Friendsgiving

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My daughter and her friends like to think that they invented Friendsgiving. A few years back when they were in college, they decided it would be fun to have their own Thanksgiving feast before heading their separate ways to celebrate the holiday with their families. Ironicially, it was a friend from “across the pond” who came up with the idea.

Friendsgiving started out small: just six friends who lived together and played together when they weren’t meeting the demands of school work. Each of them contributed to the feast, which included the traditional staples of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Over the years as their friendship circle grew, so did Friendsgiving. By their great good fortune (and no doubt some strategic planning), they found themselves transplanted to New York City after college. They continued to live and play together, and as they did, they added on to their small group. Soon they were needing two turkeys for the feast instead of one. By this time, Friendsgiving had become “a thing,” as my daughter would say.

This year there were 35 friends gathered in an apartment celebrating their friendship with wine, turkey, and all the trimmings – and then some. Friends have gotten creative over the years. My daughter, who has become a vegetarian, tries new ways to make veggies delicious. At the latest Friendsgiving, the hit of the party was a butternut squash ravioli.

Maybe they didn’t invent Friendsgiving. But I admire my daughter and her friends for the strong ties that bind them and that led them to create their own “family” holiday together. These days, families can be fractured by divorce, illness, estrangement, and even death. The Thanksgiving Day meal itself can be fraught with family squabbles. How lovely it is that these friends have found a way to celebrate their close and enduring camaraderie.

To all who cherish their friends this holiday, I’d like to say, “Happy Friendsgiving.”

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