Food, friends and the holiday season combine to the ultimate holiday: Friendsgiving. What once started as a substitute dinner for those who can’t be home for the holidays has evolved into the ultimate dinner party. Friendsgiving is popular among college students and young adults, as they are more likely to be traveling home for the holidays and often can’t make it.

“None of us could go home that Thanksgiving. It was super, super snowy. We took all of our food downstairs. We had a tiny, little coffee table that we all sat around and held hands and blessed the food. It was super cute,” said Anne Brenchley, Friendsgiving participant.

Friendsgiving is a more relaxed version of the traditional holiday that is typically reserved for family. Some choose to attend a Friendsgiving dinner with their friends and also celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving holiday with their families on the actual holiday. Friendsgiving allows flexibility regarding the food, company and traditions.

“We definitely didn’t come up with this on our own. But we were like, that’s so fun! So we did like a potluck and everyone brought a dish,” said Nicole Openshaw, Friendsgiving participant.

“It was an idea I had heard for a while so I was like, I want to do that. So that was the why behind that. I already love my friends and I love Thanksgiving,” said Jacqueline Bradford-Barrett, Friendsgiving host.

Some point to TV and pop culture as the inspiration for the holiday. Friends gathering together for a Thanksgiving meal instead of with their family is a common theme in TV shows such as Friends, New Girl and Brooklyn 99. However, the term Friendsgiving didn’t originate with the TV shows, but was first used on the web among mommy bloggers and an ad campaign in 2011.

Other factors, like the 2008 recession and inability to travel, also contributed to the popularity of Friendsgiving among young adults. So, if you find yourself looking for new holiday traditions, try hosting a Friendsgiving this year. 

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