Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day sucks.
Actually, the ADULT version with its long restaurant lines and performance pressure sucks.
The KID version, however, is awesome! Before I turned 12, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays because I got to cut hearts out of construction paper and glue them everywhere, nibble heart-shaped cookies and candies, pass out Tiny Toons valentines. What happened to all THAT fun?
This year, Mr. Smith and I have decided to make this holiday fun again by hosting Friendsgiving for Valentine’s Day!
There was simply no time in November to host a Thanksgiving meal with our close friends, but February was wide open which, to me, is more ideal for such an occasion. After all, February can be such a lonely month. There’s no longer Christmas to look forward to, the weather is dreary, the next big holiday is a ball of stress and expectations…it’s the perfect time for a potluck filled with comfort foods and friends.
Having Friendsgiving for Valentine’s Day also means you have an excuse to pull out the construction paper, scissors and glue! Weeeeee!
And fun, colorful party favors means there’s a reason to purchase all the Valentine’s Day candy you loved as a kid. Double weeeee!
OK, I know what you’re gonna say: Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work. But it doesn’t have to be. Make it as simple or as fancy as you’d like, but most of all HAVE FUN!
Here are some more tips for throwing a stress-free Friendsgiving dinner. (Or should we call it Pal-entine’s Day?)
Keep place settings simple
Wanna feel overwhelmed in a hurry? Browse Pinterest for table setting ideas. Next thing you know you’ll be hunting for garlands and gold chargers and all other kinds of nonsense.
Don’t do that.
Just grab a bright colored tablecloth, a $5 bouquet of flowers, cloth napkins or whatever else you have on hand and feel like using. Personally, I don’t go crazy with the tablescapes, but I do love cloth napkins at a party.
Have place cards work double duty
Homemade valentines are fun, and with the crowd we’re having place cards would be handy.
So why not have one work double duty?
Eager to use the rubber stamps that I snagged from the dollar section at Target, I decided to spell out words that expressed my favorite trait about each guest.
No stamp pad? No problem. Just color the raised area of the stamp with permanent marker and press onto paper.
In need of place holders?
Wine corks make for quick and resourceful ones. To create:
- Carefully carve a length-wise slit down the side of a wine cork using a box cutter. Make sure the slit is deep enough to hold a card.
- To prevent the cork from rolling, create a flat surface for the holder to rest by carefully shaving a strip from the side of the cork opposite the slit.
Add whimsy with easy party favors
Everyone loves a gift. That’s the beauty of Friendsgiving for Valentine’s Day: Nobody feels like they ended the holiday lonely or empty-handed.
Dollar stores carry inexpensive wine goblets, twine and glassine bags which are perfect for wrapping up raspberry thumbprint cookies and other goodies such as chocolates and all things heart-shaped.
The main dish doesn’t have to be turkey
Friendsgiving for Valentine’s Day is a great way to try out some new side dishes for next holiday season. For this reason, we have one friend who is bringing a savory bread pudding.
I’m actually planning on serving turkey because I didn’t get a chance to cook my 2-Hour turkey this year, but the sky is the limit on main dish options.
Pot roast is always a hit, especially when served with mashed potatoes. Here are my rules for making an amazing tender, juicy roast.
You could also serve up a cider-marinated pork tenderloin.
The beauty of a potluck is you can spend a little more time romancing the main dish while the guests romance the sides. (See how I used the word romance there?)
Have games and ice breaker topics at the ready
Dinner parties have the reputation of being a little stiff. For this reason, I make sure to invite a mixture of chatty and not-so-chatty guests who I know will mesh well. From there, the conversation usually takes care of itself.
However, it’s always good to have card games and get-em-talking questions on hand just in case.
I’m thinking Friendsgiving for Valentine’s Day will be our new tradition. Sitting around a table laughing and sharing with friends sounds so much more appealing than waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant. I mean, you could just skip out on the holiday altogether, but eventually we all have to have dinner sometime that day. 🙂
Have you ever hosted a Friendsgiving before? What was your favorite part about it?
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