitchen tools on hand to make for a successful feast. Natural Retreats’ concierge team has the expertise to help identify homes with kitchens that could make Giada De Laurentis weep with relief.

Editor’s Note: We are experiencing unprecedented travel at this time. Book your end of year trip early to ensure you have access to the vacation home of your dreams!

**For more tips visit: