We all know when Thanksgiving season comes rolling around: the days become chillier, schools close for break, and people start shopping for the biggest turkeys they can find. But while Thanksgiving has been traditionally known as a day to eat and spend time with family, a new trend, “Friendsgiving,” has begun to take over the country. Instead of dining with relatives, many people now gather with their close friends to share a meal. While Friendsgiving may seem unceremonious to more conventional folks, it is still a legitimate way to celebrate and give thanks with your loved ones—just not with family.
Popularized by the TV show Friends, the term “Friendsgiving” has been around since the 2000s. It has become a way for people who were unable to go home for the holidays to celebrate Thanksgiving without breaking the bank. Friendsgiving is particularly popular with college students, who can recreate a familial environment with friends. The new holiday is now widely accepted as an alternate way to celebrate Thanksgiving, with even grocery stores participating in the trend. Businesses have capitalized on the advertising potential of the new “holiday”, which caused its popularity to grow exponentially.
Friendsgiving also does not have to be a replacement for Thanksgiving. In many cases, people celebrate Friendsgiving in addition to feasting with their families on Thanksgiving Day. To many young people, friends truly feel like family, with their friends supporting them through the ups and downs of growing up and finding their way through life. To see what people think about Friendsgiving, the RHS High Times conducted an interview with Amelia Chen and Jennifer Cocchiere, two RHS students, for their insights on this unofficial holiday.
How do you celebrate Friendsgiving?
Amelia: I like to celebrate with a small group of friends at someone’s house. The setting is much more intimate when there’s no outside noise taking away from our conversation. Everyone usually brings a dish that they made from home which I like because there’s something special about cooking for the people you care about.
Jennifer: For Friendsgiving, I usually get together with my closest friends. We each bring food that doesn’t have to be a traditional Thanksgiving dish. We just hang out at one of our houses and talk, and enjoy each other’s company. Usually, I celebrate Friendsgiving on one day and celebrate Thanksgiving with my family on Thanksgiving Day.
Do you think that Friendsgiving is a holiday that is worth celebrating?
Amelia: I think that Friendsgiving is very much worth celebrating because friends are kind of like family. They stick with you and showing that you’re grateful for them is important.
Jennifer: I think that Friendsgiving is definitely a holiday worth celebrating. During Thanksgiving, we always talk about how thankful we are for family members and I think it is also important to have a day to show gratitude and thanks for your friends. Friendsgiving is a day where we can be thankful for each other and celebrate that together, which I think is super fun and worth celebrating.
Clearly, Friendsgiving is much more than an “extra Thanksgiving”, as demonstrated by Amelia and Jennifer. Because of Friendsgiving, friends can gather and spend quality time with each other, without the possibility of missing Thanksgiving with their families. Friendsgiving is a very legitimate holiday, and it helps strengthen the idea that friends are almost like family—deserving of love, care, and appreciation.
Graphic: Amelia Chen