Senior Living - November 1, 2022

4 Tips for Hosting Friendsgiving at Your Retirement Community

Friendsgiving is a relatively new concept that branched off from the Thanksgiving holiday. What started as a way for those unable to celebrate Thanksgiving with family to connect with others has now become a more popular tradition that is a staple for many every year.

If this is your first holiday season in a retirement community or it is your first attempt at hosting a Friendsgiving celebration, you may be wondering what to expect or how to go about planning the festivities. Our team at Rivertown Ridge has got you covered! We are sharing four tips to help you host Friendsgiving at your active senior living community.

Tip 1: Pick a Date Earlier in the Month

As the holiday season approaches, we all get busy. With so many gatherings and holiday parties to attend, it can be the first day of November, and in the blink of an eye, it can seem like we are ringing in the new year.

To ensure that your Friendsgiving event fits into everyone’s schedules, try to pick a date earlier in the month. Remember, Friendsgiving does not fall on a certain day of the year like the Thanksgiving holiday. This means that whatever date you choose is the perfect day to celebrate!

Tip 2: Invite New Residents

Hosting Friendsgiving is a great way to gather with friends or serve as an opportunity to get to know other residents in your retirement community. Additionally, it is a great way to help newer residents in the community feel welcome and at home.

By inviting your close group of friends as well as residents you may not know, you are building a stronger sense of community and creating an opportunity that could lead to even more friendships.

If space is a concern, work with the team members at your active senior living community to find a space, perhaps a community common area or private dining room, to host your Friendsgiving event.

Tip 3: Consider a Potluck-Style Friendsgiving

Preparing a full Friendsgiving meal for a large group of people can be a lot to handle on your own. One solution is to make the gathering a potluck. Doing so can take a lot of the pressure off of the host. Plus, most people ask if they can bring something anyway, so assigning them something to bring or allowing them to choose from a list can make the day a lot easier and get everyone involved.

Just remember to stay organized when it comes to who is bringing what dishes. This way, you will know you have all your appetizers, drinks, sides, desserts, etc. covered. It also helps to be strategic about who you ask to bring certain items. For example, if you have a friend who tends to run late, you may not want to ask them to bring an appetizer. Instead, you could suggest that they bring a dessert to pass.

Additionally, encourage your guests to bring their dishes ready to serve. This way, you are not trying to navigate oven space and attempting to get everything ready at the same time. If someone is bringing a dish that needs to be placed in the oven or heated in a crock pot, make sure they let you know ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.

Tip 4: Think About Entertainment

What do you think about when you picture Thanksgiving? Most likely, it is food, football and the Thanksgiving Day parade. With Friendsgiving, you have the food part, but you may need to consider adding another source of entertainment to make your gathering even more memorable.

Consider adding some simple tabletop games like checkers, triangle peg jump, cards, etc., and playing some background music to add to the festivities.


Friendsgiving is a special time to gather with friends during the holiday season, and living in a retirement community like Rivertown Ridge can make this time of year even more special.

If you would like to learn more about our active senior living community in Wyoming, Michigan, and the lifestyle options we offer, we invite you to visit our website or contact our Rivertown Ridge team.


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