I love candles, so I'd create a warm and inviting ambience with tons of lit candles all around the house, everything from tall, elegant tapers on the dining table to little tealights along windowsills. I'd also light scented candles in seasonal fragrances to add to the cozy environment.
I'd keep it casual and allow guests to show up in more relaxed apparel as opposed to their holiday best that might be required at Aunt Edith's.
A colorful tablescape with fresh flowers and seasonal produce is so pretty and festive, but I'd also include DIY paper placemats that allow my friends to write what they're thankful for.
I love serving a signature drink at a party, and a holiday-centric cocktail is just another way to help create a fun, festive atmosphere.
I'd ask friends to bring many of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites, but I'd also serve some new dishes that are colorful and fresh and full of flavor.
It's the hostess' job to do the Friendsgiving turkey, but I'm still a little intimidated by the idea of cooking one. Instead of a whole bird I'd roast a bone-in turkey breast (maybe two, depending on the number of friends) with plenty of butter, herbs, and garlic.
While the hope is to have everyone show up to the potluck with their respective dishes at the same time, the reality is some friends will trickle in a little later than others, so a variety of appetizers, and lots of them, will ensure that everyone has something to hold them until dinner and to graze on after we eat, since an evening with friends tends to go into the wee hours.
After dinner coffee is a must, but I'd make it extra special by serving up homemade pumpkin spice lattes in lieu of an ordinary drip.
Since I always want my friends to feel right at home, I'd have a pile of snuggly throws at the ready so they can kick off their shoes and relax after dinner as we chat, watch football, or play board games.
I always like to send my guests home with something, and few things could be better, or more appreciated, than leftovers from a delicious meal. Affixing a pretty label with calligraphy letters totally elevates an ordinary brown box.