Celebrating Friendsgiving: A Tradition for Chosen Family


Here we are, on the cusp of the holiday season. For many, these next two months will be filled with making memories with extended family, all gathered happily around the table enjoying one another’s company. But for some, this is not the reality of what this season holds.

Friendsgiving gathering- group of people toast with glasses

Some people live too far away from family to realistically get together every year. Some have strained or estranged relationships with family members. And some simply do not have extended family to gather with for Thanksgiving or Christmas. If this is you, you don’t have to be alone on Thanksgiving. Fortunately, the concept of Friendsgiving has become normalized and celebrated in our culture. Friends are chosen family, and gathering with them during the holidays can be just as wonderful and meaningful as gathering with relatives.

What is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving, like a lot of modern slang, originated on Twitter. The term first appeared on the social media site in 2007, although many also trace its origins to the hit television series Friends. Regardless of where the term came from, its meaning is simple: a combination of Friends + Thanksgiving, or a gathering of chosen family on or around Turkey Day. Many celebrate Friendsgiving on the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving, but there are no official rules. If you and some friends are without plans on the actual day of Thanksgiving, hold it then!

How to Host Friendsgiving

Just like hosting a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, a Friendsgiving gathering takes at least some advanced planning, depending on how complicated or simple you want your event to be.

Sometimes simple and easy make for the best gatherings. This post from Collin County Moms shares tips for hosting a very simple Friendsgiving.

This post by Dallas Moms, reminds us of the most important parts of any gathering with people you love.

The Magic Formula for a Fantastic Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving Food

Food is crucial for any holiday gathering, and Friendsgiving is no exception. Here are some simple, delicious ideas for your special day.

18 Friendsgiving Food Ideas from Insanely Good

20 Easy Dishes to Make Friendsgiving Even Better from MyRecipes

Easy Friendsgiving Recipes from Bake it With Love

23 Make-Ahead Friendsgiving Dishes to Make Hosting a Breeze from EatingWell

This month, consider rounding up some friends and having your own celebration. Friendsgiving combines all the wonderful parts of a traditional Thanksgiving, but with only the people you choose to spend this time with. We hope these ideas inspire you to create a new tradition with your own chosen family.

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Elizabeth Baker
Elizabeth was raised in Houston and met her husband Ryan shortly after graduating from Texas A&M with a journalism degree. A few years later, Grayson {Sept 2010}, turned Elizabeth’s world upside down, not only with his sparkling blue eyes and killer smile, but with his profound disabilities and diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease. After two years of navigating the world of special needs parenting, Elizabeth and Ryan were blessed with Charlotte {Jan 2013} and Nolan {Sept 2015}, perfectly completing their party of five. Elizabeth and her crew live in Katy, Texas, and when she can steal a few moments for herself, she can be found out for Mexican food and margaritas with girlfriends, binge-listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or trying once again {unsuccessfully} to organize her closet. In addition to her role with City Mom Collective, Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for Houston Moms. You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram or elizabethkbaker.com.