6 Things You Need for the Best Friendsgiving Ever

Other than your friends, of course.

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away (which, first off, how?!) and I couldn't be more excited. It's such a lovely time of year, what with the copious amounts of food and family time. In fact, I love Thanksgiving so much that celebrating it once just isn't enough. That's why I'm so jazzed that Friendsgiving has become such a trend, especially since I live in New York City and travel home to Ohio for the holidays. It's a real treat to get to celebrate Thanksgiving with my city friends before we head back to our respective hometowns. Plus, I will never turn down an opportunity to eat mashed potatoes.

If you're looking to throw your own Friendsgiving, these six special touches can really make it a next level bash. Now let's get ready to give thanks!

1: DIY Banner

Craft a Glittery Banner

Craft a Glittery Banner

Remind friends and family how lucky they are with this easy, do-it-yourself decoration. Pick up chipboard letters at your local craft store, then cover them in copper glitter. Attach letters to twine with hot glue and hang above a buffet, mantel, entry table or anywhere your home could use a bit of seasonal sparkle.

Get your guests into the Thanksgiving mood with this glittery banner.

2: A Photo Booth

Friendsgiving Photo Booth 05:21

HGTV Handmade's Karen Kavett makes photo booth props and a backdrop for a Thanksgiving themed party.

A gathering of close friends is the perfect time to capture those mems — millennial for memories — so customizing a photo booth for the occasion is sure to excite everyone in attendance and guarantee some amazing Instagram posts.

3: Unexpected Place Settings

DIY Painted Napkins for Fall Table Decor

DIY Painted Napkins for Fall Table Decor

Transform basic linen napkins into painterly accents that nod to the hues of fall foilage. Mix red, yellow and purple dyes with a bit of water, then brush on strips of color and blend until you achieve the desired effect.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©Copyright 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jason Kisner, Copyright 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surprise your guests by eschewing the expected turkeys and cornucopias and whip up these DIY white pumpkin succulent holders. They're minimal, stylish and your guests will be able to take them home, what could be better?

4: The Perfect Side Dish

Heirloom China Dish for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Heirloom China Dish for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving is all about tradition, so incorporate a bit of your family's history into the table by using heirloom china. If you like the look but your inventory of vintage pieces is lacking, scour local antique stores and thrift shops to start your own collection.

Your Thanksgiving dinner will be all about the main dish, but most Friendsgivings are pot luck-style, so side dishes get their chance to shine. This take on Brussels sprouts includes cranberries, orange juice, pine nuts and plenty of garlic...yum!

5: A Signature Cocktail

Perfect Thanksgiving Moscow Mule

Perfect Thanksgiving Moscow Mule

Combine the ginger beer and cranberry juice, and heat in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Then, place the ginger beer and cranberry juice in a mug. Add the vodka and lime juice, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh cranberries. Serve immediately.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Of course, you'll want to have plenty of non-alcoholic options as well as beer and wine on hand, but serving up one speciality drink is s fun way to add personality to your get together. You could go with one of these seasonal apple cider sips, or get creative with this this hot cranberry mule, an autumnal take on a summer classic.

Make This: Hot Cranberry Mule

6: A Crowd-Pleasing Dessert

Pumpkin Mousse and Ginger Parfaits

Pumpkin Mousse and Ginger Parfaits

Andrea Bearce of Bake Sale Austin shares this recipe that features layers of creamy pumpkin mousse, crunchy graham-cracker streusel and dense maple-ginger cake — a combination that's sure to become a favorite fall dessert and new Thanksgiving tradition. Get the recipe: http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/pumpkin-mousse-and-ginger-parfaits/index.html

To cap off your top-notch Friendsgiving, all you need is a delicious sweet treat. And sure, you could go with apple pie or pumpkin pie, but sometimes it's a little more fun to try something new. These pumpkin mousse and ginger parfaits scream fall, look pretty and they come pre-portioned!

Host a Casual Friendsgiving Brunch

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An Inspired Setting

For Thanksgiving brunch, relax the rules and plan a get-together that's a little less traditional. Set your table with a mix of modern and rustic details. Vintage-inspired chairs, cutting boards used as chargers and plates, and galvanized buckets as candleholders will all add to the beauty of your harvest table.

