This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts®. The opinions and text are all mine.
As much as I complain about the cold weather – there are a lot of benefits that come from the changing seasons. Namely? The fall and winter holidays.
Thanksgiving and Christmas season means that my friends from across the country will be all in town, and that my huge extended family will all cram into one house for feasting and partying.
This fall I’m planning a Friendsmas Party for my friends who are coming home from college. I haven’t seen a lot of my favorite people since last Christmas, so I’m already counting down the days.
I’ve never thrown an official Friendsmas Party, but for years I was always the one planning events with my friends and having everyone over so it’s time that I brush off my hostess skills once more and I thought I’d share some of my Friendsmas prep tips with you.
Plan in advance
This is a big one – when everyone is home for the summer they have months of flexibility and free time so things can be more “go with the flow.” Chances are during the week or two everyone is in town for Christmas – they’ll be busy.
There are aunts who need to be seen, new nieces and nephews to spoil, and parents that need to spend some quality time with their full-grown babies.
By letting everyone know what day your Friendmas party is way in advance, they’ll have time to schedule around your friend reunion.
Focus on food
Nothing brings friends together like great food. For my party, I’m planning a potluck so everyone will have at least one thing they love there, but if you’re feeling especially ambitious you can menu plan and prep all day before the party.
I’ll also be providing snacks and warm beverages like coffee and hot chocolate.
Dunkin Donuts has a huge variety of coffees in Walmart’s coffee aisle and my favorite indulgent recipe lately has been a cup of the Caramel Coffee Cake Coffee mixed with a coconut creamer and a few caramel candies mixed in.
Plus! Ibotta has an awesome offer going on where you can get cash back for your Dunkin’ Donuts purchases at WalMart. Cash back = more $$$ for holiday shopping!
Bonus points for cute mugs!
For my non-coffee drinking friends (who still perplex me) I’ll make the same concoction, subbing the coffee for cocoa.
Set up central seating
This might seem like a little thing – but having a comfy sitting area set up that has adequate room for all of your guests will encourage them to all hang out in one place meaning you’ll get some great bonding.
You can turn any room into a cozy lounge with plenty of pillows, cushions, blankets, and nearby snacks.
Silly games like Cards Against Humanity and Quelf are also a great way to get everyone into one room.
Encourage your friends to bring Tupperware
Potlucks always mean mad leftovers – and unless you want to be munching on your Friendsmas feast for the next 10 days – sending food home with your guests is your best bet.
Of course, if you do live for leftovers maybe skip this step…
Bring your camera
One of my biggest regrets in life is the very stereotypical “not taking enough pictures” heartache. Memories fade, but images can bring you right back to the moment.
I’ve been really into my Polaroid lately, but any old camera will do.
After your Friendsmas is over go and have your pictures printed and send them to your guests – more personal than Facebook tags and it gives them a physical reminder of what’s bound to be a great night with great people.
Come on! You know me by now and know that I had to have a cheesy ending for this. It’s easy to want to make everything perfect and put way too much pressure on yourself.
Your friends are coming in from around the country to see you – it’s going to be pretty darn great regardless if you burn dessert or if half of your friends end up bringing mashed potatoes.