Giving thanks for Friendsgiving
Thanksgiving is upon us once again. The holiday when families come together to stuff their faces, argue about politics, peruse Black Friday deals, and pass out on the couch after ten straight hours of football. However, Thanksgiving can be lonely for those without a place to go. Thankfully, Friendsgiving is here to save the (holi)day.
You may have already guessed it, but Friendsgiving is the combination of "friends" and "Thanksgiving" and is a tradition people have celebrated for many years. It began as a gathering for those with no plans for Thanksgiving. These woebegone wanderers may be estranged from family, have no close relatives, or live far from family and cannot travel. And instead of spending Thanksgiving alone, they band together as friends to celebrate the holiday. If you are a Millennial or Gen Zer nostalgic for the '90s, you're probably already thinking of Monica's Friendsgivings on the TV show Friends.
However, Friendsgiving is not only for holiday orphans. In the 2000s, millennial college students returning home to reunite with high school friends began to create their own Friendsgivings, typically on the weekend before or after the holiday. And thanks to social media, the tradition spread with participants sharing photos of their Friendsgiving gatherings. Some of the first records of the Friendsgiving term date back to the late-2000s on Usenet (a digital discussion system), Twitter, and Facebook. Friendsgiving eventually gained more prominence in the 2010s and has since become a recognized staple of the Thanksgiving season.
What happens at Friendsgiving?
Typically, Friendsgiving is similar to most Thanksgiving gatherings but involves people you like more than your relatives. Most Friendsgivings involve a meal, sometimes one that includes favorite recipes from each participant, resulting in an eclectic experience. Some Friendsgivings also involve unique traditions, like group games (that may or may not involve booze) and opportunities to express gratitude for the cultivated friendships. However, each Friendsgiving is unique and meant to reflect the group of friends celebrating.
If you are looking to celebrate your friendships, Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity. There is no recipe requirement for age, length of friendship, or number of friends (preferably at least two). All you need is a helping of friendship and gratitude.