This Is How a Martha Stewart Editor Would Host Friendsgiving

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@margoandme

When it comes to the classic cooking scene in the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, it's tough to take sides between Snoopy and Peppermint Patty. On the one hand, Snoopy's plan to whip up a "dinner" of toast, popcorn, and candy has somewhat of the right idea—it's a Friendsgiving, after all, so the mood is decidedly more casual than a family dinner. On the flip side, we don't blame Peppermint Patty too much for her less-than-enthusiastic response when that meal is served. Friends deserve a feast, too.

So what's the best way to plan a Friendsgiving that's as effortless as Snoopy's prep but still satisfies discerning guests like Peppermint Patty? For a tough question like that, we couldn't just visit a five-cent psychiatric booth. We had to go to Greg Lofts, the deputy editor of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living.

"Don't over-plan," he says. "It's a party, not your wedding. If you have the celebration planned down to the minute, your guests won't be having much fun, and you probably won't either. And besides, once you've popped that second bottle of champagne, most of your plans will go out the window, anyway."

We asked Lofts to offer advice on how to coordinate and pull off a Friendsgiving that all of your guests will enjoy, including tips on scheduling your time and themes to incorporate for a warm but laid-back setting. As you put everything together, remember that the best thing you can do as the host is to let go and have fun. No one really wants a Charlie Brown personality at the party, anyway.

"Don't stress and don't sweat the small stuff," he says. "These are your friends, they already love you and shouldn't expect to be impressed, unless you keep high-maintenance friends. Most important of all, keep it simple. Leonardo da Vinci said it best, 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.' Even if you aren't going the potluck route, ask friends to bring wine, chocolates, or something else that will take some of the pressure off."