In D.I.Y.,,

FakesGiving: A How-To Guide {Part 1}

You guys.  I can’t wait to share this post series with you.

The 8th Annual FakesGiving is almost HERE!

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… isn’t it called “FriendsGiving?”  The answer is no. No it’s not.

That’s because I legitimately feel like I made up this event over 7 years ago (call me crazy!) — yeah, I know it’s kind of a ‘thing’ now, and to be honest, it should be.  FakesGiving is my favorite pseudo-holiday in the whole entire universe!  Call it what you will, but the definition remains the same: gather your crew, tell everyone to bring a Thanksgiving dish, and have a huge dinner party with your dearest friends.

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Simple, right?  Well, sort of…

Each FakesGiving has been drastically different and wonderful in its own way.  Starting with a group of 10 at the first FakesGiving, we grew to over 80 people at the most recent event.

The first 3 FakesGivings were held at my parents’ home in order to accommodate seating increasing numbers of people and cooking a turkey in a non-apartment-sized oven — and we were so thrilled to be moved in and set up just in time for the 4th FakesGiving to be held at our new home.

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Things don’t always go as planned, though — with each passing FG, we’ve hit a few snags along the way.  Like, that one time when my husband woke up with the stomach flu the night before.  Or, when I forgot to turn up the heat on the turkeys and they weren’t fully cooked by the time we were supposed to eat dinner [thank goodness my mom was there to rescue me!].

I’m going to walk you through all of the steps to a successful planning, hosting, cooking, and enjoying of the best. Fakesgiving. ever.  Don’t be intimidated by this — it is worth every bit of preparation.  The more you plan and prepare, the more you will get to enjoy your event.  Ready?

Step 1: Pick Your Venue

This involves deciding on a very important factor — how many people are you going to invite?  For your first go-round, I would highly recommend keeping it small and intimate.  If you have a larger group of friends, consider co-hosting it with another friend or couple (bonus points if one of you has a large yard or patio for extra seating!).

It is in your best interest to pick a place with a reliable oven (preferably a double oven — I’ll explain later) and stove top.  Apartment hosting is challenging (yet doable) for this reason — kitchens may have limited counter space, or your guests might be searching for seating.  Plus, with all the lovin’ in the oven, it can get HOT in there [especially with our SoCal ‘autumns’] — so, a back yard or open patio is pretty clutch for such an event.


Step 2: Pick a Date

Yeah, I know this sounds obvious, but this step is SUPER important!  There are several factors to consider when picking a weekend for your FakesGiving fete, and I will walk you through a few items to consider:

  • Choose a weekend after Halloween.  For one, it’s hard to get into the true Thanksgiving-like spirit when you’re looking forward to a different holiday.  On another very, very important note:  turkeys are mother-flipping expensive if you try to buy them before November 1st.  The first FG, I made this rookie mistake, and ended up spending close to $100 in turkey. Yeah, wasn’t too thankful about that one.
  • Avoid encroaching on the real Thanksgiving holiday.  We don’t want to get FakesGiving too close to that 4th Thursday in November, because it might interfere with your guests’ travel plans.  Also, it’s way more fun to spread out the turkey-and-stuffing-eating love, so that we don’t get too burnt out on the delicious food.  Another important note: it’s no fun to have FakesGiving after Thanksgiving day, because let’s face it — I’ve already moved on to Christmas at that point.
  • Beware other holiday weekends in November.  Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day, depending on when they fall, could impact how many people attend the event.  Federal holidays mean people head out of town, so do your best to avoid those weekends.  Sometimes, I take a poll between two dates and ask my friends to pick which one works best for them.  The weekend with the most votes, wins!

Timing is also important.  We prefer to have Fakesgiving begin at around 3pm, so people can arrive, snack on appetizers, play some lawn games, and have a beverage or two before sitting down for the big meal.  Whatever works for you, though, will be just great!


Step 3: Invite Your Friends

As mentioned previously, hopefully you’ve chosen a venue that will suit the amount of people that you will be inviting.  Sure, there will people who can’t make it, but always plan on a few last-minute guests, just in case.

There are a few ways to make sure the word gets out to your FakesGiving invite list, and I’ve tried each of the following:

  • Facebook.  Although this worked pretty well during the first 2 or 3 FGs, it has become significantly less reliable given that a) fewer people are using Facebook on a regular basis, and some not at all; and b) events on Facebook don’t tend to show up and are often easily forgotten.  I typically will use Facebook to poll about possible dates, but when it comes to actually inviting everyone, I use other forums, like…
  • Minted/Evite/Paperless Post.  These are great resources because they’re FREE (Paperless Post: over 600 styles are free), and they have an RSVP section so you can quickly keep track of who’s in, and who’s out.  And, guests can post on the event page so they can ‘claim’ which dish they will be bringing!
  • Snail Mail.  Yep, a good ol’ invitation.  For our 4th FakesGiving, we doubled it as our housewarming party, so felt like getting a little fancy.  I whipped one up on my computer, printed them on cardstock, and sent them out in real envelopes with actual stamps — I know, right?!  People told me they loved getting it in the mail, and I had most guests RSVP immediately via email or a text.  Here’s how they turned out:


Important:  on the invitation, in whatever form you choose, make sure to have your guests respond with their dish of choice (i.e., what they’re going to bring)!  Otherwise, you might end up with 6 pumpkin pies and no mashed potatoes 😉

Also, let your guests know that they can feel free to deviate from the typical Thanksgiving dishes — if someone has an incredible chicken curry recipe, let them bring it — you know it’s going to be wayyy better than if they half-assed some StoveTop stuffing! 😉


Once you’ve got these first 3 steps completed, it’s time to start planning the rest of the details!  Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging — stay tuned for the next installments of the FakesGiving series — decor + food!


#spreadthelove #bethankful

xx, Nicole {LL805}

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  1. Lisa
    4 years ago

    I came across your Blog/Website on Twitter! Love it! Also, love the idea of a Fakesgiving … I’d love to do something similar to get friends together.

    1. Hayley
      4 years ago

      So glad you found us Lisa! Yes, we look forward to Fakesgiving every year:) Let us know if you get to do one of your own and please keep visiting! So excited to have you here 🙂


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