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This time of year is for being with family. After moving away from home, the holidays are a time to cherish your friends who have turned into family as well. Friendsgiving is a great excuse to round up the gang for a day of feasting and showing gratitude for those dear to us, while still being festive. It doesn’t have to be an extravagance, and your college apartment is a perfect setting for the inaugural friendly feast.

Here are some tips for throwing a stress- free, Friendsgiving:

Nominate a co- host. It could be a roommate or a close friend, but find a partner- in- crime who is equally as dedicated to making this a special day:  someone dependable and excited who can help you prepare, clean up and everything in between.

Plan Ahead. Figure out who wants to attend and contribute, then collaborate with them to find what day and time is most convenient. Honor the reservation.

Set a budget. This day shouldn’t have to break anyone’s bank. Have everyone plan to spend about the same amount of money, and be conscious of others’ financial situations.

Create a menu. Ask your guests what they would like to contribute, make a list, and share it with everyone. This will prevent there being four pies and three green bean casseroles.

Make it a potluck. This should be a group effort. Each person should be responsible for bringing something to the celebration; be it plates, napkins, ice, side dishes, appetizers, etc.

Keep it simple. It’s okay to cut corners, especially when you’re not trying to spend a fortune. Opt for a block of cheese and cracke

rs for an easy appetizer. There’s no need for a whole turkey. It’s expensive and not easy to cook. Pick up a turkey breast instead, or even chicken to roast in the oven. Crock pots were made for this; encourage your friends to find easy crock pot dishes.

 Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be the social event of the year. It’s a day to eat well and be in good company. Enjoy the comradey and warm food in the comfort of your apartment. Have the “thyme” of your life.

If you’re trying to go the extra mile, there are a few simple ways to decorate your college apartment for the occasion.

Stage a photo wall for guests to take have pictures taken before or after the meal.

Use kraft mailing paper to wrap the table instead of using a tablecloth. Rolls of this are sold cheaply at craft stores. It’s easy to clean up, and you won’t have to worry about stains or spills. It’s simple, chic, and place settings can be written on the paper if you’re interested in revamping older Thanksgiving traditions.

Don’t have a dining table? Lay a blanket or tapestry on the floor with some decorative pillows for a bohemian dining experience.

Pick up a medium- sized pumpkin for your guests to sign like a guest book. Have them write something they are thankful for, and then share it with everyone after the meal is finished.

Fresh flowers are an easy way to make any day feel more special. You can also buy some small, decorative pumpkins for a couple of dollars for simple, seasonal centerpiece.