The holidays are the perfect time of year for rekindling friendships and spending quality time with loved ones. Over the last few years, a new holiday has emerged, with people everywhere celebrating an event coined “Friendsgiving” and we’re all for it! Sharing good food and stories amongst friends, old and new, is what this latest tradition is all about. (And why it’s here to stay.) If you’re planning a Friendsgiving event, here’s a few things to consider, ensuring your gathering is one for the books.

The Food. Possibly the most important aspect of any holiday gathering is of course, the meal. Plan your menu well in advance to make sure you have a solid game plan going into the event. You can stick with traditional thanksgiving food, i.e., turkey, potatoes, and stuffing or go a more unique route with fun hors d’oeuvres or international cuisine. We suggest not taking on the responsibility for the meal on your own. Split it up! Ask friends to each bring a dish or chip in for a caterer. This will take stress off your plate so you can enjoy the day. (No pun intended.)

The Beverages. Another integral part of any Friendsgiving gathering is the drinks. There are a ton of fun recipes online for punches + cocktails. Also, be sure to have a non-alcoholic option for anyone who may want something aside from alcohol. Think designated drivers or your friend who’s expecting. There are so many ways to get creative with your beverage options, but it’s important to have some more common options for those who prefer a light beer or simple glass of wine. Consider making it BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) if it’s a big event to prevent your costs from getting too high.

The Games. Games are great way to get people in the holiday spirit. There’s the classics like charades or card games and there is a great selection of new + fun games out there made for adult gatherings. If you’re mixing friend groups, try an ice breaker to help everyone get to know each other. An inexpensive gift exchange is also a fun way to get everyone participating!

The Place. Weigh your options here. The simple choice is to host it at yours or another friend’s home. This comes with its pros – like low cost, comfortability, and no time limit, but it also has its cons – set up, clean up, and did we mention? No time limit. If those things sound like a hassle, you may want to explore renting a local small event space for your Friendsgiving. Many breweries, wineries, bars + restaurants have space for groups to rent. This means no set or clean up, and the ability to go home to peace and quiet when you’re ready to call it a day.

The Expectations. Be clear about expectations for your party. Prevent party crashers by letting people know the event is invite only or provide them with a plus one. If you’re wanting an adult-only soirée, let them know that kids won’t be included to give them time to find a sitter or family member to watch their children. This includes those friends with fur babies. Let them know ahead of time if they can bring their pets along. Being vague with your invitation can cause confusion, so be clear with what (and what not) to bring along.

All in all, the most important thing to remember is that Friendsgiving is about honoring the important relationships in your life. It’s a time to be grateful for the people who support and love you throughout the year. Let yourself have fun, get creative, and show people how much they mean to you. Whether you keep it simple and laid back or choose a theme and go off the beaten trail, your friends will be focused on making memories and appreciating each other.