The word "Friendsgiving" annoys me in ways I probably need to address with my therapist. It's not that I don't love a good portmanteau. It's that:
1. This isn't one (it doesn't roll off the tongue like "turducken" or "cronut" or "spork").
2. It's been awkwardly co-opted by advertisers.
3. It implies that a Thanksgiving celebrated just with friends is somehow not a real Thanksgiving.
Oh, that last one especially irks me. In an ideal world, everyone would be possessed of a teleport and a deeply functional family, resulting in a holiday free of drama, stress, expense and TSA pat-downs. If that's the case for you, a million blessings upon your idyllic home (and how the heck did you manage that?). If you're like the rest of us, Thanksgiving with your friends is by no means a lesser or sadder option.
I love my family, both origin and in-law. Time spent with them roots and warms me, but the holiday season is rough. It's riddled with expectation of a cheer I am unable to achieve or provide in the cold, dark months. I'd rather not darken the glow of another's home fires, and it's exhausting, stifling and sometimes impossible to strap on a happy mask for someone else's benefit - or have to board a cramped plane or train on either side of that. They'll kindly put up with me in the dead of November and December, but I'll be a better me for them when April blooms.
But my friends - they're used to me. We picked each other. We have no expectations of how the holiday ought to play out, other than with a heaping helping of food, a possibly immoderate application of spirits and copious laughter. We each know how to make ourselves happy, and are eager to share these best and brightest parts of ourselves, whether they're traditional dishes, blessings, stories and rituals, or something that struck our fancy this year that we're eager to give. Those who are low and unable to spark their hearts from our blaze are welcomed and loved just as much. Maybe even a little more.
For me, though, this year's feast will take on a little salt, lose a little sweetness. Two dear friends have made a new home on a faraway coast, and for the first time in 16 years, we won't be at the same Thanksgiving table. But that doesn't mean we won't be feasting together.
Through those Novembers of candied yams, collard greens, squash casseroles, cranberries, spice cakes and nanner puddin' (ohhh...that nanner puddin'), a family was forged. We might not look like a unit or union you'd see displayed in a frame at your local portrait studio, but so long as I know my friends and I are raising a glass to each other from across the country, I find myself not giving a damn.
Thanksgiving Squash Casserole (from memory)
My mother-in-law told my husband of this dish: "It's not like a thing you write down – you just make it." This is how he does so, and there are never any leftovers.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 or 5 yellow squash, cut into discs
Salt and pepper
1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bag plain potato chips, crushed
Brown the onion with a little bit of oil in a frying pan, then add the squash and a splash of chicken stock.
Cook the squash down, cover on, for about 25 minutes, adding salt and pepper here and there, keeping the heat up so as to burn the squash a bit.
When the squash has softened into an almost liquidy mush, transfer the squash and onions into a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add one egg, scrambled, to hold everything together.
Transfer all of this into a casserole dish. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, then cover with grated cheese. Melt the cheese, then cover with crumbled potato chips and bake for a few more minutes, until the chips have browned slightly.
It's not Thanksgiving without...leftovers and strays
Thanksgiving for two
All our best Thanksgiving advice
I throw a friendsgiving (we call it fakesgiving -rolls off the tongue better) every year, a week before Thanksgiving. It's a great time for everyone to get together and be festive before rolling out to their family meals. We all test recipes on each other, enjoy good company, and start off Thanksgiving feeling prepared!
Coming from a family of divorce, a Friendsgiving is great! On Thanksgiving I am running from one place to another. Picking up and dropping off siblings, getting guilt tripped when leaving one parent to go to the others. Then there is the in laws I'm going to be adding soon! Friendsgiving is a great night to enjoy the food and the time!
The original Thanksgiving wasn't a family-only event – the entire community was invited.
Stupid to give another, made-up name because your family couldn't be there, or vice-versa.
