We've all been to this Friendsgiving Potluck....
"Oh no.... we have three sweet potato casseroles," a friend said as she started to pull the foil off of the dishes our friends had brought to Friendsgiving.
The interesting part is that Friendsgiving is normally a potluck. A community-focused event where everyone chips in.
This spreadsheet was designed for Friendsgiving, but there is no reason you can't use it for Thanksgiving.
In fact, I would HIGHLY suggest using this spreadsheet for Thanksgiving if you are hosting this year.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.
I've been thinking a lot about holidays and this pressure if you are hosting to "do it all." The more I talk to all of you, the more I realize that many of you are struggling with delegating.
Let's all repeat after me.
"I don't have to do it all. Hosting doesn't mean doing it all. Hosting means organizing it all."And I can tell you how to organize it all. So you don't even have to do that from scratch.
Look at that, I just got rid of about half of your to-do items for this holiday season.
How to use the Friendsgiving Potluck Signup Sheet
Now, back to this spreadsheet. Some people prefer to just send this out and forget about it. They upload it in Google Docs and send out the link.
I prefer to make sure that all the "staple" dishes are covered first.
Mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie -- you might even add green bean casserole to this list.
I offer everyone three options. For example, I might ask my friend K who loves to bake "Hey! Trying to coordinate the dishes for Friendsgiving. Wondering if you want to do either dessert, rolls, or salad. It looks like we'll have __ people."
I personally prefer to offer up three dishes to people. Sometimes they will ask about something else "Hey... I was actually thinking about appetizers. Any space for those?"
I want everyone to bring something they are excited to share. However, I also want to make sure that we have a well-rounded meal with all the foundational dishes.
Once I have all the important dishes covered, I generally send the list out to everyone else to signup for whatever they would like.
What if people ask to bring something that is already taken?
I am just honest with them. "Suzy already volunteered to bring sweet potatoes. We could really use normal mashed potatoes or another vegetable. Interested in either of those?"
Consider Fridge Space + Oven Space
So many sources you will read say "Never, ever bring a dish that needs to be reheated to a potluck." I think that's incorrect in the case of Friendsgiving.
See, the turkey has to come out of the oven and rest for roughly 45 minutes. Then you have to carve, which means that you have about one hour to reheat/cook things.
My suggestions --- Know how much space you have available and pick a temperature you will set the oven to.
Read more about this in How to Host Friendsgiving.
What I might send::
"Do you need to reheat/cook your dish? There will be roughly 1 hour after the turkey comes out before dinner. I plan to have the oven at 350 degrees and it would need to take up less than 1/4 of the oven. Let me know if you need it and if so, how long!" This way, you can make a plan as to what goes in the oven after the turkey comes out and for how long.
See, you don't have to do it all. You just have to be the coordinator!
THE ONLY FRIENDSGIVING SIGNUP SHEET YOU NEED
In case you were wondering, here is my Ideal Friendsgiving Menu:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetable #1
- Vegetable #2
- Hearty Salad
- Cranberry Sauce
- Alcoholic Beverages - Wine, Beer, Spirits (Need to know how much to buy, here is my calculator)
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Are you going to host a Friendsgiving this year?
What are your favorite traditions?
Want to contribute your own thoughts, tips and tricks?
Share below in the comments! I'd love to hear.