A table full of traditional holiday food surrounded by loved ones. This explains Thanksgiving for most people however, in recent years, friends have begun their own tradition for the holiday that seems to be sticking around. Friendsgiving is a trend that has quickly become very popular among teens. The new tradition is a time to gather with close friends and give thanks while indulging in a traditional (or unique) Thanksgiving feast.
There is no specific origin to this tradition but according to realsimple.com there are a few theories. One theory involves a very popular show called “Friends” which aired an episode in 1994 where the cast celebrated Friendsgiving. During this episode, all of the characters realized that they were not able to go home for Thanksgiving for various reasons. This resulted in them celebrating together while expressing their gratitude for each other. The word “Friendsgiving” was not mentioned in this episode; however, the concept was definitely present.
It is possible that the idea came from a television show, but the actual word was first used on Twitter. Many users of this social media platform included this word in their tweets in 2007 and it was officially denoted for the celebration.
Another theory behind the source of this now nationally recognized holiday spin-off comes from the liquor company, Bailey’s Irish Cream. In 2011, according to Merriam Webster, Bailey’s Irish Cream promoted an ad campaign, “Friendsgiving with Baileys”. The liqueur company asked multiple influencers to feature their product in a meal with friends, resulting in national recognition of a rising holiday.
Once Friendsgiving became more commonly recognized, the concept began to take off quickly across a multitude of social media platforms and gained popularity among friend groups everywhere. From 2004 to 2012, virtually no one was searching the internet for the term, but a small amount of interest did arise in November 2013. This gave way to a small spike in November 2014, and google searches exponentially intensified over the next three Novembers according to theatlantic.com.
Many students at MSD have partook in this activity in past years and are continuing to do so by celebrating this year. Nate Schoedl, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, plans to celebrate this year with his friends.
“My friends and I were all saying how grateful we are for each other and then we were like ‘Hey, we should have our own Friendsgiving’ and we basically just planned it from there,” Schoedl said.
Nate and his friends plan on bringing their own ethnic dishes to share at the park. They figured that this would be a unique twist on the typical turkey and cranberry sauce that they will surely be eating on Thanksgiving day.
“We all figured that we would be sick of traditional Thanksgiving food, so we decided to bring an ethnic dish from our background. I’m bringing a cheese platter since I’m from Wisconsin,” Schoedl said.
Friendsgiving has become increasingly popular recently with more and more people celebrating and recognizing it each year. It is a time to gather with friends while realizing how much everyone has to be grateful for and having a fun-filled night.