I never heard the phrase either until now. Its always been a mishmash in our family, whoever is in town, whoever has a friend with no other plans. Lots of wine, stretchy pants, tipsy and sometimes inappropriate relatives, its all good. Nothing is as good as the day after sandwich: crusty bread, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo. Not everyone has a family they get along with, totally understandable that friends take their place instead. Will drink a toast to our serving military who can be home to enjoy their own. Have a great day, everyone. If you are alone, make yourself a meal to remember, take your dog on a hike, stay up late with a fine merlot and watch foreign films until you crash on the couch. I'd do it myself, but I'm cooking!
I personally just like family at my Thanksgiving dinner. I can have a Friends Thanksgiving any other day of the year, but not on the LAST Thursday of the month, that's designated to my family!
How many Friends do you have? Let's be serious…Your away from Home,there is always the telephone to reach out to Mom and Dad,Brothers and Sisters,and your closest Friends. Cook for them…Invite them into your Home and remember 3 things..Live, LOVE and Laugh. It will always be Thanksgiving, no matter where you are.
A waiter and a sommelier.
since my days in boulder, i always created a friendsgiving so that all my friends who were distant from their families could still feel the loving spirit. of course, i didn't invent a stupid name for it, i just invited all my friends, and told them to bring something if they wanted to, but if not, there would be a feast anyway.
it seems that if one wants to rant about things we're losing more of each thanksgiving, i would start with greedy retailers and shoppers who would rather be out spending money (most of it on themselves – come ON who ever bought somebody ELSE 65" flatscreen tv that they had camped out 2 nights in line to buy? i'll tell ya: nobody), because that is tearing the fabric of society more than a bunch of people getting together to create a pseudo-family because they want that love and support.
sure, if you want to spend and shop and sell stuff on thanksgiving, it's none of my business. but if you ask me what bothers me, that bothers me more than inventing a new name which to me implies inclusivity,
It would be a great honor to have the only one in the world who truly mattered to me and my family at our dinner table. And that would be Jesus. We are so thankful for all he has given us. He has helped us through some difficult times. Several family members have died recenty and several surgerys and illness. I thank god for my wonderful husband who couldnt be any better and for my mom who is soon to be 87 and still with me. We need to be more thankful and I mean everyone, for what we have that he has given than what we want. He supplies our needs not our wants.
My folks live out of the area, so the past fifteen or so Thanksgivings I celebrated with good friends. This year I got invited to repast with other good friends who live an hour and a half away, but since I'll be seeing them over the following weekend for a different celebration, I've opted to do the day at home alone this year. Back in earlier history, my parents would throw Thanksgiving and both would pull out all the stops. We never had that many relatives living near each other, so we'd invite a couple of neighbors, too. I just think the main thing is to find good company who isn't (as most of my friends and family wouldn't be) sucked into watching overpaid jocks on the blaring tube while trying to carry on with fascinating conversations about ideas and the world about us. In short, I love to dine with friends and famiily, and never have heard, and never would use, the silly term, "friendsgiving". No, I am thankful for a lot of things, family, friends, and reasonable health.
My wife and I celebrate Thanksgiving alone. We live in Houston. My daughter (and only child) lives in Columbus, OH and she still has a grandmother in Cleveland, where her mom lives. I want her to be with her grandmother as much as she can be. Her grandmother is a great person and a truly great grandmother. My wife has no children. So for us, it is off to a golf resort and spa. We enjoy an incredible Thanksgiving buffet with anything and everything we could ever want to eat, a bottle of champagne, and then take a nice walk on beautiful grounds (as in "walk it off," like that could be possible after three pieces of pie) and leave the pots, pans and dishes behind. We can live without leftovers. Then on Friday, I play golf and she has a massage and a facial. After these activities we brave the crowds for some Black Friday shopping and people watching. The resort provides shuttle service to a good mall and high end shopping plaza. near by so we don't have to deal with parking. And we follow it up with another nice dinner at a 1000 point Open Table restaurant. Saturday we're off to a small town nearby for that quaint shops shopping experience and then home by 2PM to pick up the hound at the kennel. That is a Romancegiving...and I didn't even mention the best part!
You described my best fantasy Thanksgiving. You are so fortunate!
