Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday loved and celebrated around the country. It’s a special time to reflect on our blessings and to give thanks for all that we have. Thanksgiving is marked by an enjoyably long weekend spent typically with family and loved ones whom we may not get to see often enough. And of course, it’s four glorious days of non-stop feasting, football, and shopping.
A couple of years ago, I started hosting a ‘Friendsgiving’ – a party for just my girlfriends; no husbands, no children. It is an affair where us busy women and moms can just take time for ourselves to celebrate friendship. After all, “Friends are the family that you choose.” We drink, we feast, and we dance. There’s plenty of girl gab, too, of course.
Since the holiday season – a short five weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year’s – is packed with many children’s activities, family gatherings, traveling, holiday parties, and other obligations, I throw my Friendsgiving party the week before Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to enjoy ‘girl time’, just before the hectic holidays kick into full gear.
For the festivity, I move and arrange the furniture in my house so that we can all dine together in one room. This really helps to create a warm, cozy, and intimate atmosphere. I combine Thanksgiving decor with a little bit of Christmas decorations for an added festive mood. Lastly, the choice of music is vital in creating the perfect ambiance.
This year, I booked The French Horn Collective, an amazing band that performs a unique blend of Gypsy, Jazz, Swing, and original French music. They are a diverse group of musicians with many different backgrounds in both music and culture – Vincent is from Paris, Flexter from Rome, and Digo from Mexico City. For our smaller party, we had a 3-piece band. For larger events, you can book a five-, six-, or seven-piece ensemble. They were a huge hit at the a party. I highly recommend them for your next South Florida event. Mention you heard about them from Petite Chic Mom. You can watch a great clip of them here on YouTube.
The tabletop and wall decor is a combination of Neiman Marcus, Frontgate, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. I love mixing high- and low-end items. It’s all about selecting the right pieces. Dinnerware and flatware are also from Crate and Barrel and Neiman Maracus.
“A million things can go right in a day, but it’s human nature to only remember what went wrong.”
I keep a daily gratitude journal, which really helps me recognize and appreciate all the little joys that occur every single day. Gratitude journals can bring not only happiness into your life, but they also bring focus and intention to your days, and meaning to your life. Everyday, I try to find three things, however “small,” to be grateful for.
For example, today it may be that I had a cup of coffee in the morning. Yes, coffee. It sounds simple, but it’s truly a blessing. I couldn’t “survive the morning” without my coffee, and I am so fortunate that I don’t have to. I am lucky to be able to enjoy coffee every single morning of my life. Dozens of people may have been involved in the process that allows me to have coffee in the morning – from the farmer who picked the beans, to the worker in the factory where it is ground, to the designer who made the logo, to the truck driver who transported it, to the grocery store person who stocked it. There are places in the world where people do not even have access to clean water. Yes, your cup of Joe is a luxury to many.
I wanted to share in the experience with my friends, so I placed a ‘gratitude’ card on everyone’s place setting. With so many negative things occurring in the world, we can all find many things to be grateful for.
Guests were greeted with a blend of champagne and passion fruit juice upon arrival, and the specialty drink of the party was a traditional Spanish Sangria (I’ll post my Sangria recipe next). Food was potluck style, and yes, I told everyone that their dish must be homemade and not store bought! LOL. It’s our Friendsgiving tradition. There is just something special when the meal is made from the heart and cooked with love. The entire feast would wholly not be the same if all the dishes were simply store-bought. It doesn’t matter if someone is not a good cook. It’s about the love one puts into it.
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