Thanksgiving is an annual tradition that brings relatives together to celebrate the meaning of thanks over a hefty meal, but Friendsgiving adds a new spin to the custom. Although it combines the likes of "friends" and "Thanksgiving," the idea did not originate from the television series "Friends" and the holiday-inspired episodes in its lineup.

The 90's sitcom did help to popularize the custom, but the concept didn't emerge until 2007 in written text. It reportedly became more widely used when Bailey's Irish Cream featured the phrase in a 2011 advertisement, according to Merriam-Webster. The celebration, however, is said to have been potentially verbalized prior to this. 

Friendsgiving is an unofficial holiday that has allowed friends to gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving exclusively with close friends, sans family. The commemoration is increasingly being celebrated more frequently nationwide in addition to or in lieu of going home to be with family. Many take the opportunity to celebrate Friendsgiving ahead of Thanksgiving, but others choose to celebrate with companions instead of family.

There are no specified regulations to observe the holiday, which means there is no right way to celebrate Friendsgiving. The modernized gathering, while inspired by Thanksgiving, can deviate from traditional practices primarily because it doesn't have an official origin.

The Guestlist

It's a given that Friendsgiving is an occasion designated for friends only. In keeping with the theme of giving thanks, an open-door policy is a great way to observe the day. Invite friends who may not have relatives nearby or friends who are into good food and good times. Allow friends to bring others that are willing to contribute to the celebration, too.

How To Plan Friendsgiving

While the host should be responsible for providing the space for the event, they should also delegate responsibilities to other attendees. Creating a Facebook event page for the observance is an easy and accessible way to determine who will be in attendance and who will bring what, among other important aspects to the celebration. 

The Menu

A Friendsgiving feast shouldn't be afraid to veer away from traditional Thanksgiving meal staples. The easiest way to come up with dish options is to set it up as a  potluck. Everyone in attendance will be tasked with bringing a particular dish.

The host should be responsible for preparing a turkey and gravy because it would be challenging for other guests to lug that around. If attendees would rather skip the big turkey, opt for ham or chicken instead. 

If friends in attendance have are either vegetarian or vegan, make sure to provide those options to accommodate the dietary needs of all. 

Picking A Date

Many people tend to celebrate Friendsgiving ahead of Thanksgiving to accommodate those that are going home to be with family, but there is no harm in celebrating the holiday in lieu of Thanksgiving. 


A gathering of this caliber can only be enhanced by activities, no matter how big or small. For ideas, a playlist could be made for the event, holiday-inspired games could be created, attendees can gather together to watch a game of football or watch "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," among other relevant activities.