Close your eyes, click the heels of your ruby slippers together and say, "There's no place like a resort for Thanksgiving."
The best Thanksgivings I ever had were when the 'guest list' only consisted of random friends/acquaintances who had no where else to go. My friends are my family.
That is the best. That's how our Thanksgiving is just about every year. Can't beat it.
My partner and I just spent a weekend-long celebration in the company of an old friend's large and somewhat dysfunctional family. Seems to me that a freely chosen "family" made up of unrelated people with different religions (or no religion at all) and political beliefs is infinitely preferable than the one whom genetics and accident of birth have foisted upon you. You're very lucky and blessed if you get along with your extended family; if not, you're luckier still to have great friends. I'm in the latter group, and happily so.
I have a friend who does a Friendsgiving–in February. She loves to cook and entertain, and no one has any other family events that month.
"Friendsgiving" is kind of a goofy phrase I guess, but I always think of it as kind of an additional Thanksgiving meal on another day. In my friend group, we all have Thanksgiving with our families, then maybe a few days or a week later we do a pot luck "friendsgiving" where we each bring a dish of our favorite thanksgiving food. its lots of fun! I don't think of it as a way to disparage who people spend Thanksgiving day with...
I feel the same way. An additional meal/event.
Also: c'mon. It's semantics. Is what other people call their meal with friends really worth all the grr-argh?
Thanks Kat for defending Thanksgiving without 'family'! I don't need a holiday to give thanks, and honestly, turkey is overrated... With Christmas so soon after, I choose to spend my travel dollars on Christmas. Just booked two tickets to WA for Christmas, $700 for ONE ticket, and 60k miles for the other, priceless...
Thanksgiving pasts have been spent with my mom and a girlfriend traveling to Europe (great prices for that week!) or just my husband and I going to Vegas for a few days.
I do cook a full turkey dinner on Christmas though, so I don't miss the flavors of homemade family recipes!
However everyone celebrates (or doesn't), enjoy the day and be thankful for what we have here in this country.
Liberals just cant stand that some people celebrate Thanksgiving differently than they do.
Boo! Troll! Go away.
Off your meds again?
That's so funny! I was just thinking the same thing about conservatives.
I love my family, but due to travel and work ( work in an emergency room ), I spend my thanksgiving with my friend, her daughters who for their whole lives refer to me as their "brother" and to me they're my little sisters. (Deadbeat dad situation). Now added to the group, my Goddaughter (who wishes I was her actual dad). Weird circumstances created our family, but no matter what we eat for our meal, we all have a good time, enjoy each other's company, then watch Addams Family Values (for those who know the reason why we watch this on Thanksgiving).
No, bad idea. Just call it what it is – Thanksgiving with friends.
Don't start making up "cutesy" words, just use the ones we already have available.
Oh, and "Christmakkuh" isn't a real thing, either.
Just say that you celebrate BOTH Christmas and Hanukkah.
exactly For over a decade I had thanks giving by myself, as I had to work the day after the travel would have been too much.
while alone I made sure to make something unique(fish, lobster, premimum meat cuts)
For christmas which my sister and I love we are switching the name from christmas to Yuletide. a yuletide tree goes over better with her inlaws. and since the christians stole christmas anyways we don't feel guilty in taking it back.
I've done friends Thanksgiving for years, now. Great conversations and excellent food (and we all bring something to share). Never heard the word, "friendsgiving" until just now.
I get so angry when people say things like "you don't really DO Thanksgiving, do you," which some %$#@ actually said to me the other day. Just because I spend the holidays with my spouse, and no other family. That is how I DO Thanksgiving and Christmas, thank you. And keep your judgement and pity to yourself.
And I expect you have a much happier holiday season than the nasty people making these comments to you.
You do YOU and please have a wonderful holiday!
Currently residing in the UK and excited to bring Thanksgiving to all of my new friends here!
