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Friendsgiving is a term that found its way into American culture over the past two decades. For many, it’s become a way to show thanks for their friends, as well as their families, for others it is a necessity due to geographical logistics, and for others, it’s a choice to spend this holiday with the families they have chosen, not the ones they were given. Whatever the reasoning, this new holiday is attracting more and more participants every year and has even made its way onto the busy calendars of many A-listers such as Taylor Swift and Amy Schumer.

This ‘new’ holiday is an extension for some, in addition to the traditional family gathering. For them, the ‘Friendsgiving’ event is usually held before or after the ‘real’ holiday. That’s the case for Deep River resident Miriam Morrissey. Traditionally, Morrissey holds this non-traditional holiday, at her home, the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving. Sprung from the idea of a girl’s night out, this tradition is one she began 17 years ago before she was married and had children.

“We had been doing a monthly girls’ night out and I suggested a girl’s night in, and that’s really how it all started,” said Morrissey, who invites only women to her annual event. No kids, no husbands.

“I think I have kept up the tradition over the years because its fun!”, said Morrissey, who admits that having a pre-arranged Thanksgiving menu helps with the planning. “I always cook the Turkey and the guests bring the sides.”

For others, Friendsgiving is not in addition to Thanksgiving, but instead of Thanksgiving. Either because they live too far away from family, don’t have family, or simply don’t want to spend it with family.

For one Madison family, the Friendsgiving tradition has become a welcome despite, replacing the traditional family gathering.

“We just live too far away to visit family every year, so we share this holiday with friends now, and it’s really a great time. I think it is a testament to the fact that it does take a village, and sometimes that village is your village of friends,” says the family’s elder (who wishes to remain anonymous).

So, whether you are channeling your best Martha Steward to create an amazingly ‘perfect’ setting for your special friends’ day, or choose to order out and focus on the company and the fun. Be grateful this season for both family and friends!


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