This year marks our 10th annual Friendsgiving in our home. It started the same year my boyfriend, now husband, and I moved into our apartment we still share today. Both of us are Minnesota transplants with our families scattered across the country. The nearest member is a five-hour drive away, but most are nine hours to “oh geez, just fly.”
Thanksgiving was never really huge on either side of the family, so that first year we decided to stay home. I was intrigued by the idea of making my own Thanksgiving meal. Cooking for two consistently instead of one for the first time ever, I found I enjoyed it more than I ever knew. A good friend of ours mentioned that his mom, who usually did all the cooking, wasn’t up for it that year due to her cancer treatment. We invited him, his mother, and (at the last minute) a friend of hers who was also without a place to go that day. It felt wonderful to make the holiday special ourselves.
In fact, it was so fun I decided to do it again the next year. I reached out and found more friends whose families were not in town and the guest list grew. Growing up always having to choose between my many family sides or just going to multiple dinners, I took for granted that everyone just has one or more places to go. I realized that this was actually a fairly common issue with this holiday. If you’re without family or maybe not comfortable with your family, a family holiday can be lonely whether you like turkey or not.
Word started to get around that I was serving up quite the feast. “The more the merrier” became my motto. But then friends started coming who DID have somewhere else to be, and I heard I was not making friends with certain mothers. Definitely not okay with making enemies with my best friends’ moms, I moved our meal to the evening. That way if someone did have family obligations, they could do both and my mom-karma was repaired.