I've had to spend numerous Thanksgivings with friends and colleagues due to travel expenses and work responsibilities. Typically those of us who can't afford to spend it with our families, or don't have the time due to busy work schedules, band together for a potluck at someone's apartment. It's always been fantastic. I call my family members in the morning and then share a good dinner with friends in the evening. I don't care if some random person doesn't think of that as a "real" Thanksgiving. I'm spending time with people I care about and who care about me, eating great food and giving thanks for all the good that's come my way the past year. Sounds like Thanksgiving to me.
Friendsgiving is STUPID. No matter who you celebrate it with, it's still Thanksgiving! Who cares if it is friends only and not family? That is really still family in my opinion. And the important part is giving thanks for your blessings, getting together, sharing a meal and football, whatever.
I moved halfway across the country to get away from my family. I went back one year for Christmas, never again. Went back to visit for a few weeks one summer and will never do that again either. So as far as I'm concerned I'll spend the holidays with my friends and funerals with my family.
Ugh! I forgot my old log in info, but seeing familiar names made me smile..
This Thanksgiving, we unfortunately won't be with family due to moving expenses (we're moving from Nashville to NYC Dec. 2nd & can't afford to drive 800 miles toTexas), but my boyfriend will be officially getting out of the Army this coming Wednesday and our roommate will be home from Afghanistan the same day. So I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the guys, my daughter, and myself.
There's been quite a few Thanksgivings that I haven't spent with my parents due to their work schedules when I was in middle & high school, so it's not that upsetting. Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving, regardless of who you spend it with.
Wait - is this Noxious Sunshine? HI!
Yes!! It is!! Lol I missed you guys!! How've you been, Kat??
Missed you, too! I'm good and so is Sarah. You? Whatcha been up to?
It wouldn't let me reply directly to you, but a lot! I made a full post in the Coffee Klatsch bit..
But, my boyfriend and I will be moving to NYC (Queens) on the 2nd, my daughter is in Kindergarten now, she'll be 6 in January. Time goes by waaay too quickly.. haha. Glad you guys are good!
annnnd I have a food blog of my own, now, but it's been hard to update lately and it's hard to take pics with just the camera on my cell phone.. ha
Lol that's cute. Welcome to pre-school. I would've said kindergarten, but that would be an insult tmy daughter.
For the last 6 years we've held a "Friends' Thanksgiving" (better name)on the day after Thankgiving because many companies are giving that day as holiday. So people celebrate with family on Thursday, and party with Friens on Friday. It's been a big hit!
I like your idea. I have for several years usually had several holiday dinners. At least one with family but sometimes tow a year her family and mine in different states and at least one with friends /family where we live.
Just my significant other is the way I prefer it and that's Ed Zachary how it has worked out this year. Thank the gods.
Wow. Had to read that one 5 times to make sense of it. I must be getting old.....
It's not you. In my enthusiasm over not having to go anywhere for T-day (thank the higher powers), I made a run-on sentence to get my point across. Mah bad.
It was actually the "Ed Zachary" that threw me.
You sound like the most miserable, depressing, not to mention selfish person to be around! It's only two holidays out of the entire year that require maybe a total of 1.5 weeks out of you. Get over yourself! And while you're at it, go get a Zoloft prescription!
I do actually suffer from depression, and it gets much, much worse around the holidays. Hard to even lift my head from the pillow, let along pretend to be super cheery about the holidays, That may have something to do with the fact that folks like you don't have room in your hearts to be kind or accept the fact that everyone doesn't share their circumstances.
Yelling at someone to be happy may work for you, but it's bound to make it so very much worse for them. Just consider leaving them be.
Ever try a light box? Might be a seasonal thing. Have I got a deal for you!
Apparently the UV light helps.
I have one and it has made a huge difference!
~_~ How does one make a "box" light? ~_~
With a flesh light.
