Thankful For Friends And Friendsgiving

I don’t think I’ve ever been shy about my love of Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays (along with my birthday), and honestly, how could it not be? Over the years, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with some of the most important f-words in my dictionary – food, family, and football. I can’t think of anything that I enjoy more than getting together with people I care about, stuffing my face and tummy full of the best kinds of foods (hello, pumpkin pie), and sprawling out on the couch to watch a little football rivalry at its finest.

Every year, I’ve spent Thanksgiving with family. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely cherish the time spent, but it often means that I don’t get to enjoy the holiday with another important group in my life. So this year, I decided to add another f-word to my growing list of Thanksgiving favorites: friends. Because the older I get, the more important it becomes to continue to build on those relationships (both old and new) and create even more memories.

Whether in my life for years, or just a few months, each of my friends is important to me, and been around for so much – the good, the bad, the goofy, and the just plain weird – so it seems more than appropriate that we hold a special Thanksgiving celebration to commemorate the great times we’ve all shared as friends. And we did just that with out first annual Friendsgiving. I think I speak for everyone when I say it was wonderful…

Friendsgiving 2013

Just a few of the girls who attended Friendsgiving.

Done potluck style, each of the 10 of us brought a dish or two for the meal, and we ended up with quite the Thanksgiving smorgasbord. Turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, rolls; you name it, we had it. And the desserts – oh man, did we have desserts (I even came bearing a loaf of my mom’s famous pumpkin bread). Would you believe me when I say it was all so good? Even the turkey came out perfectly – kudos to our host Molly for successfully taking on the task, despite never having cooked an entire turkey before. I don’t think I’m lying when I say that our first Friendsgiving meal was on par with many of my family’s own Thanksgiving meals, which have been meticulously perfected over the years. So that’s really saying something.

Friendsgiving 2013

Our Friendsgiving potluck feast.


There wasn’t even enough room on our plates for all the food!

After our bellies were full of food, the group sat down to have a white elephant gift exchange. If you’ve never had the opportunity to participate in one before, I highly recommend it for your next get-together. Basically, each person buys a gift within a pre-set price limit (ours was $10). The gift should not be for any one person in particular because you start by putting all of the gifts in the center, and each person draws a number. When it’s your turn, you can either choose an unopened gift from the middle pile, or steal a gift that’s already been opened. It’s such a fun way to do a gift exchange, and the best part is that everyone walks away with a great gift – our group sure did.

Friendsgiving 2013

Getting ready to begin our White Elephant gift exchange.

Friendsgiving 2013

All the girls with the spoils of the White Elephant exchange.

I left feeling so happy from the night. As much as I love each and every one of my friends, when my work life gets busy, it gets increasingly difficult to hang out with them, so it was so special to me that we had Friendsgiving – it gave us all the chance to forget the stresses and chaos of our own lives (even if just temporarily), and enjoy each other’s company as friends. I hope it is a tradition that continues for many Thanksgivings to come (and maybe just on random occasions, because why not?).

With that, I will let you get back to your own Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) celebrations. May your day be filled with all your favorite f-words. Enjoy some turkey, and I’ll see y’all in December!

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