What in the World is “Friendsgiving” and How Do I Participate?

Ready to host your own celebration? Here are some tips to get you started with a new tradition among friends.


Photo by Emily Volpe, Sophia Salamone, Samantha Tirino, Sarah Wetzel

Photos By: Emily Volpe (trees – second row:left), Sophia Salamone (feast– bottom right), Samantha Tirino (trees and window – bottom left), Sarah Wetzel (all of the others)

“Friendsgiving” is a term that appeared a little over 10 years ago. It refers to a traditional Thanksgiving celebration that is held with your friends, rather than your family (hence the combination of the words “friends” and “Thanksgiving”). Most people have a Friendsgiving celebration the weekend before or after Thanksgiving in addition to their customary familial celebration. However, some people solely celebrate Friendsgiving, forgoing Thanksgiving altogether.

Friendsgiving has risen in popularity over the years, especially in the younger generations, because to many, it makes the holiday more enjoyable. Why get all dressed up on some Thursday afternoon to listen to your grandmother ask you about school for the eighth time that day and hope that no one brings up anything about politics, when you could hang out with your best friends and actually enjoy the evening? (Not that I don’t love my grandmother, but that woman can be a bit of a handful).

Most of the time, the menu of this event is practically identical to the standard Thanksgiving meal and it is pretty common for a potluck, where every person brings their own items to share. Although, some people take a different approach and stray away from the “classic Thanksgiving meal,” instead preparing their own favorite foods. Personally, the latter seems more appealing, because if I could eat a chicken caesar wrap instead of having to endure stuffing, I would be overjoyed (no offense to my mother, most people do enjoy her stuffing and she would be really upset if I slandered her cooking).

Friendsgiving also tends to have a lot more fun activities included. Rather than watch your uncle fall into a food coma on the couch, it is common for friends to play a variety of games, such as board games, sport games, or video games after the feast, though of course, everything is up to personal preference. The main purpose is to hang out with the friends you are thankful, which is very similar to Thanksgiving.

Friendsgiving can also be incredibly beneficial to people who don’t have a steady family life or the ability to have a Thanksgiving feast. Friendsgiving grants them the opportunity to enjoy the holiday and feel loved an appreciated, which we all need in our lives.

So How to Host Your Own Friendsgiving?

  1. Decide you want to host a Friendsgiving
  2. Gather your friends and pick a date that works for all of your schedules
  3. Work out whether it’s a potluck style or if one person is doing all the cooking (If it’s potluck – make sure everyone knows what to bring)
  4. Make sure you have a good playlist—no one wants to sit through a dinner with no ambient music (I made a playlist down of some of my personal favorite autumn-esque songs)
  5. Plan some fun activities! Download some virtual party games, bring out those ancient board games, get some balls from the garage and play outside. The possibilities are endless.
  6. Have fun with your friends! The whole point of Friendsgiving is hanging out with the friends you appreciate, so just do what makes you all happy!


I wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving and I hope you are inspired to give Friendsgiving a try!

Link to playlist to play at your party: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2CsO0Px8fKjhKXkx2EKkYh?si=73f9590dcd6e4b7c