Friendsgiving: not at the kid's table anymore

By Leisa Hall
11/24/2015
Courtesy of NBC.
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It's that time of year again, you guys. The holiday that people love and turkeys fear. Many of us (humans) are looking forward to breaks from school or work (yay!), great food (yum!), and family traditions. Fifteen years ago, me and my college friends created a tradition all our own. A tradition that, now looking back, helped us through the transition from kid to grown-up: Friendsgiving. And even though it feels like the kid-to-adult transition is still underway, it's a tradition that has become stronger than a stuffing-induced food coma.

In 2000, I was a sophomore in college. I had moved off-campus with my bestie from the dorms, and lucky for my friends — who were still trying to figure out how to boil noodles — I was obsessed with Martha Stewart: cooking, decorating, entertaining, considering changing my major to agricultural science so I could have my own fabulous farm — all of it. So by the time November rolled around, our little off-campus apartment was dripping with fake fall leaves, gourds of various shapes and sizes, festive throw pillows, and approximately 900 pumpkin-spice-apple-pie-harvest-cozy scented candles. Feeling the spirit of the holidays, and of Martha, I decided to host my own pre-Thanksgiving dinner — our first Friendsgiving. The weekend before we all went home for Thanksgiving break, my roommate and I had a dozen friends over for an epic meal to celebrate the season.

As much as I fancied myself a Martha protégé, let's be real: we had Stove Top stuffing, canned gravy, canned cranberry sauce, and a previously-frozen supermarket turkey. Decidedly un-Martha. But, you know what? It was effing DELICIOUS.

Yet, even more memorable than the food, were the friends we got to share it with, and what it meant to us to be able to create a tradition of our own. Only recently having been upgraded from the kid's table at our own family Thanksgivings, we were claiming the typically adult-dictated affair for ourselves. We proved that we could do it and not give everyone salmonella. And we got to choose our own company: our friends, who were sharing our experience of figuring out college and life in general.

Fifteen years later, I still celebrate Friendsgiving every November. It's my favorite tradition. The food has gotten better (like, a LOT better). The house is bigger. And the friends around the table have changed, but they are still the people I share my experiences with, and with whom I'm still trying to figure out life in general.

Want a roommate you can start a Friendsgiving tradition with? Find a great roommate with our Roommate Match.

Leisa Hall is our very own director of user acquisition, spiritual leader, and resident Martha Stewart. When she's not tirelessly making everything on Unigo better, she likes to cook and create new traditions with her friends all over town.

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