While I would be hard-pressed to prove that we invented Friendsgiving, I can say with certainty that my friends and I were early adopters of the trendy tradition.
A born Texan, I spent my first two Friendsgivings in Nashville marveling at actual trees laced with actual snow. My friends and I divided and conquered in the kitchen – Claire cooked up a tantalizing turkey, I was on pie patrol, and some friends were there for…moral support.
My third Friendsgiving was a bewildering Colorado experience that required me to wear something called “warm layers” – even inside. I awoke every morning to the sun peeking through blue spruce and the smell of coffee brewing downstairs. I fell asleep every night in the glow of reflected moonlight, the whispery scent of bonfire in my hair.
Over the years, some Friendsgivings have involved watching every Thanksgiving episode of Friends next to the Rachel to my Monica. Others have been as much about making new friends as spending time with the old. This year’s Friendsgiving was celebrated in my home state where a dip in the pool after dinner wouldn’t have been completely out of the question, and considering the pool is where I met most of my guests, it might have been downright appropriate.
While the cities, climate, and cast have changed a little from year to year, one constant remains: Friendsgiving is nothing but fun.
Whether we’re all curled in a cabin together or just popping over from next door, part of Friendsgiving's charm is the opportunity to try something new with your favorite people. It’s the chance to taste a delicious new entrée – I’m looking at you, “Funeral Sandwiches.” It’s partaking in a friend’s cherished family tradition. It’s sipping your neighbor’s favorite wine.
Friendsgiving is piecing together a meal featuring everyone’s favorites. It’s eating dessert first. It’s dishes and dancing. It’s giving thanks for the people who came into our lives at just the right time.
As Ericka, Jamal, Jason, Janna, Jared, and even baby Vivian pieced together a puzzle after dinner, I was reminded of one of my favorite Eavan Boland poems which ends with this: "These are not bits. / They are pieces. / And the pieces fit."