And the Biggest Friendsgiving Trends Are...

Celebrating “Friendsgiving” as opposed to plain old Thanksgiving has become a pretty huge trend over the past few years — but what’s the current state of the holiday? Social discovery app Skout recently surveyed more than 1,3000 of its users to get the lowdown on who’s celebrating Friendsgiving, how they celebrate it, and more. Here’s what they found out.

Although the term “Friendsgiving” has only achieved prominence in recent years, I’m pretty sure the trend itself has existed for significantly longer. When I was a kid, our Thanksgivings were kind of like a combination of the “traditional” (whatever that means) family-based Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. My folks were transplants to Massachusetts, as were a number of other families on our street — so early on, we all started gathering together for Thanksgiving and other major holidays in lieu of traveling several states away to visit extended family. The effect was that we were able to celebrate both with our immediate family, as well as with our closest friends.

I think maybe the difference between Friendsgiving in the era before the word itself existed and after its proliferation is this: "Thanksgiving" (and, by extension, the kind of "Friendsgiving" my family and friends used to celebrate growing up) has traditionally meant something very, very specific, “Friendsgiving” is a more general sort of celebration. It’s about taking some time to appreciate the people in your life; to spend some time and share a meal together; and simply just to be for a moment — to exist outside the trappings of everyday life, to breathe, and to enjoy being on this crazy planet of ours. Not a bad philosophy to have, right?

But no matter what we call it, it’s pretty clear that Friendsgiving is here to stay. Here are some of the highlights from Skout’s Friendsgiving survey:

  • Who’s doing it? Not just Millennials! Interestingly, only 11 percent of the adults aged 18 to 29 who participated in Skout’s survey are planning on holding Friendsgiving celebrations. Meanwhile, 18 percent of the adults between the ages of 30 and 39 are. I suspect this might have something to do with the fact that most of us who fall in the 18-to-29 age bracket still “go home” (by which I mean, “go to where our parents and/or other family live”) for Thanksgiving; maybe once we hit our 30s, we stop traveling and stay put.
  • How are they doing it? 44 percent of adults will be making the event potluck. I’m actually kind of surprised this figure isn’t higher, but maybe that’s because the huge Thanksgiving shindigs I grew up with were always potluck (when your celebrations include a whole bunch of families, it only seems fair to share the kitchen load).
  • Do people fake “homemade” dishes? Yep — 59 percent of men admit that they’ve passed a store-bought dish off as homemade, as do 50 percent of vegetarians. Why bother, though? There’s no shame in bringing something store-bought if cooking really isn’t your thing — you’re still contributing to the meal, so let’s not judge. It’s the thought that counts.
  • What can “ruin” Thanksgiving? A few things: 46 percent say it’s awkward conversation; 37 say it’s a poorly cooked meal; and 17 percent say it’s when a host doesn’t seem to have put much effort into, y’know, hosting.
  • Shopping: Yea or nay? Nay. 77 percent of adults said that retail stores should close on Thanksgiving Day so employees can spend the holiday with their loved ones. Faith in humanity: restored. Of course, the fact that stores keep starting Black Friday in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday is more than a little bizarre — I’m always curious about whether they’re doing that because there’s an actual demand for it, or whether they’re just hoping people that if they’re open, the shoppers will come. Thoughts?
  • What’s the best part of Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving? It’s a combination of food and friends and family: 61 percent say it’s spending time with your loved ones, 26 percent say that it’s Thanksgiving dinner itself, and 13 percent say it’s the leftovers.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving this year? Tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook!

Images: Velcro/Flickr; Giphy (2)