4 Reasons Why Friendsgiving Is The Best

by Marion Bernstein

I've never been a fan of Thanksgiving. Having an intimate understanding of the emotionally crippling stress of familial tension, I jump at the opportunity to host a Friendsgiving on any given Thursday. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. And I've come to accept each and every one of them for the dysfunctional people they are, as I assume they've done for me. But the past is a nodular road stained with far too much oil slick, and to be honest, the reoccurring thought of paying that I-95 entrance toll in the dead of November fills me with nothing but anxiety.

As many children of divorce, I always resented holidays because it meant that I had to choose. Perpetually faced with the invariable choice of side and not circumstance, it's no surprise that while working in restaurants in my early 20s, I gladly opted to take the Thanksgiving shift nobody wanted. The money was shit and the clientele were graceless, but at least I didn't have to stomach exclusion. Instead, I could celebrate Friendsgiving with my epicurean allies. Although our makeshift feast commenced at midnight and consisted largely of restaurant leftovers, it meant that I had full ownership over my choices — the bird, the wine, and most importantly for me, the company.

I've since had the pleasure of experiencing Friendsgiving in multiple states and multiple countries with a motley crew of characters. Whether in Japan, Virginia, or Texas, I've learned that the fundamentals of Friendsgiving are what make the alternative holiday a delightful respite from familial obligation. So if you're not too stoked to embrace your gene pool come November 27, or you simply don't have an opportunity to go home and be with your family this year, you may want to take into account the following benefits of hosting your own Friendsgiving instead.

Benefit 1: You don't have to travel with the masses.

Most friendships are a product of proximity, so lucky for you, attending a Friendsgiving means you get to avoid Wednesday gridlock and stroll freely down the block to your pal's sweet pad. Just make sure you come equipped with a mobile gift. DIY decorative pumpkins make for a great centerpiece — and extra fodder for friendly conversation. Or, you know, bring wine. Everyone loves wine.

Benefit 2: You don't have to censor yourself.

Are you as stoked as I am for the season three premiere of Inside Amy Schumer ? You are? Do you want to spend hors d'oeuvre hour reenacting the best of Amy Schumer raunch from seasons one and two? You do? Great, let's do it, since there'll be no DNA in the room to offend. Plus, no one will tell you to take your elbows off the table.

Benefit 3: You can break into a dance party at any given time.

Surely by late November, Spotify will have their legalities sorted allowing you and your gaggle to "Shake It Off" streaming Taylor Swift's entire 1989 album straight through from start to finish. For the less Swift enthused, you can always relive your favorite classic album covers via digital edits, thanks to Israeli musicians Roy Kafri and Vania Heymann.

Benefit 4: There most definitely will be booze.

The presence of booze will also aid in lubricating the aforementioned dance party. It's always good to gift a bottle, and if you do, may I suggest a Beaujolais nouveau; available six to eight weeks after harvest and intended for immediate drinking, this 100 percent Gamay red wine is light in tannin and heavy in fruit, certifying itself as the perfect party wine.

When all is said and done, whether you choose the benefits of friends or family this Thanksgiving, make sure you take some advice from our favorite comedy wife Amy Poehler: "Be prepared. Be enthusiastic. And leave your bullshit attitude and baggage at the door, cause we don't need it."

Happy Friendsgiving!

Images: Louish Pixel/Flickr; Giphy (5); Brian Ratigan