How to: Friendsgiving

A true “Friends”-giving. Image courtesy of NBC.


Friendsgiving has been an ever-growing tradition where groups of friends all get together and enjoy “Thanksgiving,” before or after the actual holiday. Thanksgiving, especially to college students, is marked by a break from school or work, with many people traveling home to see family. Friendsgiving has become a way for people to celebrate with both friends and family who live in different places. 

There are many different styles of Friendsgivings — ranging from a small pot luck with roommates to a full blown party with a massive assortment of food. Here is all you need to know about throwing the best Friendsgiving for you and your friends. 

Step 1: Get your friends together

The first and most important step to any Friendsgiving meal is to get a group of friends together. New and old friends alike are great to spend time with around the holiday season. 

Senior accounting major Laura Burnham said that getting her roommates and other friends together for Friendsgiving was not a difficult task. 

“We all like each other a lot,” Burnham said. “We met freshman year, and we’re kind of like a family in this house. I felt like we had to have a family Thanksgiving meal.”

Step 2: Make a feast

The best — and most stress-free way — to do Friendsgiving is to have all of your friends bring their own homemade dish to collectively create one big Thanksgiving meal. Friendsgiving is usually marked by traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but you may have to get creative as a college student. 

Senior healthcare and business major Lily Shelp, who held her Friendsgiving with Burnham, said that her household has a few allergies that made them think outside of the box when it came to preparing their feast. 

“I cannot eat dairy, and my roommate can’t eat gluten, so we had to make dishes without those things,” Shelp said. “ We made dairy-free mashed potatoes, cornbread, green bean casserole, rolls, turkey and a pumpkin pie.” 

Although turkey is one of the most traditional Thanksgiving dishes, it is not always the best option for those who have never cooked one before, simply because it can be difficult to cook.

Senior psychology major Abbey Collins said that she did not want to attempt cooking a turkey so her friends opted for a less traditional main course. 

“We had green bean casserole, stuffing, parmesan chicken, mac and cheese and lots of desserts,” Collins said. “There were 10 of us, so the idea was that we each brought our own dish.”  

Step 3: Have fun!

There is no right way to do Friendsgiving. As long as you are with some good friends and are having fun, then Friendsgiving has served its purpose. Friendsgiving should be a fun experience from start to finish. 

Burnham said that getting to cook together was half of the excitement. 

“None of us really know how to cook, so it was just a fun experience really learning how to do it,” Burnham said. “Our expectations were so low going in, but I think we surprised ourselves.”

Food is always a fan-favorite at both Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving, but there are many other activities that you can do to celebrate with friends. 

Collins said one of her favorite parts of the night was simply getting to spend time with her friends that she hasn’t been able to see much this semester. 

“After dinner we all played card games in the living room and listened to Christmas music,” Collins said. “It was really nice to have a night where we all come together and have very intentional conversations.”

With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, it is time to get your friends together and make a Friendsgiving one to remember.


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