Add a Dash of Color

Rely on bright color for a festive tabletop; start with table linens and florals that make a saturated statement. Layer brightly hued napkins with colorful organic elements like peppers and fall florals to make each place setting pop.

Double-Duty Place Cards

Get crafty with place cards for your event. Emboss copper garden labels with the name of each guest then wrap them around the stem of inexpensive wine glasses so guests can take them home as a favor.

Fall Details

For unique, harvest-themed candles, the folks at Terrain turned potatoes into handmade votive holders. This trick works equally well with other fall fruits and veggies, such as apples and turnips. Just use a sharp knife to carve out a section large enough to hold a small candle then set one at each place setting to light up your brunch table.

Invite Close Friends

Thanksgiving brunch is the perfect time to get together with friends you may not see during the hectic holiday season. Treat them to a day to express how thankful you are for their friendship.

Get Everyone Involved

Have friends share their favorite way to celebrate the holiday, like recipes or cherished traditions. The more engaged they are, the more it will feel like a family affair.

Enjoy a Little Down Time

Before sitting down to brunch, give your guests time to mix, mingle and enjoy. Serve up small bites and libations to set a festive mood.

Light a Fire

A brisk fall morning is the perfect time to light an inviting fire. Warm up the fireplace, or if you're outdoors, a fire pit will do the trick. Guests can cozy up by it with a cup of hot cider.

Provide a Token

Don't forget to give guests a token of your appreciation. Before guests are seated, add a small favor to each chair.

Rustic Details

Choose something that matches the theme of your event. Items like a cherry wood compass are the perfect rustic detail to celebrate an outdoor Thanksgiving gathering.

A Mouthwatering Menu

Once the table is set, introduce your guests to some tasty delights. A menu reflective of Thanksgiving, but with a brunch twist, will be sure to whet their appetite.

Serve a Signature Drink

Swap traditional brunch drinks — mimosa and bloody Mary — for something more seasonal. Mulled apple cider and spiked pumpkin juice are two delicious signature drinks to try. To make pumpkin juice, pass pumpkin flesh through a juicer to create two cups of juice. Mix with 1-1/2 cups apple juice, 2 tablespoons honey and a pinch each of cinnamon and grated nutmeg. For a kick, add a splash of bourbon before serving.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Whip up some new and innovative signature dishes for your Thanksgiving gathering. Guests will fall for these pumpkin pancakes with vanilla bourbon maple syrup.

Breakfast Favorites

Brunch is that perfect mix of breakfast and lunch foods. For Thanksgiving brunch, create variations of some of the dishes you would make for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of a large turkey, try a pan-fried turkey eggsadilla.

Arugula Salad

A salad is a light way to bring together the flavors of the season. This arugula salad combines smoked turkey sausage, candied cranberries, goat cheese and spiced walnuts for a hearty, healthy dish.

The Other Dressing

At Thanksgiving dinner, the stuffing is the dressing everyone is waiting for. For brunch, create your own special dressing such as an apple honey vinaigrette.

Seasonal Sweet Treats

And don't forget to serve something sweet. While sweet potato and pumpkin pie may be reserved for later in the day, you can serve up a chocolate cake with pumpkin pie fritters and Cool Whip ice cream for brunch.

Give Thanks

Once the table is set and the food is ready, it's time to sit, enjoy and give thanks with family and friends. With simple and tasty breakfast and lunch dishes, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor with the people you are most thankful for.

Thank You, Guests

Guests from left to right: Jillian Fauls of Town Residential, Amber Skymer from ReMOD Gallery, interior designer Claudia Clobes, Meg Augustin from the Philadelphia City Paper, Jeni Larsen from Jonathan Adler, Danielle Colding from HGTV's Shop This Room, Naomi Stein of Design Manifest, Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson from the Huffington Post , Jeanine Hays from AphroChic. And, thank you, Terrain, for hosting an amazing Thanksgiving brunch feast.

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