America has a new Thanksgiving trend: “Friendsgiving.”
Millennials love turkey, stuffing and pie so much that they’re often doing the whole meal multiple times — once with mom and dad and a second (or even third) time with friends.
“It’s essentially like having two Thanksgivings,” says Kim Riley. She and her husband Ryan hosted 20 people, including four kids, on Saturday for Friendsgiving at their home near Harrisburg, Pa.
They made the turkey — a 20-pounder — and a 12-pound ham. Guests brought side dishes and dessert.
The Rileys started doing this seven years ago, before it was even called Friendsgiving. Everyone ate off paper plates. A lot of the food was store bought or a “novice effort.”
Now just about everything is homemade, and there’s a friendly competition to bring the yummiest dish.
“It’s become a tradition. Everyone brings the same thing every year, but they step up their game year by year,” says Kim.
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There have been a lot of upgrades over the years: tablecloths, decorations, eating off fine china. Ryan and Kim even went to a local restaurant supply store to buy “deluxe take home containers” so people would actually take the leftovers.
Grocery stores are catching on to ‘Friendsgiving’
But the centerpiece of Friendsgiving is the people.
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Ryan and Kim started this before they were married. There were a lot of singles living in their Harrisburg neighborhood. They wanted to celebrate with their “home away from home” family before many went their separate ways for the holiday.
The first mention of the term “Friendsgiving” on Urban Dictionary is from 2009. But it really exploded in popularity on social media last year. Some young people who can’t travel home for the holidays because of a lack of funds or their work schedules also gather together on Turkey Day for Friendsgiving.
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Supermarkets are even catching on. Thanksgiving has always been a “major boost” for sales says Phil Lampert, who runs the site SupermarketGuru.com.
“If they get you to shop there for Thanksgiving, most will continue to shop at the same store through Super Bowl,” says Lampert.