Friendsgiving. That non-holiday holiday that bridges the gap between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and allows friends to celebrate sans the family drama. No, it’s not officially recognized, but the number of people partaking seems to be growing. The Central Valley is home to countless Friendsgiving celebrations of its own. Here you’ll find just a few Friendsgiving musings from local people. I hope this collection inspires you to reflect on your own memories of that special day that’s not marked on any calendar. Or, if you’ve never participated in a Friendsgiving before, I hope this encourages you to start a new tradition.
* Me *
When I lived in Los Angeles, a residency that lasted from the latter half of my twenties until the day I turned 30, I longed to be a part of a Friendsgiving gathering. Being away from home, one tiny person in the vastness of a city like L.A., could get really lonely. Especially around the holidays. And though I always managed to make it back to Clovis for the big holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I still longed for a celebration with the friends that had become like family to me as we all struggled to find our foothold in the movie biz metropolis. But one never materialized, for whatever reason. And it wasn’t until I moved home, that I experienced my first Friendsgiving.
I’d left behind good friends, and others I’d only started to get to know, when I moved away. Coming home began the process of getting to know them better. Our first Friendsgiving together in 2013 (pictured below) was the beginning of many opportunities to do that. Four years later, these strengthened bonds with this amazing group of people is one of the things I am most thankful for. This group is what I’d always hoped to find. Turns out, they’d been there all along.
On a less sentimental note, Friendsgiving is also an excuse to have two Thanksgiving dinners. Twice the turkey. Twice the stuffing. Twice the pie! What’s not to love about that?
* Ellie Koleen *
Friendsgiving is always one of my favorite days of the entire year. I consider my closest friends family and I couldn’t be more thankful for the richness they add to my life. Friendsgiving is a chance to show how grateful I am for them by taking the time to put together a beautiful evening of food, laughs and memories to last until the next year!
* Micah Qualle *