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Why millennials are ditching Thanksgiving for Friendsgiving

For the past five years or so, millennial Americans have ditched the annual Thanksgiving Day tradition and opted for a new tradition: Friendsgiving

Why millennials are ditching Thanksgiving for Friendsgiving
two woman standing beside woman sitting in front of table
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

This year, it feels as if the holidays arrived quicker than it took me to binge the entire first season of 'Emily in Paris'. Don't judge, you know you visually devoured the tone-deaf series just as swiftly as I did. But before you begin questioning my contentious Netflix palate, let's discuss another questionable topic: Thanksgiving.

Throughout the years, Americans have celebrated the controversial holiday without fully understanding the origins. For the individuals who have done their research, they chose to opt for a different tradition: "Friendsgiving."

First, let's admit Thanksgiving is a sham

For the past five years or so, millennial Americans have ditched the annual Thanksgiving Day tradition primarily because of it's inaccurate and harrowing history. But we can't outline the cultivation of "Friendsgiving," without identifying the dark history of Thanksgiving Day first.

Like the majority of American history, what you initially learned in school is vastly incorrect. We can thank the abridged American curriculum for that. Yes, the pilgrims arrived in North America from Plymouth, England in The Mayflower during 1620. Yes, a three-day celebration was attended by members of the Wampanoag tribe. However, that's where the accuracy of Thanksgiving Day ends.

Actually, it wasn't until 1863 when Thanksgiving became a thing, due to President Abraham Lincoln declaring it as such after the Civil War victories. In fact, it's been said Thanksgiving stems from the 1637 massacre of Pequot people, which was a pinnacle of the Pequot War.

Turkey wasn't even served. So yeah, not exactly what you initially learned in elementary school.

So what is "Friendsgiving"?

So glad you asked. Apart from being among my favorite holiday traditions, Friendsgiving is considered a Thanksgiving-themed meal among close friends. It often occurs the week before Thanksgiving and is extremely popular among people in their 20s to 30s. Think a potluck style dinner including your closest and dearest friends.

Preferably the ones who know their way around a kitchen. In my humble opinion, surrounding yourself with close friends during the holidays is way better than listening to your conservative uncle list all the reasons he prefers Trump to Biden.

Sooooo... how did Friendsgiving become a thing?

Friendsgiving most-likely came to fruition as another excuse to eat and drink large quantities of carbs and alcohol. Throw in the excitement of seeing close friends and it's officially a party. Someone probably decided to host a large dinner amongst friends and coin it as a new holiday tradition.

Slap a new name onto to an existing tradition and watch it slowly transform into an ubiquitous trend. It also appears to be a way to enjoy an array of delicious food without experiencing pressure from relatives. No one wants to sit in a room filled with family members and have to explain why you're single or unmarried for the 100% time.

While no one really knows for certain how Friendsgiving became a universal tradition, it's safe to say this year will look a little different thanks to the dismal circumstances surrounding our globe. You know, the global pandemic known as COVID-19?

However, there's still so much to be thankful for and thanks to technology (here's looking at you, Zoom), spending time with close friends is only a mouse click away.

people laughing and talking outside during daytime

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, many are facing the anxiety of re-entering into society. Over the last year, we've been obligated to remain asocial, and as a result, many of us (myself included) are finding human interaction painfully awkward.

For as long as I can remember, making friends was never a difficult feat to accomplish. To my friends and family, I've always been the most outgoing and bubbly person in the room. While that remains to be true, lately I've found social interactions to be challenging and somewhat strained. Thankfully, now that I'm fully vaccinated, I've been venturing into the real world more frequently.

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