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Friendsgiving: A New Take on an Old Holiday

Thanksgiving is a holiday most people associate with family, getting together with every relative you can, and eating hefty servings of mashed potatoes and turkey. Of course, it’s great to be thankful for your family, but what about your friends? Cue Friendsgiving, a way to share Thanksgiving with the family you choose.

Friendsgiving started out as just a word people threw around to acknowledge celebrating Thanksgiving with friends, and slowly became more popular as the TV show “Friends” made it cool to be without your family on Turkey Day. It became a more traditional concept after “Real Housewives of New Jersey” had an episode on Friendsgiving, along with ad campaigns containing the phrase. 

Two friends share a (non alcoholic) drink together (Photo courtesy of Andi Heininger)

Now you may be asking, what even is Friendsgiving? Basically, you gather up all of your best friends, and you all contribute to the Thanksgiving festivities, bringing both food and company for the cozy holiday. Instead of spending it with family members you hardly know, or alone, you can be with the company you pick and want to be with. But it doesn’t have to totally replace Thanksgiving if you don’t want it to. Because Friendsgiving is not nationally recognized and has no set date, you can host a Friendsgiving anytime you find it appropriate. 

There is no one right way to celebrate Friendsgiving, and that’s part of the fun! Of course, you could go traditional, and have everyone bring a dish to share and celebrate as a typical Thanksgiving. Or maybe you celebrate Friendsgiving after Thanksgiving and decide to have everyone bring leftovers, which can also help you keep from contributing to the over 305 million pounds of Thanksgiving food waste each year. Encourage your friends to make something new out of old food and clean out their fridges. 


 Another way to host Friendsgiving is to have a theme. Something simple like chips and dips, breakfast foods, or pizzas. If you want a more involved Friendsgiving, have everyone act like a “family member” stereotype, like the very political uncle who makes everything about politics  or the crazy mom who wants to get good family photos. Get wild and have fun picking out different, absurd family members to recreate. The whole point is to be a little silly and exaggerate everything. It’s more of a commitment, which means a lot more effort, but it’s super unique and can get very interesting depending on how you do it. 

But, no matter how you do it, it’s important to have fun. Friendsgiving is a way to show gratitude and love for your friends, just as you would during Thanksgiving. Turn on some music that everyone likes, or even play a record, and jam out while you guys open a bottle of sparkling cider and make a gratitude board. Get creative with it! And above all, enjoy each other’s company. The whole point of coming together is to be together.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Gray, Journalist
Hi! I'm Lucy, an avid record collector, nervous dancer, and theater reenactor! You can probably find me excitedly inviting people to musicals I'm in or talking about Gilmore Girls. Thanks for reading!

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