As the holidays come closer, we begin to mark our calendars and make plans for family dinners, vacations, and travels. Thanksgiving is one of the first events that may equate a visit home to enjoy a nice warm meal. However, for someone studying out of state or with work obligations that don’t allow them to be home for this particular holiday, Friendsgiving can be a nice substitute that works with your schedule and gives you the warmth you’d get from home anyway.
Sometimes work or school don’t necessarily interfere with Thanksgiving but instead, the stress and anxiety of dealing with distant or problematic family members can dampen the spirit of the holiday. Surrounding yourself with people you choose to be with can help retain that spirit of giving and appreciation. Alternatively, you can share a special moment with both your family members and your closest friends as well– Friendsgiving is a modern tradition that allows for the best of both worlds.
Whereas Thanksgiving is regarded as a very traditional and family-centered event, Friendsgiving focuses more on friendship. It is usually celebrated on the day before or after Thanksgiving as a potluck, where guests contribute with dishes to share—often leftovers from their family dinners.
The food options can vary at every dinner. Turkey is obviously not a required meal but it has been the staple Thanksgiving food for centuries. Offering a vegetarian-friendly option or a different choice of meat can switch things up at your Friendsgiving dinner. Or you can encourage guests to bring food and drinks from other countries like tamales, paella, or coquito.
When it comes to the activities, traditional Thanksgivings might feature a moment where everyone says grace or shares something they are grateful for. In a Friendsgiving setting, guests are inclined to take time to reflect and express how much they appreciate their friendships. In other instances, however, it can feature different activities such as drinking games or group-friendly games. Popular options include card games such as the always hilarious Cards Against Humanity or a more family-friendly option such as Uno or Monopoly. Drinking games like Beer Pong or Flip Cup are also great options to keeps things fun and lightly competitive -don’t forget to drink responsibly.
There are no true rules when it comes to celebrating either event because every dinner and every family is different. However, with Friendsgiving as an option, you’re given some leeway as to what you want to do. Some may view this as an opportunity to be in charge of Thanksgiving and not follow their family’s traditional rules, while others just see it as a chance to spend valuable time with friends. Regardless of how or where you spend this holiday season, just make sure you’re surrounded by those whose company you love and food you can enjoy, always remembering to be grateful for that moment.