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Celebrating with the family we choose: What is Friendsgiving?
by TeenHelp November 15th 2020, 12:50 PM

Celebrating with the family we choose: What is Friendsgiving?
By Cassie (cynefin)

Struggling is common during the holiday season. There's a lot of activity and so little time. If you're anything like me, you may not want to be around your family: perhaps there are toxic people, conflicting views, or just a general sense of discomfort. Even if you do enjoy seeing your family, gatherings are likely to be limited this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friendsgiving is how it sounds: it's a lot like typical Thanksgiving, but is celebrated with friends. This can be especially helpful for those who don't have family, or have toxic family members. We aren't limited to our biological families, but can make our own through people we choose throughout our lifetime.

Friendsgiving is usually celebrated around the traditional US Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday of each November. It can be celebrated the week before, or even a few weeks prior! The decision is up to the people choosing to celebrate.

Typical foods include turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and anything you usually include in your Thanksgiving meals. You certainly aren't limited to those foods, however. You can choose foods that bring back good memories or foods that you ate while growing up such as boxed macaroni and cheese or even frozen pizza. This is the chance to eat or do things you wouldn't normally do with your family. So put that frozen pizza in the oven and pick out some favorite games or movies to engage in.

If you'd like to celebrate during the pandemic, consider eating your meal outside if the weather allows. This will allow you to celebrate in the open air. You can also celebrate through a voice or video call. Keep in mind that you can join in even if you do not live in an area that celebrates Thanksgiving. Acknowledging the positives you've experienced throughout the year is always a welcome activity.

There are thought to be different origins for the term Friendsgiving, from a 2007 tweet to the show Friends [source]. Regardless of the origin, the gist is the same: celebrate what you're grateful for with your friends. Perhaps this can be a new tradition and a welcome break from the hustle of everyday life.
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