The benefits of friendsgiving


When people typically think of a traditional Thanksgiving, they often think of a close group of people gathering at a long table filled with food, drink, and decorations. Some songs might be played on a stereo, and little kids play games such as hide-and-seek while the adults catch up and joke around the table. In all, the whole aura of Thanksgiving is closeness and bonding.

But sometimes, I see those who normally don’t celebrate the holiday giving into the misconception that Thanksgiving is just for the family. I understand why that would be, as most media tends to stick to the image of Thanksgiving with a family gathered around the table.

Although, for many people—including myself—Thanksgiving has always included close friends coming to celebrate at one house as well as multiple family friends coming together to celebrate. For the past twenty years, this trend has significantly changed the general style of the Thanksgiving celebration.

This trend is known to many as Friendsgiving, basically Thanksgiving but it’s celebrated with friends instead of the traditional family-only style. Friendsgiving has gotten more popular since the early 2000s, with seven in ten young Americans preferring this style of celebration.

This trend is known to many as Friendsgiving, basically Thanksgiving but instead celebrated with friends instead of the traditional family-only style. ”

It’s especially popular right now with the younger generation—especially college students. It’s mostly because young adults find that inviting friends they know well helps lessen the stress they face when meeting their own families at the dinner table.

Some worry about offending a relative, or starting family arguments that end in disaster.  However, with Friendsgiving, you are the one who invites the members to the table, and if planned right everyone can have an enjoyable time.

A substyle of Friendsgiving that has also become more familiar over the years is the infamous pot-luck. This is a tradition where each attendee is required to bring one meal to the dinner, which can result in a cornucopia of different stylized foods.

But have no fear, for those who love to celebrate with their families anyway, there is a rising trend in mixed Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving dinners, with the hosting family inviting both friends and family to the table.

In fact, my family practices this same tradition every year with the aforementioned potluck style. On Thanksgiving night, we invite close family and friends for turkey dinner and celebrations. One family is in charge of one aspect of the dinner and must bring their appointed meal: salads, turkey, and mashed potatoes. Then, we set each food item on the bench to form a buffet-style line and everyone picks up the food they want before heading to the table.

It’s a splendid tradition my family and I love to follow each year, even when it’s performed with five close family friends or just one family who we’ve known for years. I’ve never had a dull moment honoring this tradition.

So no matter who the media says you should celebrate Thanksgiving with, or no matter how long you’ve celebrated the holiday season without friends, I encourage students at FHC to invite more people to the dinner table. If your family sadly can’t make it to Thanksgiving this year or if you know somebody who might be celebrating the holiday alone, see if you can make their day a little better by involving them. After all, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for those around you, friends, or more.