COVID-19 and the cost of traveling has led to college students and many others changing up how they celebrate Thanksgiving.
Friendsgiving is one of those concepts that Gen-Z has made into something real and normalized in society, here in the US at least. There are a lot of reasons for this. From the busy life of a college student to the COVID-19 pandemic that changed everything, holidays have moved towards something far more inclusive than they used to be. It all ties into the human need to socialize, no matter how minimal that is. It also demonstrates the idea of a ‘chosen family’, another aspect made popular over recent years.
College students are historically known for two things, being broke and being busy. A lot of them are unable to make it home for the holidays, especially those living out of state. Friendsgiving came in to offer those not surrounded by family a chance to still celebrate the delicious holiday with people they care about. While this is probably something that has been done for a while, now it simply has become normalized in society. This has cemented the flip on the traditional holiday in society. This just goes to show that we often make a family outside of our family, or a chosen family. It’s a powerful thing that has also somewhat been normalized by Gen-Z and others over the recent years. With so many connections being cut from quarantine and other pandemic related things, those that you kept close were there through it all.
The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely impactful on life as we know it, holidays included. With travel being halted and quarantine guidelines, there was almost no holiday celebration to be had. Friendsgiving and other holiday twists like it, centered around friends, were the result of this complete stop-of-life as we knew it. This was something many struggled with during the peak of the pandemic, it caused a lot to go into states of depression and it was noticeably hanging thick in the air in 2020. Being near those you love or care about has been proven to be beneficial to everyone, even those of us who identify as introverted. Human beings are biologically social and when that is interrupted it can cause a lot of issues. People needed to be around those they loved so friends were there to come together.
It’s all about the feeling of being surrounded by those you care about and sharing a good meal. In the past Thanksgiving has been seen as something that was strictly a family affair, but it has since been transformed into a holiday simply about showing thanks and being around those you are grateful for. I for one have found this shift to be a good new tradition, creating more connections and opportunities for everyone to enjoy the holidays.