I love the concept of Friendsgiving, a dinner you throw with your friends in the days leading up to Thanksgiving knowing you’ll have to spend time with your family on the actual day.

It’s more casual, less fussy, usually more wine is involved, and it’s far less political. You don’t have to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes when it comes to family tradition, and the awkward silences and stress over the seating chart seems to be greatly diminished. In all, it’s probably closer to what Thanksgiving aspires to be — a gathering with the people you love, filled with laughter and grateful hearts.

Because of it’s fluidity and inclusive attitude, Friendsgiving is also a time to get a little more playful with the menu.