Claire Elliott, Junior Editor

You cannot choose your family; but, you can choose your friends. Thus, Friendsgiving is the perfect excuse to commemorate your bonds with excessive indulgence in food.

“This will be our fourth year having it,” Amber Austin (12) said. The gathering usually takes place on the third Saturday of November, two days after the original holiday. Austin’s Friendsgiving feast includes mac-and-cheese, spaghetti, Ziano’s breadsticks, salad and mashed potatoes in their celebration. To add to the atmosphere, they adorn the environment with fall and Thanksgiving decorations.
“One of my favorite memories is everyone going into the living room to watch a movie and play mafia after we ate,” Austin said.
On the other hand, Leah Fry and her friends often play basketball after the feast, changing from elegant attire to sweatsuits. Card games, too, could provide entertainment. For extra drama, using oreos as poker chips creates an intense bluffing war.

To rid the event from any anxiety, Fry also will alter the traditional menu.
“Instead of doing a turkey and dealing with that mess of cooking it and serving it, we have decided this year to pool some money and buy Chick-fil-a nuggets and then everyone is going to bring in a side dish or dessert,” Fry (11) said.
She affirms the feast will include Thanksgiving staples, being mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, mac-and-cheese, and various fall pies.
“I always bring in apple pie for dessert and last year one of my friends baked cookies and someone else brought in a pumpkin pie as well,” Fry said.

Naturally, such a delectable, atherosclerosis-causing meal is easily anticipated.

Although food lies at the heart of human contentment, surroundings also play a vital role; drabness often dampens the senses’ delicate pleasures. Decorating with warm colors and weird pictures of turkeys quickly heightens the ambiance. In fact, I recommend putting turkeys everywhere. Hold a scavenger hunt for the Golden Turkey, with the winner receiving shredded, premium-quality turkey breast.

“We used a table cloth and had the “fancy” plastic plates to eat on. I had an old center piece that I used to use at family thanksgiving that I brought to add to the atmosphere which is always fun to make fancy,” Fry said.
Imagine how much more invigorating it would be with an onslaught of turkeys…

Nevertheless, any decoration provides touches of refinement, reflecting significance of the occasion. The mild flare of extravagance can also overshadow other mundane sorrows.
Thus, in this rather tumultuous time, with a wave of COVID-19 surging through the Midwest, coordinating Friendsgiving is a way to escape the despondent atmosphere.
Ironically, the social events that provide emotional relief can also disperse our invisible adversary.
However, unlike travelling family coming in, most who are planning to celebrate Friendsgiving are merely adding a formal touch to a usual gathering.

“The idea came up a few weeks ago to have a Friendsgiving, so we talked about it and everyone seemed really excited about it so we thought, ‘Why not?’” Fry said.

Superficially, Thanksgiving and its alternative are just excuses to be excited and eat an excessive amount. However, they also represent intimacy and gratitude, in slightly different ways. Thanksgiving primarily celebrates the essentials in life: family, security, food, etc. Friendsgiving, on the other hand, honors companionship, and humans’ overlooked capability for connection.
Rather than living among each other solely for work, like ants, we find other reasons to coexist. Thus, Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to appreciate this feat, while also enjoying the act in itself.