What Exactly Is Friendsgiving?
BY CHRISTINE CROSBY
Many years ago when I was a young single mom, my two best girlfriends (who were also single moms) and I decided to spend the Thanksgiving holiday together. Each of us struggled with family issues that we didn’t want to confront so we thought it a good idea for us to make a special Thanksgiving gathering with just us and our children. At the time, I lived in a place called The Springs, in Longwood, Florida. It provided a lush tropical park location for us to be together right on the shore of a beautiful natural spring. We pretty much had the place to ourselves as most folks gathered in their homes or out at restaurants.
We spread the picnic table with all the traditional holiday foods, while the children swam and played around us. We talked with the children about the first Thanksgiving that was shared by Native Americans and the pilgrims and we even acted out what we believed might have happened on that first Thanksgiving day.
I remember our champagne toast (sweetened cranberry juice for the kiddos) to our family, children, those that we’ve lost and our enduring friendships. It was a glorious day. I will never forget my first Friendsgiving.
NOTE – If you have a Friendsgiving story you’d like to share, please do so here.
According to Real Simple Magazine, “Friendsgiving combines the very best parts of Thanksgiving with a lower-stress guest list. This new holiday can be celebrated in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving or it can happen the day of. Though it might be an annual tradition for you and your friends now, it actually didn’t make it into Merriam-Webster’s dictionary until January 2020.
“Plus, many people make their Friendsgiving celebrations a potluck to minimize the stress for the host.”
Let us take you through what we now about the holiday. If you don’t already celebrate, you might want to get it on your schedule. Your first Friendsgiving has to happen at some point, so why not this year?
The name Friendsgiving is a mashup of ‘friends” and “Thanksgiving,” and the idea is to spend an evening with the holiday’s classic dishes and your best buds. There isn’t a strict set of guidelines, just as long as you and your dining companions are having a good time. It can be celebrated any day, any time of years, but most gatherings take place in November, particularly the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then decide when makes the most sense for your crew, depending on everyone’s plans.
Plus, many people make their Friendsgiving celebrations a potluck to minimize the stress for the host. That way, everyone can simply relax and enjoy.”
According to Merrian-Webster, Friendsgiving is a blend of friend and Thanksgiving, and it refers to a large meal eaten with friends either on or near Thanksgiving. People are serious about their Friendsgiving celebrations: there are how-tos, sample menus, rules, and even commandments for Friendsgiving. But when Friendsgiving first came into use, it was used to describe something much more informal than the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Read more about Thanksgiving in GRAND here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – CHRISTINE CROSBY
Christine is the editorial director for GRAND Magazine. Grandmom to five and great grandmother to one (so far).