Friendsgiving: A Meal With Your Second Family

Do you remember the first time you realized that as you got older, you unintentionally built this second family into your life? It’s not people bound to you by blood or related to you by marriage, it’s a group of people who have been there for you through your most terrible, the people you can sit in silence with in the car, the people who, when you have them all in a room your heart could literally burst because you know how special this kind of energy is. You know this is one of the things that makes life worth living. This is the kind of love that people lay on their death beds and talk about. And this very specific kind of love keeps me together through all the f*ckery that is *gestures vaguely* This World.

This thought bubble came to me somewhere between glass three or four of wine — when I’m PEAK sentimental — at last year’s Friendsgiving, so while the buzz certainly aided the silent happy cry into my potatoes, the sentiment stayed with me beyond next morning’s hangover. There is something so life-affirming about having all of the people you’re incapable of small talking with altogether in one room at the same time. Does that even happen at your wedding??

Sitting in a circle around a meal means time spent connecting. Gathering as a small group means intimacy is created. Dedicating uninterrupted hours together means re-cementing those bricks in your friendship foundation. And as we get older and have maybe one free day every three and a half years, it’s all the more important to make time for these things. The most essential pieces of your life that you have and need are here, right in front of you. What a time to be alive.

Also, acknowledging at the present moment how grateful you are for who and what’s in front of you is something we all could do more of. My boyfriend is so good at this. He’s constantly saying out loud how much he’s in love with the ‘now’ and he doesn’t save it for a post-dinner Instagram caption. Wow, what a concept.

“I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I love you.”

Try it.

Our people are our means of survival. And there’s nothing I love more than celebrating real-ass friendship over an $8 bottle of wine and some turkey that is okay, but not great, but we did our best, is there more wine? And sure, I’ll call it Friendsgiving. It’s shorter than “All of the people who I would die for find a free Saturday night that works for everyone and they all come over to eat food and talk and laugh around a table until well past midnight.”

P.S. Even if you don’t want to go all out with decorating, I find something so luxurious and low-key glam about candle lighting. It’s very Game of Thrones wedding feast pre-murder and makes me feel very rich. Also, a great tip, if you need a little bit of help with your holiday meal, or any meal rather, when you are cooking for friends and loved ones, Martha & Marley Spoon has some great and easy recipes to try, all of which use the best quality ingredients, I discovered.

P.P.S. I stole this clean-up tip from Kate & Joe: No cleaning on the night of your dinner party (or Friendsgiving). You can stack dishes by the sink if you want but NO CLEANING! It ruins the vibe. Instead, you do it the next morning over coffee and toast and good jams. May I suggest my Cleaning Playlist?

Images via: 2nd Truth Photography

Liz Welle is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.