By now, most of America has probably heard of Friendsgiving, the food feast before or on Thanksgiving that’s composed of friends instead of family. Just like the saying goes, we can choose our friends, not family members (we may or may not get along with).
“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” ~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
As someone who’s hosted Friendsgiving and also been a guest, I think everyone should celebrate it. After all, when’s the last time you had dinner guests? Now’s the perfect time. It’ll also give you a chance to work on your turkey- or pie-making skills.
People celebrate Friendsgiving for a variety of reasons, including:
- They can’t travel home for Thanksgiving, whether it’s due to time, money, or not having a great relationship with their families.
- They don’t have a place to travel home to.
- They want to celebrate with friends, then with family.
In addition, it’ll do the following.
1. It’ll Bring Various Friends Together
Whether you have over people who all know each other, or mix things up and have friends over from a few of your social circles, everyone will meet new people. When my ex-boyfriend and I used to host Friendsgiving, we would invite everyone and anyone we knew, because we didn’t want anyone to be alone.
I even like making people switch seats now and then so they get to meet even more people, but that’s not mandatory. All in all, it’ll make you thankful for your friends.
2. It’ll Make You And Your Friends Closer
You know those acquaintances you invited over, whom you barely knew, yet you talked all night? Guess what? Your Friendsgiving inspired them to have people over for dinner or to invite you out one-on-one, someone you barely saw in person before.
Now, you’re bonded for life. And as for your existing friends, your Friendsgiving will create a lifelong memory for them, too, and you’ll all relish the food- and story-laden night you shared together.
3. It’ll Make You Feel Less Alone
Let’s face it, not everyone has a close—or amicable—relationship with their families, Or, perhaps they don’t have family or it’s difficult (time- and money-wise) to reach them. Friendsgiving is the ideal solution!
“Friendsgiving is the best,” said Megan, 39, in Los Angeles. “It brings together all these people I haven’t seen for months. Plus, a lot of people I know can’t go home for a variety of reasons, so Friendsgiving is the place to be.”
4. It’ll Expand Your Cooking Horizons
5. You’ll Have Leftovers For Days
You know you’ve done Friendsgiving right when everyone can take home doggie bags of leftovers. People probably each had a different favorite dish they ate, so no need to worry about fighting over the same things.
6. You Can Give Extra Food To The Homeless
When I was living in New York, I was very sick one year on Thanksgiving, but managed to get out to get some soup at a nearby deli. I saw a homeless man sitting by a fence. It broke my heart—of all days to be alone. I decided to buy him some food and we sat on a curb together, eating and talking.
It was one of my best, most memorable Thanksgivings, and I vowed to not let people be alone on the day ever again. These days, friends and I go give Friendsgiving leftovers to homeless people—and we stay and talk to them, too.
7. It’ll Save You Money
If you don’t travel on those two days, you can save approximately 30-50 percent (!), Seaney said. In addition, if you want to fly home for Hanukkah or Christmas, you’ll save money if you don’t return for Thanksgiving, too.
8. You Won’t Have To Fight The Crowds At The Airport
Since Thanksgiving travel is the busiest time of year, there will be a ton of travelers vying for those luggage bins at security or for that window seat you wanted. If you’d like stress-free travel, Thanksgiving time is probably not for you.
9. Don’t Limit Friendsgiving To Thanksgiving
Technically, you can host a Friendsgiving any time of year. I’d actually recommend it. You can elevate your dinner party game by having themed dinners (like Dr. Who) and dinners centered around other holidays (like St. Patrick’s Day).
Check out this link for more about how to host a fun dinner party.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving—and Friendsgiving—from those of us at Simplemost.