Thanksgiving is a holiday with many memories and traditions. Various traditions that range from meeting at the same family member’s house each year to traditions unique to each family. For others, Thanksgiving is a difficult time because they might not have any significant customs. Some spend their lives admiring other families with no traditions of their own. Others are merely lonely and they long to spend their holiday with anyone, period! Enter the concept of Friendsgiving over recent years!
Friendsgiving is a typical Thanksgiving Meal where each friend is responsible for bringing a specific dish. Turkey, ham, stuffing, and other standard Thanksgiving staples are intentionally assigned. Some friends, however, become creative and bring different dishes to the gathering. No matter the food, the point Friendsgiving is a time to remember and be thankful for each other. After all, “our friends are the family we get to choose!”
Before the gathering showed up on TV shows, in lifestyle magazines, and on social media, people were unofficially doing Friendsgiving for years. Many friends, colleagues, or mates would come together and celebrate a meal together. Not until recent years did the dinner have the official name we now call Friendsgiving.
Since Friendsgiving then is a great concept, there are some essential things to remember.
- Do Not Neglect Your Family – Friendsgiving is not meant to replace one’s family Thanksgiving event. Instead, Friendsgiving should enhance one’s Thanksgiving experience. Today we live in very negative times. Let’s then continue to celebrate the most thankful time of year with both your friends and family. Remember, the family is a foundation for Thanksgiving began, no matter how dysfunctional your relatives act. Friends can come and go; our family should remain.
- Bring the Right Dishes – Make sure all the Thanksgiving staples are planned out. If they are not, step up and bring the turkey, even if it’s Popeye’s. Perhaps your group is doing something different than traditional Thanksgiving food? If so, again, make sure all the ingredients are present. For example, if the theme is Mexican, make sure all the tacos, meat, cheese, salsa, etc. are being covered by someone else. However, if everyone else plans to bring all the necessary foods, choose to make this an opportunity — one where you can contribute unique foods to your Friendsgiving. Finding the appropriate yet different food can provide a memory all will enjoy and share, making you an even better friend!
- Keep An Open Mind About Your Friends – Since friends are the “family we get to choose,” we may have a friend we love, but that friend has a friend we despise. What to do? Dread the event knowing that person will be there? Avoid that person the whole night? No, keep an open mind. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for our lives and who we have in our paths. Friendsgiving then can be a time we are thankful for both the friend we like and the person we do not; besides, we might see others with a new attitude. In other words, we might go into the evening with one friend we like, and two friends we now love.
- Be Creative – Within the parameters of being socially acceptable, come up with new twists to the Friendsgiving holiday. Maybe you find ways to appreciate all your friends beyond everyone standing in a circle saying who or what gives them a reason to be thankful. Your friends might even be pleased you came up with a different way to show appreciation. Just be sure to have a technique that is new, but flexible to include the “friends” you might not expect and even meet for the first time that day.
Mostly, have fun and be grateful. Remember, some friends had dysfunctional family Thanksgivings growing up. If they have fun Friendsgivings now, they might have something to look forward to during this holiday. Something that could help them get through their awkward family Thanksgivings. Other friends have hopeful family Thanksgivings, and it will be joyful just having them present.
Either way, be glad you have your friends. Be grateful we live in an age where the internet promotes such events for others to know and participate. Love every one of your friends. They, like your family, are in your life for a reason, and by valuing them, you value what your life should become, which is love for another.