To say I don't have kindness of heart is completely ignorant because you don't know me in the least bit. I understand my response might have been harsh, but I don't have sympathy for people who just feel sorry for themselves. Instead of complaining about something, get out and do something out it...especially when it effects something as important as your personal happiness. It's also not okay to assume everyone else in the room with you during Thanksgiving is genuinely 100% happy in that moment, maybe others are also trying to put a brave face on. I also don't feel that it's selfish of those who love you to want to see you and have your company present. Instead of being miserable about it, why not try and be honest and explain your sentiments to them. I know for a fact that if a family member or friend of mine expressed the same feelings you have about the holidays with me, I would be 100% understanding of it and would tell them to not to be so hard on themselves about it or beat themselves up (as in, don't feel pressure to have to be there the entire weekend, etc). You'll notice that people are much more understanding when they're informed instead of sympathizing when you're feeling sorry for yourself.
Also, from what I know of myself and those around me, MANY people suffer to some degree with seasonal depression, it's definitely not uncommon, but like I said, there are maybe two major holidays of the year that require you to bond with family, and no matter what the situation is, I think it is extremely selfish if for two occasions out of 365 days of a year, you cannot put others and their happiness before yourself.
It's also offbase of you to assume that I'm not doing anything about it, and that my family isn't okay with it. They love me and I them, and we celebrate other occasions. And I also have a very painful family situation on one side, and deal with that as best I can.
As for my feeling "sorry for myself" - not so much. It's been a lifelong struggle for me, and I work at it every day. I go to therapy, exercise, and also write about it in a public forum to reduce the stigma so people like me don't have to feel like we need to hide what's going on.
I can't tell you how many dozens (actually probably a couple of hundred) people have quietly reached out to me afterward to say that it meant a lot to them to see that they're not alone and they don't have to be ashamed.
But there often *is* shame, and being made to feel as if you're defective for not being able to be happy and jolly can just compound that. It's not selfish to take care of yourself as best you can. It's self-preservation, and your loved ones should want you to be as well as you can.
I hope very much that you do have a family who understands and is kind and supportive to you. Not everyone does.
HBK, you're a tw@t.
How about you go down to your local Home Depot (Lowe's will in a pinch), and grab yourself a large bag of rock salt. Go home and proceed to pound high and hard for the afternoon.
Wow, I'm ahead of my time. After moving 5 states away from my family I have spent that last 17 Thanksgivings with friends. This year we will be enjoying a fest of steak, potatoes and a lot of wine.
Sorry, that should be FEAST, not fest. Although it will be very festive.
Steakfest!? I'll bring the Merlot. What's your address? ^_^
There's probably doesn't come in tube form.
and I even thought about it, lol
HA! I was actually thinking in terms of NYStrip type of steak, but then something caught in my throat ...
What? No flamenon??
Oh, I love Merlot! But I also love Riesling...can you bring one of both? ;)
I had never heard of Friendsgiving until this article. The holiday is about celebrating with ones you love (by blood, marriage, choice, or the mere connection of humanity.) I have celebrated Thanksgiving with a hospital cafeteria style. (Suprisingly good – kudos to the hospital) when my Dad was in the hospital. I have celebrated Thanksgiving the next week when due to schedules/health- it has had to be "rescheduled" I have spent the day with friends. Once, when there was a sale on turkeys and everyone was going to be available, my mom fixed a "thanksgiving" dinner in July. It's not when or what you eat – but the spirit of the meeting.
The name, Friendsgiving, is yickey. Who came up with that roadside urppan term? Barff me out, gag me with a spoon, gross.
The actual gathering of friends with food before the days of turkey and reindeer is a time I'll always cherish. It doesn't happen in as much as it used to, like back when. Distance, work, and stuff has taken its toll. But we make up for it the rest of the year – every chance we get.
Sounds like some 20something CNN staffer came up with this dumb term. Ignore it. It's Thanksgiving, no matter who you spend it with.
Our large nuclear family gets together every year, but my eldest daughter found that her friends (like her) who didn't host the meal missed the leftovers. So she and her friends (minus their children who stay with grandma) get together the night before for a potluck of all the favorites so everyone can take some home. That is their 'Friendsgiving', taking nothing away from our dysfunctional get together the next day! :-)
I gotta lot of problems with you people!!
It's a Festivus Miracle!
Didn't know "Friendsgiving" was a thing, but highlight of my Thanksgiving day will be watching a marathon of "Friends" Thanksgiving episodes....
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