I am fortunate to have a lot of really great close friends. Most of which live very very far away. Luckily, I have made a good handful of amazing ones since moving here three years ago and I am so thankful they are in my life. The neighborhood I live in is a big part of that, it is made up of young twenty and thirty-somethings who are entrepreneurs and naturally social beings. I made half of my current friends just by going to the coffee shop next door. The others were made through my Frenchie, Walter and the rest I met via neighbor nights. Neighbor night happens about every Tuesday and it can be a group as small as five or as big at twenty and inevitably a new person joins in the mix. What a wonderful thing, right? Moving to a new place is difficult, so moving somewhere there is a built in community full of diverse people ready and willing to get to know you and be your friend- is a lifesaver.
I even celebrated the holiday while abroad. I made entire Thanksgiving dinners with my family in Lloret, I cooked a turkey in Barcelona and celebrated with as many American brands my grandmother could send to me in one package in Girona. Though an American holiday (obviously) I never wanted to miss a moment to share with friends new and old, the wonderful tradition of showing gratitude. Besides, it was so novel for them and at least one person would say they felt as if they were in a film!
I am a big believer in nurturing friendships. What’s that phrase? You become like the five people you spend the most time with? It’s absolutely true and why you have to choose carefully and why cultivating those relationships is so important.
We recently celebrated ‘Neighborsgiving’ and as usual, it was one of the best nights of the year! So many ‘freighbors’ came out and a couple new neighbors too. Even my mother and sister-in-law who were in town visiting from Barcelona, joined in and felt what it is like to be a part of our community. There was food galore and everyone brought their A game because everything was delicious. Ali opened her apartment to us and her Bota Boxed wine-and as I looked around the room during one of our many ‘Cheers’ photos, I felt extremely grateful that we all ended up here.
Would you like to have a Friendsgiving of your own but aren’t sure how to begin? Below are a few tips to make sure your party goes smoothly!
We gave three weeks notice and that amount of time seemed to work out well. Everyone could mark their calendars and plan what they wanted to bring. It was enough time to send a reminder and adjust the menu as needed. We use our neighbornights facebook page which is a great way for everyone to keep track of the details and ‘meet’ new friends. Our group is open to anyone in the neighborhood and besides Neighbornights, we use it to post events going on in the city, ask people for advice or even the classic cup of sugar! No worries if you still want to have a party though, this can be a post-thanksgiving bash as well! Any excuse to get friends together, right?
Put Up Posters
If you live in apartments or even in a neighborhood and feel comfortable inviting the people in your building or street, put up flyers a couple weeks in advance. If you want to meet your neighbors but don’t want to invite complete strangers into your home, you can always post the flyers but ask people to join your facebook group to get information. If you do this, make sure you are the admin and approval must be granted before anyone can gain access to public postings. This way, you can scope out mutual friends and make sure they are safe to invite. I understand this method may not work everywhere or for everyone. Remember, you can also host at a restaurant or bar if you are unsure about opening your home. This method works for us as between the core five or six of us, we know a lot of people in the neighborhood and chances are we know someone who knows them or have mutual friends.
Stress is for your family thanksgiving, not your friendsgiving! I jest! But seriously, you need not worry. Break out the paper plates and plastic cups and even order pizza if you wish-as long as you have friends, preferably some wine and a good playlist your Friendsgiving will be a hit!
Why are you thankful for your friends this holiday season? Be sure to let them know how much they mean to you. It’s too easy in our day-to-day lives to take friends for granted so give a card or drop over a surprise pumpkin pie! Even a thoughtful text will go a long way!
Have a Wanderful Thanksgiving and if you are need of last minute recipes, my Squash Fritters are a welcome addition during any season!