In your already over-booked life, may I suggest celebrating one of my favorite (albeit made-up) holidays, Friendsgiving?
In a couple of weeks, I will host my third such gathering. Back in 2010, by way of an emailed invitation, a friend introduced me to this holiday. Three short years later, Friendsgiving was officially a “thing,” commercialized and popping up all over the internet, with unofficial rules and promotions by Taco Bell and Whole Foods. I’ve gauged its popularity by the growing selection of invitations that Evite offers.
Friendsgiving is often associated with Millenials. I am not a Millenial. In fact, my friendships with my Friendsgiving guests are older than the Millenials themselves. OK, that statement just made me laugh and cringe at the same time.
So, why do I love Friendsgiving?
- The timing. While it’s traditionally held on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the Friday after (so guests can bring their leftovers), my friends and I celebrate it a couple of weeks beforehand. For me, Thanksgiving either means traveling somewhere with children in tow or hosting it in my own home, as I will this year. The month of December becomes a scheduling logistical impossibility, as everyone gets bombarded with office parties, neighborhood get-togethers, and family obligations. However, November offers a reprieve for all, and for those of us with children playing sports, our stint as soccer-mom (insert sport of choice) takes a much-needed hiatus as winter nears.
- My friends. I invite my oldest and dearest friends, the friends who watched me grow up, who know me before I met my husband, and before my children became such a huge part of my identity.
As insane as it sounds, I send out invitations for Friendsgiving in August. Putting a date on a calendar to see these friends isn’t always easy and plans get canceled for one reason or another. “At least I’ll see you at Friendsgiving” has become our standard catch-phrase.
- A reason to host. My husband and I don’t often get the opportunity to entertain at home. Our first Friendsgiving also conveniently served as our house-warming party.
- Potluck. Each year, the menu simplifies itself. Less time in the kitchen means more time catching up with friends. The first year, I cooked a delicious but involved salmon dish, last year I threw some things in the crockpot and called it a day, and this year, let’s just say I’m focusing on the cocktails. Potluck gives my friends a chance to bring their signature dishes or for the adventurous type to try out that new recipe they’ve been eyeing. Our Friendsgiving menu purposefully lacks a flow and any connection to Thanksgiving food: Moroccan chicken with Caprese salad paired with a Cuban steak and a key lime pie. No judgments. It’s really not about the food.
- Kids. Friendsgiving is a family holiday. While I enjoy seeing all of our children together, this second generation of friends, I get even more satisfaction by sending them off with the babysitter I hire, which I consider the best allocation of my money every Friendsgiving. No hanging children on my leg, a somewhat controlled mess in the playroom and most importantly, the long-lost art of the uninterrupted conversation.
Have you participated in Friendsgiving? How does it work amongst your friends?
Follow me on Pinterest for some Friendsgiving ideas.