What is #Friendsgiving and Are You Holding One?

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By now, you’ve surely heard of #friendsgiving. If not, maybe you’re wondering what it is. From the name, it’s self-explanatory; it is a second Thanksgiving dinner held with friends. Thanksgiving is usually a family gathering, where close family, extended family, and in-laws come to spend the holiday. But what about our friends? Aren’t we thankful for them too? If we have a special day that celebrates with family, can we likewise have a special day that celebrates our friends as well?

Some folks don’t have any family with which to spend the holiday. Friendsgiving is exactly what the doctor ordered so they are not alone. Perhaps they celebrate with a friend’s family, or a group of friends, but no one should be alone on Thanksgiving. Opening the door to your home for your friends is an amazing way for everyone to be thankful during the traditional meal.

Other people hold their Friendsgiving on some other day than the actual day of Thanksgiving. They might set Thanksgiving aside for family but choose Friday or Saturday to be their Friendsgiving. The meal might include another turkey, or perhaps a ham.

The word “Friendsgiving” has been in the vernacular in the recent past and was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in January of 2020. Even though the word seems to have been around forever, it is a relatively new word, first coined in written literature in 2007. It seems to have begun as a second option to the stressful family affair, but over the years has evolved to become, essentially, Thanksgiving number two. Rather than hold a Friendsgiving instead of your traditional family gathering, Friendsgiving is now a separate thing to be held on any different day you choose.

It wasn’t until 2011 that the word began to circulate in common vernacular when Bailey’s Irish Cream launched an ad campaign using the word. Even The Real Housewives of New Jersey hopped on the bandwagon that year by tying “Friendsgiving” into one of their plotlines.

It would seem now that the term has grown legs, it’s not going anywhere. People around the country want to celebrate with friends as well as family and realize that sometimes it can’t be at the same gathering. Perhaps your family is too big. Perhaps you know too many friends. Maybe you don’t want one group to meet the other. Whatever your reasoning, Friendsgiving is the answer to the dilemma.

However, this informal “holiday” creates a whole new ball of stress, as you are now spending twice as much money and doing twice as much baking in order to visit both friends and family for the holiday. But maybe that’s the draw, as the dinner with family might be full of anxiety while your Friendsgiving is more laid back with more of a party atmosphere. Whatever you do for Friendsgiving, don’t forget the purpose of the holiday. Be thankful for those you love, what you have, and all that delicious food.  

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