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To drink like an adult, one must try to act like an adult. To cook Thanksgiving recipes and hearty meals for the whole family one must carefully prepare all dishes and components going into said dish. The Ampersand Magazine crew does all of this and more on November 2, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo: Henry Taylor/henrytaylorphoto@gmail.com)

Turkey season is finally upon us, and who can wait to stuff their face with a hearty home-cooked meal with their friends? If you got stuck hosting Friendsgiving this year, here’s a couple tips and tricks to make it easy as pie.

1. Plan ahead.

This is especially important if you or your friends are leaving for Thanksgiving break. Set a date as soon as you can and make sure to get your friends’ RSVPs. Also, find some recipes you can coordinate easily and double-check you have the right equipment to make them.

2. Make place cards.

This may seem like such a simple gesture, but it goes a long way. Grab your thickest paper and print off a design from a website like Place Card Me, which has free, fall-themed templates. If you’re feeling really creative, make your own and include a little note on the inside saying why you’re thankful for them. Your friends will surely appreciate the extra effort you went through to decorate the table,  including a personalized note for each of them.

3. Divide up who is bringing what.

One person cooking for more than four people can turn into a terrible turkey tragedy. In order prevent such a disaster, divide up the food and drink responsibilities. Have one person bring the potatoes, another the stuffing and whatever else is needed, while you can focus on the turkey. If it’s a particularly large gathering, try holding a competition to see who can make the best of the same dish.  

4. Think outside the box.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving at home as well, two turkey dinners can get a little dry. Try doing something a little different for your gathering of friends this year. This could mean giving your dinner a theme — like having each person bring a dish from a different country — or taking your party outside (literally). Something else you could do to change up the game would be to have a “home hop.” Start the first course of the meal at one friend’s house and travel to a different friend’s house for each course.

5. Bring your own dishes (BYOD).

Most college students probably don’t have a full dish set to serve an entire dinner party. Have your invites bring their own silverware, plates, bowls and glasses. Not only will this help you when it comes time for cleanup, but gives the table setting a rustic and fun look — plus, it’s a good way to cut back on single-use plastic utensils. If you find yourself feeling thrifty, go out to a Goodwill with your friends and see who can find the wackiest plate.  

6. Make your own decorations ahead of time.

If you can find the time to break away from the busy semester, grab a few friends and take a trip outside to find some truly authentic table decorations. If the outdoors isn’t your thing, you can always revisit the five-finger turkey cutout to paste all over your living room.  

7. Play games at the party.

Organize a game of touch football or hold a pie-eating contest. Maybe after a few drinks, get your friends to try and “pin the feather” on the turkey. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something to keep your guests entertained after they’re stuffed.