There is a wide range of emotions that come along with the holiday season: from eager anticipation to nostalgia for good times past. No matter how you feel about the holidays fast approaching, one thing is for certain: if you are residing in a 55 and over community, you are surrounded by individuals eager to fill this season with the love, laughter, and gratitude it deserves. Whether you are looking to beat the holiday blues or simply looking for a fun way to create new memories, a “Friends-giving” is an excellent way to connect with companions new and old.
It doesn’t matter if you are committed to a traditional Thanksgiving day meal or are in the mood to try some funky twists on your holiday favorites, these three tips will help you create a Friends-giving that may become your favorite holiday tradition yet.
Tip #1: Make it Clear Who is Invited
As the host of this Friends-giving, you are in charge of the guest list! So before you invite the whole town to your celebration, consider the vibe you would like to bring to the dinner party. There is no right or wrong answer to who you invite to the gathering, but ensuring everyone is clear on who is invited, and can save some awkward conversations later on down the line. Would you like a low-key quiet dinner complete with a wine tasting? Tell friends with young children to book a babysitter. Opening your doors to everyone in your 55 and over community? Make sure to get the word out, and let them know if they have the thumbs up to bring partners, family members, or additional friends!
Friends-giving is a unique time to introduce separate groups of people to each other. (After all, your yoga class may never have met your bridge group!) Don’t worry about bringing separate groups of people together, it is a beautiful and unique time to connect those you care about from different aspects of your life. (HINT: These fun and festive name cards will get everyone comfortable and cozy real quick!)
Tip #2: Assign Who Brings What
For the laid-back, go-with-the-flow personalities out there, it can be easy to make this blanket statement “just bring whatever you like!” But this line of thinking is how you end up with five pumpkin pies and no side dishes! Make it clear to each of your guests what they should bring, and how much.
Traditionally, the host makes the turkey at the gathering, but keep in mind that at a Friends-giving, you have the power to make your gathering as traditional (or eclectic!) as you choose! Feel free to add a fun theme to the menu such as “food from your heritage” or “vegetarian night.” It can also be exciting to learn something new with your guests, such as sushi rolling or wine pairing. Whether you are a die-hard Thanksgiving food lover, or can’t wait to create a taco bar at your kitchen counter, make sure your guests are aware of what they can bring to the table.
Tip #3: Add Some Fun and Flair to Your Celebration
Sure, Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around food. But adding some additional activities can spice up your celebration. Whether your demographic is the 55 and over crowd or a younger generation, your guests will surely appreciate the festive flair you add to your gathering. Worried about the cost? Don’t want to spend a lot of time planning? No worries, these suggestions are cost-effective (or free!) and are easy to implement into any Friends-giving celebration:
Cue the Tunes
Whether you love the sound of your music on vinyl, or can’t wait to play your favorite Spotify playlist, music will help your guests sit back, relax, and have a good time.
Add some Friendly Competition
Charades, Pictionary, or poker can add some laughter to any group! Make sure the teams are fair and the mood is light, this is an opportunity to bond with friends new and old.
Consider a Prize Winner
It’s always fun to walk away a winner! Consider adding a prize to your Friends-giving dinner. The winner could be the ultimate charades champ, the person who knows the correct answer to a trivia question, or any guest who finds the wishbone in the turkey.
Loving the Life You Live: Making the Most out of Your 55 and Over Community This Holiday Season
From all of us at OakwoodLife, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Whether we are helping you make the most out of your holiday season, preparing you with resources to grow and connect, or simply providing a place for you to call home, we are proud to serve you.
If you have additional questions about what it means to be involved in an OakwoodLife 55 and over community, reach out to us at any time. We look forward to supporting you in whatever this chapter of life may hold.