The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: Friendsgiving, worth it or not?

Ashanti Thomas

In recent years, “Friendsgiving” has gained more popularity during the holiday season.

Is this an actual holiday or just a fad?

I had my first “Friendsgiving” a few years ago and was quite confused at what it entailed. Before college, I was used to the standard idea of Thanksgiving where you sit around a table with your family and eat together.

My family is Polish, so we do things a bit differently when it comes to food. To be honest, we have a few traditional “American” foods, but the Polish food outweighs that tremendously.

We do have a turkey breast or ham, but it has never been the center of our meal. At my first “Friendsgiving” I was surprised to see that a full turkey be the main event.

I had never been around a full turkey that needed to be cooked and cut before a few years ago. I never understood why people would say they needed to prepare Thanksgiving a few days in advance before this point in time.

That day, I sure did learn why it becomes an all-day affair plus a few business days to plan ahead.

Back to “Friendsgiving.” Is it worth the struggle?

I say, yes.

Even with five people who did not know how to even prepare a turkey, a university oven, and the spite to make a full-size turkey, we made it work.

It took all day and calls to multiple mothers but eventually, we managed to make an 11-pound turkey in a small oven complete with other side dishes all before 5 pm.

This also happened to be the first meal I have ever cooked with a bunch of my friends as we tended to just stick to dining hall food and takeout.

During this day, we laughed, we cried, we freaked out over an electric knife. It was probably the most fun I have ever had cooking a meal.

After this “Friendsgiving,” I realized why it became such a popular thing. Thanksgiving tends to be sitting with the family you grew up around, your adoptive family, your blood family, etc. “Friendsgiving” is centered around your chosen family.

The friends you have gotten close to and have mutually accepted as family.

This is what makes it special. This is what makes it different. It allows people who might not exactly like the Thanksgiving holiday as it sometimes forces people to see other who they might not enjoy or want to see.

“Friendsgiving” allows you to choose. While it is not a holiday on a calendar, it still holds importance to some and provides some safety to people who might not find safety in the holiday season.

So, when it comes to “Friendsgiving,” I think it is worth it.

Kierstyn Budz can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Kierstyn Budz, Columnist
Kierstyn Budz is a senior English major. This is her first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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