Friends find new way to celebrate upcoming holiday

Friendsgiving celebrations usually take place in addition to traditional Thanksgiving celebrations and focus on bringing friends together.

With “How I Met Your Mother” and “Friends” as inspirations for cheeky jokes and recipe reveals, Friendsgiving gives students the opportunity to make memories for when future Thanksgivings end with having to wash their dentures. 

Having an almost three-hour flight between her and her home, Bari Weinreich, a sophomore majoring in business management, is planning to host Friendsgiving a few days before going home to Providence, Rhode Island.

“I wanted to host a Friendsgiving to have fun with my friends before we all go home for Thanksgiving and to bring people together,” Weinreich said. “I plan to have snacks, and drinks, and definitely potatoes. I might make a vegan pumpkin pie. Maybe for someone to host a potluck Friendsgiving every year, we could trade off host homes.”

Attending Weinreich’s Friendsgiving is Samantha Lutrin, a sophomore double majoring in political science and philosophy. 

“I’m excited to go to this event because during Thanksgiving, I am the most thankful for friends,” Lutrin said. “Friendsgiving allows us all to appreciate our closest friends and show them how much they mean to us.”

Lutrin is from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and her and her family have developed a little festive fall tradition. 

“Back at home, every year on Thanksgiving, my parents and I always write note cards to each other about why we are thankful for each other and what has happened in the past year,” Lutrin said. 

Meanwhile, some USF students have already held their Friendsgivings. 

“I hosted Thanksgiving on Oct. 9 because Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October,” said Breanna Farrell, 20, a junior majoring in mass communications with a concentration in PR. Farrell is from Junior, Port Perry, Ontario, Canada.

Farrell hosted a variety of nationalities at her Canadian Friendsgiving.

“I had my roommate Zach from Maryland, my friend Ratul from India, his girlfriend Heather from West Palm Beach and my boyfriend who is born and raised Tampa,” Farrell said. 

Being an international student, the holidays can be tough times for those missing home.

“I wanted to host a Friendsgiving because for the past three years I missed out on my family’s Thanksgiving in Canada,” Farrell said. “I wanted to feel at home and thought there is no better way to feel at home than cooking a massive feast for the people I love in my life here. Plus, I love cooking so it was also a challenge for myself to be able to cook a meal that took so much planning and organization.”

Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving transcend borders and bring loved ones together. Farrell hosted an array of cultures and bright smiles at her Canadian Friendsgiving.

“There is no big difference between Canadian and American Thanksgiving in terms of food, but Canada actually celebrated Thanksgiving first,” Farrell said. “We celebrate the fall harvest much like Americans, but our tradition comes from many different Thanksgiving events such as Sir Martin Frobisher’s feast in Newfoundland when he was unsuccessful in finding the Northern passage.” 

At the end of the day, it’s all about the turkey and the autumn treats, vegan or otherwise while being around friends and family. Farrell showcased a flavorful menu full of seasonal favorites.

“I cooked a pretty traditional meal, getting a lot of the recipes from my grandma, a little taste of home,” Farrell said. “I made a turkey — of course — garlic mashed potatoes, turnip, corn, buns, peas and homemade apple crumble.”

Having a successful turnout, barely leaving any leftovers, Farrell might continue the festivities for years to come.

“It’s not a tradition yet,” Farrell said. “But I think it could be. Performing such a high level of ‘adulting’ was actually pretty fun.”