For much of America, Thanksgiving is quickly becoming a forgotten holiday. Black Friday sales and the late-November whirlwind of Christmas spirit makes us so excited that we minimize the importance of Thanksgiving. There are those, however, who enjoy Thanksgiving so much, they’ve created a new Thanksgiving tradition: Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is celebrated similarly to Thanksgiving; rather than requiring that one shove all of his or her estranged relatives into the same home for a meal and force them to get along, Friendsgiving celebrates coming together with close friends and enjoying each other’s presence in your lives.
Friendsgiving has probably been a tradition for some people for quite a while; for others, they may have just started watching Friends and had an epiphany after the hilarity of Rachel’s shepherd’s pie/English truffle pie. There are quite a few references to Friendsgiving in popular culture. Just last year, CBS’ Supergirl featured Friendsgiving in one of its episodes.
There are many different ways celebrate Friendsgiving. The best part of Friendsgiving is that you can have it before the actual day of Thanksgiving. This way nobody runs the risk of the “four Thanksgiving meals” TV trope. Thanksgiving is set for a specific day, but Friendsgiving can be celebrated the day before, the day after, or even a week before Thanksgiving. It can be a little difficult to coordinate times with everyone in your friend group, but it typically ends up being worth the hassle.
The easiest aspect of Friendsgiving is deciding who to invite: your friends. Maybe some your friends don’t get along with each other particularly well, but that’s alright—just make sure they don’t both make pumpkin pie. Friendsgiving is about spending time with people who are geographically as well as emotionally close to us. However, don’t let two people who are as emotionally distant from each other ruin a perfectly adequate replacement for Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t thought that I’d ever been a part of a Friendsgiving until this year, but I suppose my last Thanksgiving would count as well. I spent last year in Spain, and on Thanksgiving the school brought us together to celebrate the holiday together. I was part of a group that cooked for the holiday, and we used fresh pumpkins for the pumpkin pie, which definitely resulted in some seeds in the pie. The whole thing was a bit surreal because we were making portions for not just Adventist College Abroad students but Seminary students, high school students, faculty and staff as well. It was a big event for us. Watching my classmates perform and share how much they missed their families was a great bonding experience as well.
This year, I’ll have a Friendsgiving with some of the friends I missed the most while I was abroad. I’m excited to spend a whole day with the people I love and care about, and I know they love and care about me—and not just because they’re biologically obligated to. Not everyone will be able to have a full Friendsgiving, but I’d encourage whoever is reading this to go out and maybe share some pie or stuffing with your friends. Let them know how much you appreciate them and how much their support means to you.