What is Friendsgiving? And 6 Cute DIY Ideas to Print

A variety of handcrafted Friendsgiving ideas for gifts and table settings.

What is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving is a casual Thanksgiving dinner spent with friends. While a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be a more formal affair with your relatives, Friendsgiving lets you share a meal and give thanks with your family of friends.

Friendsgiving is also a more informal and flexible way to have multiple Thanksgiving meals with friends from different areas of your life. For example, you could have a Friendsgiving meal with your work friends and also another the next week with old friends from college.

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Where does Friendsgiving come from?

The earliest use of the term “Friendsgiving” appears to come from Usenet and Twitter posts from 2007. The term “Friendsgiving” was used and understood casually in posts from that time, so it would seem that the term may have already been used verbally before being used in written text.

Also, while the TV shows “Friends” had multiple Thanksgiving episodes with just friends, it doesn’t appear that the idea for Friendsgiving originated from the show. The best theory of internet archaeologists is that the catchy term grew popular organically before becoming a more organized event.

Who started Friendsgiving?

Based on the early mentions of Friendsgiving from before, it would seem that Friendsgiving casually began among friends. However, according to a deeper analysis by sociologist Amy Adamczyk, the rise of the term in 2007 also correlates with the onset of the Great Recession.

As younger people moved to larger cities for their careers, the economic downturn could have kept them from being able to afford flights back to their families for the holidays. As a result, it may have become a more popular option for people to stay in their new home cities and spend Thanksgiving with their friends.

When is Friendsgiving?

One of the many benefits of being an unofficial holiday is that Friendsgiving can be held almost anytime. However, a common timeframe is on a weekend in the first few weeks of November before actual Thanksgiving day.

Many people will still want to visit their folks and relatives for Thanksgiving, so it’s a good idea to have Friendsgiving beforehand. Or for people whose friends are their family, Friendsgiving can be held on Turkey Day itself.

What to bring to Friendsgiving?

Much like a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, the gifts you can bring to Friendsgiving will be very similar. You just need to make sure you fit the seasonal theme and the vibe of the people who’ll be there.

Make sure to bring a gift for the host/hostess, like a bottle of mulled wine or a sparkling cider. For the event, you could also bring homemade side dishes, seasonal wines, and party games.

You can also create your own Friendsgiving gifts by turning mason jars into gift sets or with one of our 12 DIY Christmas gift ideas. Here’s a couple of different Friendsgiving ideas and options to get your creative juices going:

  • A classic bottle of wine (there are some great non-alcoholic wines out there now, as well)
  • Homemade mulled wine
  • Champagne or sparkling cider
  • Flavored sparkling water
  • Homemade fruit-infused water
  • Board games and card games
  • Seasonal side dishes (stuffing, casserole, Brussells spouts)
  • Dessert (pumpkin pie, cranberry pie, pecan pie)
  • Cocktail supplies (fruit for muddling, bitters, mixers)

How to make Friendsgiving special

What do you love about your friends? When you really think about it, the things you love and remember about your friends are in the little details. It might be the obscure TV shows that only they care about, the way they say “cool cool cool” to say goodbye, or their lifelong obsession with foxes.

And much like your friends, the things that make Friendsgiving special will be in the personal touches. For example, if you’re attending a friend’s event, why not create your own personalized gift tag with a knowing reference to add to your gift for the host or hostess.

Or, if you’re hosting your own Friendsgiving event, you can create a unified autumnal theme by making custom cards, tags, and labels. With the right Friendsgiving ideas and designs, you can give your home a gorgeous fall feel with custom table settings, gratitude cards, and boxes for leftovers.

Printable Friendsgiving invitation

Thankful fox envelope seal

Friendsgiving place setting tag

Gratitude card for guests

Friendsgiving idea for leftovers

Create your own Friendsgiving traditions

At one point in the distant past, Thanksgiving Day itself was a new tradition. And the classic story of Pilgrims and Puritans celebrating a harvest with the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans was also a gathering of friends far away from their homes.

While there will always be something beautiful about a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the traditions that you and your friends create that will make the holiday truly special. And while we all know how much we love our friends, Friendsgiving is a nice day to remind them just how thankful we are to have them in our lives.

Looking for more Thanksgiving-themed ideas? Follow us on Pinterest and take a gander at our collection of Thanksgiving projects that are also perfect for Friendsgiving ideas. And tag some of your favorite Friendsgiving projects by using #averyproducts on Instagram.