The Peanuts crew all sit down for a nice Friendsgiving meal. Photo courtesy of Popsugar.
SAMANTHA RITTENBERG | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendsgiving is a combination of the word “friend” and “Thanksgiving”, and it refers to a holiday where people get together to celebrate their appreciation for their friends. Friendsgiving is a newer holiday, and it’s usually acknowledged the weekend before Thanksgiving or even on Thanksgiving.
This is the year of unique Friendsgivings, and Butler students are bringing on the spirit — there is no doubt about it. With themes ranging from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” to Taylor Swift, there are countless ways to create a Friendsgiving to remember.
Molly Mead, a first-year speech, language and hearing sciences major, uses the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the friendships she has made.
“I have only celebrated once [so far], and it was last year,” Mead said. “I had about five of my friends come over to my house. We all brought different Thanksgiving foods, and we just hung out and ate together.”
There is no point in being boring in a season full of festivities, so here are some unique ways to celebrate the holiday of Friendsgiving.
A Charlie Brown Friendsgiving
Want to channel the nostalgia of the Peanuts gang from “It’s a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”? Dress up like these classic characters with someone in a yellow shirt with a black chevron stripe like Charlie Brown, a red shirt with black stripes like Linus, a puffy-sleeved blue dress like Sally, a green, collared striped shirt like Peppermint Patty and so on. Serve foods at the gathering that the characters ate, such as buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels, jelly beans and ice cream sundaes.
If this Friendsgiving takes place around dinnertime, some adjustments might need to be made to the menu. Someone nifty with origami is essential to have at the gathering to make Snoopy’s famous boat-style napkins. Other decorations can include mismatched chairs and chef hats that match Snoopy’s.
Trader Joe’s Friendsgiving
Trader Joe’s is not just a grocery store; it’s a phenomenon. Take Friendsgiving up a notch by making it all Trader Joe’s themed. Everyone can wear Hawaiian-themed shirts just like the employees wear with the classic big red name tags.
Regarding food, everyone can bring their favorite Thanksgiving item from Trader Joe’s. Some ideas include Trader Joe’s famous cornbread mix, frozen mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts sauté kit. Another item that Trader Joe’s is famous for is their spreads. For an appetizer, someone can bring the cranberry chèvre goat cheese or Trader Joe’s new sprouted wheat sourdough bread to dip in the holiday cheer unexpected cheddar cheese spread. The host can take care of the turkey by providing Trader Joe’s fully cooked brined bone-in half turkey breast.
Instead of making boring place cards, make them Trader Joe’s themed by taking mini chalkboards and writing everyone’s name in colored chalk markers just like how the store decorates their aisles. Go the extra mile by decorating the table with “empties” — empty boxes or jars from finished products — of favorite Trader Joe’s items.
Taylor Swift Friendsgiving
A Taylor Swift-themed Friendsgiving is one for the eras. Decorations can consist of hanging mirror balls, mini sparkly guitars — cutouts, not actual guitars — a shimmery table runner, red heart-shaped sunglasses and so much more.
In terms of food, people can get creative by tying lyrics from different Taylor Swift songs into the food they bring. Some examples include “Invisible String beans,” “Lavender honey beet salad Haze,” “Message in a Bottle of apple cider,” “Cowboy caviar Like Me” and “22 dinner rolls.” For dessert, make Taylor Swift’s famous chai sugar cookies that she adapted from a recipe by Joy Wilson. For the place cards, write people’s names on different printed album covers — or if people are into something a little more fun — the place cards can have everyone’s names under a photo of a different one of Swift’s previous boyfriends.
A sentimental Friendsgiving
Both Butler students and staff have put their own creative spin on the holiday of Friendsgiving in previous years.
Alicen Teitgen, a lecturer in the chemistry department, has been taking a creative approach to the idea of Friendsgiving since 2019, and named it “Chemsgiving”.
“The origin [of the tradition is that] I wanted a way to motivate students to still come to class on the Friday before Thanksgiving break,” Teitgen said. “I decided we would do a review day and play a game [where] you could earn some extra credit points. That first year, a few of my students said, can we bring in food and have a Thanksgiving? I said ‘That sounds awesome!’ We’ll play a review game, get extra credit, eat and it’ll be a day of giving and being thankful for chemistry [so we’ll] call it Chemsgiving.”
While chemistry is not for everyone, celebrating one’s roots is open to anyone. Friendsgiving is a great holiday to introduce friends to cultural foods and traditions they would otherwise not get to experience.
Victoria Lugo Carreno, a first-year math and secondary education double major, celebrates the holiday by making classic Venezuelan foods.
“We make ham bread, which is a bread stuffed with olives, raisins, ham, bacon and cheese,” Lugo Carreno said. “It’s delicious. And then we also make [a dish] called hallaca, which is [made of] smashed corn dough, and then you put turkey inside with raisins, capers and olives. Then you close it [by] wrapping it, and you put that in a banana leaf and then you wrap [that] and boil it.”
The true essence of Friendsgiving is spending quality time with friends, regardless of whether that is choosing an elaborate or a more traditional theme. The Friendsgiving season is now upon us, so start — or finish — planning the best Friendsgiving yet.