Friends Become Family at ‘Friendsgiving’ Celebrations


Kayla Espiritu and 17 other juniors had their potluck dinner on Nov. 11, continuing the tradition of Friendsgiving that they started when they first entered high school.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, families around the United States are setting tables, stocking up on ingredients and awaiting the arrival of distant relatives to return to the familiar, or sometimes notorious, tradition of the Thanksgiving feast. Around campus, a different type of gathering has assumed popularity: ‘Friendsgiving,’ the celebration of Thanksgiving with friends. 

Students and teachers are meeting with their respective friend groups for festivities, which feature traditional elements, such as comfort foods, as well as unconventional activities, such as gift-giving and party games. 

Despite the fact that the science teachers have only known each other for a few years, the department has already established its own tradition, in the form of an annual Friendsgiving meal. This year, the team will host a get-together at science teacher Jeralyn Newton’s home.

“Sometimes we do board games. Sometimes we also like to play Nintendo Switch games with each other; we’ll bring our controllers and do that as well,” science teacher Brittney Kang said. “We also sometimes do an eating game. One year, we all brought in a different type of cheese, and we tried to guess what type of cheese it was.”

 In addition to the science department, multiple students, such as junior Pranathi Kollolli and sophomore Afra Jui, are planning or have already hosted their own Friendsgiving events.

“We are each going to bring a dish or two to have a potluck. As our own twist to show how grateful we are for each other, we’ll bring presents,” Kollolli said. 

Junior Andrew Nguyen and his friends already had their Friendsgiving celebration, hosted by junior Kayla Espiritu earlier this month.

“Friendsgiving was fun because we had time to bond with each other through activities including games and making TikTok [videos],” Nguyen said. 

Although every friend group has its own unique interpretation of Friendsgiving, there is one aspect that every celebration has in common: the act of expressing gratitude in the spirit of Thanksgiving. 

“I’m probably going to buy cards [for all of my friends],” Jui said. “Everyone will have a card, and we are going to go around and sign what we’re thankful for about each other.”

In many ways, Friendsgiving is a time for friends to reflect on the close bonds they have formed and reminisce about the memories they have experienced with each other. Friendsgiving often holds significant sentimental value, especially for friends who do not see each other often.

“Our team really enjoys each other’s company and doesn’t really get that dedicated time regularly,” Kang said. “Scheduling a Friendsgiving and making it an annual thing that we do gives us something to look forward to and is also an opportunity to reconnect.”