Tips for Hosting a Virtual Friendsgiving

If there’s one good thing to come out of the last few years, it’s the realization that not every get-together has to be in person. Friendsgiving is no exception. Why take a few traffic-filled drives or make mad-dash airport trips when you can be cozy at home? In this article, we’ll discuss what a Friendsgiving is and share a few tips to have a great one – even virtually.

What is Friendsgiving?

A Friendsgiving is a Thanksgiving celebration, but only with one’s friends. In-person Friendsgivings often include a potluck of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving trimmings, but they don’t have to happen on Thanksgiving day. Many people host their get-togethers in the weeks before turkey day, and a lot of people have moved their gatherings online! With the rise of video calling platforms like Zoom, friends can be comfortable at home, have the pumpkin pie all to themselves, and still catch up with their buddies. But how do you ensure your Friendsgiving is one for the books? We’ve got some ideas…

A clip of Snoopy and Woodstock from the Peanuts gang; they're sitting at the Thanksgiving table and Snoopy is sharpening his knives, getting ready to cut the turkey.

Pick a Theme

Just because you’re meeting for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up! Talk with your friends beforehand to discuss giving the event a theme.

  • 80s Chic
  • Tea Party
  • Red White and Brew
  • Neon Nights

The options are endless. You can all make corresponding snacks, come in your best costumes, play themed games, and really get into it.

A clip from Friends: Rachel as a whole turkey on her head, and it's wearing a fez and sunglasses.

Actually, Eat Something

We don’t often think of snacking or eating when hanging out virtually, but that’s the keystone of our modern Thanksgiving traditions. Take some time during your Friendsgiving shindig to share a meal or snack together. Make it even more special by agreeing to eat a specific item, like pumpkin pie, turkey sandwiches, or something small (and easy!) like Cheeze-Its. Looking for a headstart? Check out this list of Halloween snacks from the Clapper Blog. You can modify these to fit the season, but we think it’s never too late to get into the spooky spirit.

A clip of someone cutting into a turkey: the inside is empty, and it looks like the meat as burned away.

Game Time!

As fun as it is to talk and catch up with your friends, there’s bound to be a lull in the conversation. Fill it with a few games. These can be simple favorites, like Truth or Dare or Never Have I Ever, something a little more involved like trivia, or something new like JackBox. You can even bring the fun and games to Clapper and challenge your friends to PK Battles. Turkey impression contest, anyone? Extra Tip: Amp up the competition by having everyone pitch in a few dollars to snag a prize for the winner!

A gif of two people racing on tricycles decorated like turkeys.

Have a (Flexible) Agenda!

Create a rough schedule of what your group would like to do, but keep it flexible enough that you can go with the flow of the energy! Your friends will let you know what they want to do.

As a secondary note, be mindful of just how long your event is going. It’s fun to see and catch up with everyone, but you don’t want people to get bored. Mention that you’ve reached the designated end time and let anyone who would like to jump off. And if no one wants to leave? That’s even better!

A clip of the Grinch reciting his schedule: "5:30. Jazzercise."

Hop on ClapperRadio or Live

Looking to spice it up even more? Host your Friendsgiving on Clapper! Jump onto the radio and play a fun game like Virtual Werewolf or bring all your pals into one, big Livestream and chat there. The viewers in your comments will keep things interesting, and you might usher a few new friends into the fold. You can use our dice gift and create a mini challenge depending on the number it falls on (We did this for Halloween and it was lots of fun).

A clip of Moira Rose from Schitt's Creek: she is looking at her phone, asking "Is it on? Can they see us?"

Other Things to Consider…

However you plan to do your Friendsgiving, make sure you all agree on the platform you’ll be using! Set a clear date and time, and send out any appropriate links; you can even create a calendar event to send out or design a cute invitation to share on Clapper. Don’t be afraid to check in as the day gets closer, just to make sure everyone’s still in and the time still works. If you plan to play games, be sure everyone has what they need to jump into the fun. We’ve attached a checklist below to help you keep everything in order and get the party started. Feel free to send it to your guests so everyone is ready to go. And, above all else, have fun!

A checklist of things to consider or do as you set up for Friendsgiving.

Share with your Clapper community if you plan to host and online Friendsgiving on Clapper and use #Thanksgiving22 and #BeMyGuest on your videos.