What is Friendsgiving, the new millennial fashion to celebrate Thanksgiving
If when reading Friendsgiving Have you thought of Joey or Monica with a turkey on the head, Rachel's "mixed" triffle and Chaendler's family stories, you are not entirely wrong. Many of us learned with the series 'Friends' what the American Thanksgiving party was, but they also anticipated what today is a new fashion among millennials, having a great dinner with friends.
Unoriginal? Yet another absurd trend? We could debate it, but the name has a hook and it does not stop gaining followers. It is an example of how traditions evolve and adapt to changes in society itself. Thanksgiving dinner has always been the quintessential big family event, but now American young adults want to celebrate with friends too, with less stress and creating new traditions.
The birth of a new fashion destined to become tradition
English is a wonderful language that never ceases to give birth to new terms and expressions. English speakers especially like to combine already popular words to create new concepts, so it is impossible to know who first came up with that Friendsgiving. To combine Thanksgiving -Thanksgiving- with friends -friends- was almost obvious, and only a matter of time before it caught on as a trend.
It seems that by 2006 it appeared in the beginnings of social networks such as Twitter, and mentions can be found in some blogs and gastronomic pages, but the concept did not really start until 2016. Last year it finished exploding as new trend in the networks, and it seems that this 2018 is already being imposed as a parallel or alternative party to the traditional Thanksgiving. There is even a movie announced for 2019 entitled, precisely, 'Friendsgiving'.
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Some brands and companies saw the potential hitch and anticipated the trend with ad campaigns that used the term to their advantage. Taco Bell, Baileys, Betty Crocker or Whole Foods are some well-known examples that only contributed to spreading the popularity of the new concept. The use of the hashtag on networks such as Instagram is on the rise, and more and more restaurants and food outlets are joining to offer menus and special offers during these days.
The first entry of Friendsgiving that appears in the Urban Dictionary, the dictionary of urban language and Anglo-Saxon slang, dates back to 2009, giving a simple but concise meaning:
The celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with your friends. This usually occurs on the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, since Thanksgiving is usually reserved for family gatherings.
Celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with your friends. It usually happens the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving, since Thanksgiving is usually reserved for family gatherings.
Thanksgiving VS Friendsgiving millennial: enrich or destroy tradition?
If in Spain we do not like to be touched by our traditions, in the United States they are not very happy with sudden changes either - it does not matter that its history as a nation is only a few centuries old, the concept of time is relative. And anything that bears the millennial seal is susceptible to criticism and attacks of all kinds, as the media have shown us countless times in recent years.
Millennials are constantly accused of breaking the traditional
Let us remember that all those born between the years 1981 and 1995, approximately, belong -we belong- to the millennial generation. They are young adults, some in their early forties, theoretically independent but many still without "starting a family" or without a solid financial wealth. The economic crisis and the social and labor context have marked a generation that increasingly delays buying a home, marrying or having children.
They are accused of creating and following absurd fashions, of not having respect for traditional values or of "destroying" all kinds of things and customs, in a very unfair way. The irreverent generation that was really born with the expansion of the internet and networks is the one that comes later, called generation Z.
He Friendsgiving It is succeeding among young people in their twenties and thirties because it is a way to celebrate a special day with friends, who for many are almost the real family, with whom they share their day to day. Spending Thanksgiving in the family home is associated with something more solemn, more intimate, and more closed, often surrounded by stress and a certain burden.
It is also a way to meet up with other friends who no longer live nearby. The ideal occasion to reconnect with college or high school classmates, with friends from the town or childhood, before or after dinner with the family. In such a large country with distances of thousands of kilometers between cities, it is easy to lose touch over the years.
And for many, Thanksgiving has a very special meaning that is foreign to us. They talk about the Thanksgiving season, something like the Christmas season that fills the atmosphere of everything the days before and after December 25. But Thanksgiving is a single day, why not make it a little longer, moving the party forward or continuing it a little later?
At The Atlantic, the phenomenon is analyzed from various perspectives, and there are opinions for all tastes. While it seems that the Friendsgiving It is not seen with very bad eyes, because it is perfectly compatible with the traditional festival, there are more pessimistic views.
Friendsgiving is much cheaper than traditional Thanksgiving dinner
The author Malcolm Harris points out that this trend is just another sign of how the new generations are getting poorer, and the power wants to make up for it. A typical Friendsgiving It consists of each guest bringing a dish to share, usually in a more modest and less pretentious version than in the traditional menu. That is to say: it is cheaper.
Harris points out that millennials cannot afford to host a luxurious Thanksgiving dinner and want to sell this new fad as something modern and endearing; "It is a propaganda weapon used by the ruling class to promote their wage stagnation plans."
But even experts in the cultural aspects and history of Thanksgiving defend the validity of the new trend. Unlike Christmas, the idea of this holiday is not to surround yourself with luxurious dishes or give each other jpgts: it revolves around generosity, hospitality and sharing dishes with a homely spirit. Why not extend it to the circle of friends as well?
How to celebrate a Friendsgiving at home (calling it whatever you want)
Although it does not make sense to want to imitate the cultural value that Thanksgiving has for Americans, I do advocate recreating their most typical dishes in our house; It is an excuse like any other to spend a good evening trying new recipes.
That's why I like the idea of importing the Friendsgiving, which is a little more than the norm and allows to be more flexible with tradition. We can forget about ornate decorations, luxurious tableware or very complicated dishes and simply invite friends -or family- to dinner at home, distributing the menu among the guests.
It's easier for the hosts to take care of the main course, like the typical American-style turkey or our favorite baked chicken recipe. Depending on the number of guests we can assign side dishes, starters and appetizers, organizing well who takes care of the dessert. If there are leftovers - there will be - they will be distributed among the guests and everyone will help to collect and clean a little.
No need to complicate or strain your stomach with an exaggerated feast. The most important thing is to have fun with friends, maybe make new friends, and relax before the stress of the holidays. That is the spirit of Friendsgiving: enjoy sharing good food in good company and starting our own new traditions.
Photos | Unsplash - iStock - Giphy
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