Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Ubisoft
November 23, 2016 07:24 AM

Like most of us, Vanessa Hudgen loves a good Friendsgiving celebration.

“Thanksgiving you don’t get to choose your family and Friendsgiving you do,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love any excuse to get friends together to have a good time.”

The 27-year-old triple threat teamed up with Just Dance 2017 for a pre-Turkey Day event as a way to liven up the holidays and get everyone moving – especially to work off those extra Thanksgiving dinner calories.

When it came time for dinner, party guests indulged in a gluten-free menu by Heirloom LA with plenty of vegan options and one specific squash in mind. “Pumpkin is always the number one thing that I personally think about – and turkey as well,” says Hudgens. In addition to the essential turkey, guests enjoyed pumpkin gazpacho, pumpkin risotto and a pumpkin custard for dessert.

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As for how she’ll celebrate the big day, the Powerless star says it will very much follow suit from her Friendsgiving soiree. “There will be a lot of cooking, a lot of eating,” says Hudgens. She’ll start her day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and working out before heading over to her grandma’s house to enjoy dinner and her favorite side dish of sweet potatoes and marshmallows with brown sugar — but don’t expect her to do any of preparation.

“I am a horrible cook,” jokes Hudgens. “I leave that to the rest of my family.” But she does have one go-to tip for entertaining over the holidays. “Just bring out the booze, I mean you can’t help but have a good time if you have a few glasses of wine.”

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Following her advice is sure to bring the inevitable holiday hangover, so Hudgens suggests drinking plenty of coconut water and a glass of water per drink as the cure.

Looking ahead to Christmas, Hudgens says she can’t wait to wear Santa Hats, put up her Christmas tree, and just savor “those special moments with this time of year that is so warm and cozy and just loving.”

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