Thanksgiving is just around the corner and apartments in Monroe, NJ, are about to get a whole lot fuller with family and friends stopping by for the holidays. Thanksgiving can be especially tough for those whose family members live far away or made other plans; why not create a new tradition and host a Friendsgiving party to share the love?

Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be on Thanksgiving; rather it should be around that time. Make sure you plan at least two weeks in advance by sending out invitations or making a Facebook event page. You’ll need to decide if you’re the type to host a potluck or create everything yourself. For a potluck, make sure you specify what people should bring so you don’t end up with three of the same dish and no dessert. As host, it’s easier to make the turkey than have someone transport it.

If you’re inviting exes and enemies, it may be a good idea to have a flexible seating chart where certain friends need to sit in different places and the rest fill in. This will keep the arguing to a minimum.

The number one rule of thumb is to make sure you have enough alcohol. Your friends will forgive you for undercooked turkey, but not for running out of drinks. A good rule of thumb is to estimate each guest will have two drinks per hour so plan accordingly. You may also want to stock up on juice, water and soda for those who do not want to drink.

Start food prep the week of the event. Turkey takes four days to thaw. Make sure you move the turkey from the freezer to the fridge. If you’re working with only one oven, consider making some dishes the week of and freezing them. This will cut down on cooking time and you’ll be less stressed out.

The most important thing is to have fun. Your guests will take their cue from you, the host, so make sure you have a drink and let loose. It’s also a great idea to have takeout boxes to send your friends home with leftovers because let’s face it – you’re not going to have room in your apartment in Monroe, NJ for all those leftovers.