Friendsgiving Ideas for 2020

Unique Friendsgiving Ideas for In-person and Virtual Celebrations

Are you hosting a Friendsgiving meal this year and need some inspiration? We’ve got the perfect list of Friendsgiving ideas for you to try. From invitations, to party games, to friendsgiving menu items, we’ve got you covered for Friendsgiving 2020.

Friendsgiving has quickly become a favorite fall tradition among friends, especially for those who have moved away from family and relatives. Holiday travel is expensive, and taking time off of work mere weeks before Christmas, Hanukkah, and other religious celebrations is often too difficult. That’s why staying close to home and celebrating the season of thanks with friends is so appealing.

Friendsgiving is exactly what it sounds like — a mashup of Friends and Thanksgiving. It is a smorgasbord, usually potluck style, featuring traditional and not-so-traditional Thanksgiving dishes. It is usually held the weekend before or after Thanksgiving.

Friendsgiving 2020 is probably going to look a lot different than past years, but the holiday celebration is by no means cancelled. If you’re planning to host a Friendsgiving meal at your place for close, intimate friends or virtually over Zoom, here are some Friendsgiving ideas to get you organized.

Invitations Are a Must



Sending out a Friendsgiving invitation is a good idea because it gives your guests all the information they need, such as time and place. You can also include the Zoom link to the virtual event and the link to a signup sheet for food and supplies.

Your invitations don’t need to be formal, a group text or Facebook event is probably sufficient. If you want to get your creative juices flowing, you can use online invitation makers to design custom evites.

It’s probably best to send digital invitations if you’re going to be including a link to sign-up sheets and Zoom chats.  If you choose to, you can also support USPS and mail paper invitations, just be sure to include where to go to sign up for the potluck items.

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Quirky Menu Items for Virtual and In-Person Gatherings

The star of any Friendsgiving celebration is, of course, the food. But not everyone will be gathering in-person this year.

If you’re holding your friendsgiving virtually, a mini Thanksgiving meal might be in order. Pick up some carved turkey breast from your local deli and a couple of your favorite side dishes to enjoy a proper friendsgiving meal over Zoom without much hassle.

If you are gathering with a small group of friends, a scaled down menu will probably be necessary, since most Friendsgivings are served potluck style. As the host, you can choose whether or not to have a set menu list or allow your guests to bring whatever they want.

Not into surprises? Curate your own Friendsgiving menu, then send out a spreadsheet with each menu item listed—plus any supplies like paper plates, plastic utensils, and napkins you might need—with empty spaces next to each item for people to fill in their names. Otherwise, send out a blank spreadsheet for people to fill in their names and the item they will bring.

Fun Friendsgiving Food Ideas

If you’re not sure what to cook for your Friendsgiving, or want to shirk the traditional dishes and opt for quirky crowd-pleasers instead, we’ve got some food ideas for you. The best part? These dishes pack an immune-supporting* punch with black elderberry syrup.

Keeping your immune system strong is so important when the weather starts to turn, and it’s more important now in 2020 than ever. Black elderberries are packed with antioxidants and may help support a healthy immune system.* Pair your Friendsgiving cranberry sauce with black elderberry syrup and you’ve got an immunity super feast.

Appetizers and Main Dishes

Appetizers keep the hanger away. Tired of the same old starter? Try these delicious recipes for an unconventional Friendsgiving kickoff. Or use them as side dishes for the main event.

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Flatbread

This salty-sweet flatbread with black elderberry syrup is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Melty mozzarella cheese on top of prosciutto, a soft crust made from scratch, and a delicious date spread with drizzled black elderberry syrup? Yes, please!

Elderberry Flatbread Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Roasted Beet Crostini

Thick slices of toasted bread are topped with goat cheese, beets, herbs, and almond dukkah for the perfect salty-sweet combination. Drizzle with Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup and you’ve got an immune-supporting* meal starter.

Roasted Beet Crostini Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Sweet Potato Mousse

Would it really be Friendsgiving without sweet potato? This elderberry and purple sweet potato mousse can be eaten as an appetizer or even dessert, it’s that delicious.

Elderberry Sweet Potato Mousse Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Raspberry Compote

If you’re serving turkey, ham, or a vegan alternative, this compote would pair perfectly. You can even swap the out-of-season raspberries for cranberry, just be sure to adjust the sweetness.

Elderberry Compote Recipe


Make sure you save room for dessert because we’re confident you’ll be coming back for seconds.

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

These lemon poppy seed and black elderberry glaze scones are delicious and a different spin on traditional desserts.

Elderberry Lemon Poppy Seed Scones Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Chocolate Mousse
This recipe is decadent and a couple spoons full will definitely make chocolate lovers very happy.

Elderberry Chocolate Mousse Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Pound Cake
Want to bring a guilt-free dessert that will hit the spot with an antioxidant boost? We’ve got you covered.

Elderberry Pound Cake Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Cheesecake Bites

These cheesecake bites are easy to make and impossible to eat just one.

Elderberry Cheesecake Bites Recipe

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Elderberry Cashew Bites

A healthier spin on your favorite candy, elderberry cashew bites are a perfect combination of crunchy cashews, decadent chocolate, and sweet-tart elderberry.

Elderberry Cashew Bites Recipe

Entertainment & Games

Swapping stories and catching up with old friends can be entertainment enough. But if you’re looking to spice up the party, or fill some dead air while sitting on Zoom, these game ideas might do the trick.

Board Games Are Out, Virtual Games Are In

With social distancing a must, it’s probably best to leave out games where you need to share cards or game pieces. Here are some games you can play on Zoom or in person.

Heads Up!

Heads Up! is a fun trivia-like charades game you can play on your phone. The person guessing holds their phone to their head with a word displayed on their screen. Everyone else in the group gives them clues to guess the word. If you’re playing on Zoom, everyone will need to download the app from the app store.


If you have 8 people or less, you can host your entire Friendsgiving on the Houseparty platform and play games within the app. No need to use another screen or jump between windows. You can play games like Heads Up, Trivia, and Quick Draw right in Houseparty.

Cards Against Humanity - Without the Cards

There are online versions of this adults-only game you can play with friends while sitting together in person or on Zoom.

friendsgiving ideas for 2020

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

However you and your friends choose to celebrate Friendsgiving 2020, be sure to do so safely. Hold your Friendsgiving virtually or practice social distancing and wear masks in person. Stay safe, and stay healthy this holiday season!

If you're thinking about bringing a gift for the host, we've got the perfect immune-boosting gift basket idea packed with immunity essentials from green tea, dark chocolate to Sambucol Black Elderberry syrup and gummies.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.