Sharing food and stories–the heart of Friendsgiving: Part 1

      My friends and I have celebrated Friendsgiving every year for the last three years, and we don’t skip it for anything. As we’ve gone away for college or struggled through exams, Friendsgiving has always taken priority. I’ve gone most of my life without having family nearby, so Thanksgiving was never very traditional for me. My mom and I would often go to the houses of family friends for the holidays to celebrate instead. Because of this, hosting a Friendsgiving with my closest friends in high school felt natural.

      Our group’s Friendsgiving isn’t necessarily how you might imagine it, though. We all come as we are. No fancy outfits, no polite chit-chat, no elaborate recipes. We wear pajamas, we banter and yell and make jokes, we eat boxed mac and cheese and cereal out of paper bowls. It looks a little like Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, with a whole mishmash of uncoordinated dishes. We don’t expect anything more from each other than what we already have. For us, Friendsgiving is about purposefully spending time together within our chosen family. We can often get caught up in our own little world apart from one another, so setting out one evening a year to bond and catch up is vital to us.

      It can be so easy to focus on the surface level things of holidays, like food, traditions or decorations, but it’s important to remember what’s important. At the heart of it, Thanksgiving is all about being with those we love and celebrating the relationships we hold dear, and Friendsgiving is another, simpler way to do this.

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