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Thanksgiving festivities come in all shapes and sizes -- and one common way to celebrate is with friends (A.K.A. Friendsgiving)!
"I love Friendsgiving," Mary says, "because it's a great time to have all the things you love [about] the Thanksgiving season -- [but] without the formality."
So if you're hosting your buddies this year, take a few low-key cues from the experts.
1. MAKE AN OMBRE PUMPKIN RUNNER
Have leftover baby pumpkins from Halloween? Turn them into Friendsgiving decor!
"[The ombre pumpkin runner is] basically an ascension of colors that go down your table and look really pretty," Mary says.
To begin, wrap the pumpkin stems in tape to avoid getting paint on them!
Spray paint the bottom of your mini pumpkin first, letting the paint drip and dry for about 10 minutes. Then turn the pumpkin over and spray the top just as you did the bottom, repeating the drip-dry process.
Repeat that process with various different colors on different pumpkins to create ombre runner. Voila!
2. USE COLORFUL DISPOSABLE UTENSILS
First off, buy recyclable wooden utensils for your party (who needs fine silverware anyway?!).
Dip the handles of the utensils in paint (far away from where you actually eat!) to match the aesthetic of your colorful pumpkin runner.
Let them dry (or else your guests may never return!), and you’re good to go!
Watch Rach and Mary decorate utensils in the video above!
3. SERVE THANKSGIVING IN A JAR
Say goodbye to formal seating assignments and awkward table conversations!
Instead, keep your meal casual with Thanksgiving in a jar -- which you can pre-make before guests even arrive!
Simply layer potatoes, greens, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy in a mason jar, and dinner is served! (Let’s face it -- everything ends up getting mixed on your plate anyway.)
4. CRAFT AN ICE CREAM CONE CORNUCOPIA
Besides making adorable decorations, these can just as easily double as yummy snacks!
Dip the rims of store-bought ice cream cones in melted chocolate and sprinkles, and stuff them with some of your favorite snacks -- like pretzels and candy corn!
And hey, this can even be a fun activity for you and your friends to do during your party -- so they can fill their cornucopia with their favorite goodies!
5. COMPOSE A CRUDI-TURKEY
While our friends and staffers are bursting with ideas, we’re also endlessly inspired by our viewers!
Take Ann Mazza of Binghamton N.Y. She believes that the best way to relieve Thanksgiving stress is by having fun with your food.
Not only does her clever and crafty crudité turkey make an entirely edible appetizer, it also serves as a show-stopping centerpiece. She used baby carrot feathers, a bell pepper beak, and a pair of black olives for eyes, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to produce!
6. HACK YOUR WAY OUT OF PARTY FOULS
Can your Friendsgiving be saved? Always, thanks to Mary’s three ingenious hacks.
1. If you’ve run out of counter space, use chairs instead!
2. If you’re lacking actual serving dishes, plant pots and saucers can double as funky platters. Just be sure to clean them first!
3. If you don’t have a speaker for your party playlist, make a phone docking speaker by cutting up a paper towel tube and two plastic cups.
7. COOK YOUR TURKEY FASTER
Here's an instance in which two turkeys are better than one!
Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to roast a monster bird, Rach offers up this simple tip. Pick a pair of smaller turkeys, which will cook in half the time. Not only that, but you’ll score twice as many legs for the dark meat-lovers in your crew.
Want to cut your oven-to-table time even further? Spatchcock your turkey by removing the backbone. You’ll have Thanksgiving dinner in an hour!
8. CHILL YOUR WINE IN AN INSTANT
Did you forget to stick your wine in the fridge prior to party time? Rachael to the rescue!
Even though she’s a red wine drinker, Rach knows to keep plenty of the white stuff on hand for her sister. But that doesn’t mean she always remembers to chill it first!
Thankfully, she has this quick trick to turn to in a pinch. “Put it in the ice bucket, and keep the ice icy longer by adding salt,” she says. “Salt makes the ice melt at a lower temperature. Lower means it melts slower.”
And always be sure to toss some over your shoulder for luck!